Caring for others is Robert Wampeh's passion.
The Liberia native moved to the United States in 1998 and, after receiving his nursing assistant degree, he found work as a caregiver.
Wampeh was moved to tears May 16 when he received recognition during Older Americans Month for his service to Lewes resident Greg Quinn.
"I love what I do, and I really appreciate Mr. Quinn for all he has given me," Wampeh said.
"He's given me the gift of travel," says Quinn of Wampeh, who works for Griswold Home Care.
The pair went to Hawaii at the end of January and spent two weeks. Quinn had visited the island state 20 years ago and was anxious to return.
"It was my first time, and it was a great experience," Wampeh said. He sent pictures to the Griswold staff to share the experience with them.
"We've had other caregivers go on trips with clients, but never to Hawaii," said Cheryl Jankowski, regional director for Griswold in Lewes.
Quinn, 65, said he plans to travel to Australia with Wampeh next year. This year, he hopes to make it to Panama City, Panama, or Munich.
Quinn has always loved to travel, but the retired priest from Maryland had a stroke that left him unsure on his feet. He later fell and broke his hip. After six months of rehabilitation, Quinn fell again and broke the same hip. He is now wheelchair bound and relies on Griswold Home Care for help 24 hours a day.
After spending summers in Lewes, Quinn moved to Lewes about five years ago, where his well-maintained home sits just down from the Lewes Public Library. Quinn enjoys sitting in his study as the sunlight streams through French doors overlooking a small patio.
Quinn has been a client for more than three years. Wampeh has been his caregiver since the first day; the pair has developed a special bond.
"Robert is great. He gets me out, takes me shopping, and we enjoy sightseeing," Quinn said.
"They have a very special relationship. Because of this caregiver, the client was able to travel, with the caregiver, to Hawaii for a dream vacation," Jankowski said during the certificate presentation.
Serving older Americans
Thirty years ago, Jean Griswold, the wife of a Presbyterian minister in Erdenheim, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, started an overnight sitting service for the elderly. "At the time there wasn't any home healthcare," Jankowski said.
An older woman at Griswold's church was afraid to get up at night to go to the bathroom, so another lady from the church stayed with her at night. Then the helper fell and had to be hospitalized.
During the helper's absence, the older woman stopped drinking because she didn't want to have to go to the bathroom. She developed a kidney problem and died.
Griswold was devastated, Jankowski said. That's when she started the overnight sitting service, which formed the roots of Griswold Home Care, which has now served 100,000 clients in 17 states, and more than 5,000 clients in Delaware.
For more information on Griswold, call 302-644-6990 or go to www.griswoldhomecare.com.