Growing up with two sick parents to care for as a youth was not the ideal childhood for Martie Mashburn. But it prepared her for her role as a certified nursing assistant and caregiver in ways she could not imagine as a child.
The newcomer to Cleveland said she was only 10 years old when both her parents were suffering from illnesses that ultimately cut short their lives before Mashburn turned 21.
“I was raised with two parents who were extremely ill,” Mashburn explained. “My father had lupus erythematosus. He was on dialysis five to six days a week. My mother had ovarian cancer. She was in and out of the hospital undergoing chemotherapy for my entire life. So I’ve been a caregiver most of my life. That experience set me in this course. I was 12 when my older sister, Melody, married and left home. I was the baby so I was there, at home, through it all. I was involved in caregiving from age 10 to when they died. My mother died when I was 18, and my father died when I was 20. It helped me to have sympathy, empathy, patience and understanding. I’m so glad I was able to be there for them. I have no regrets.”
Although those years in Calhoun, Ga., were difficult, Mashburn said reading her Bible, trusting in her God and relying on friends in her congregation gave her the strength she needed to endure.
“If it hadn’t been for my congregation coming in and helping me, I don’t know what I would have done,” she admits. “It was a tough time.”
But through it all, the resilient caregiver found a compassion for the sick, disabled and elderly that made her experience with her parents a valuable lesson in learning how to show love and kindness through the skill of being a nursing assistant and caregiver of others.
“I enjoy helping people and taking care of a family’s most prized possessions — their loved ones,” Mashburn said. “The people are so grateful when I come in and do things that they can no longer do for themselves. They’re so appreciative. It’s very satisfying work. It really is. Based on my own experience, I have an understanding of what other family members are going through when they experience a loved one needing a caregiver.”
Mashburn said that is the most fulfilling part of her job — her client’s sincere appreciation and knowing she is making a real difference in their lives. She said her customized home care service provides overnight care, mobility and safety supervision, homemaker services, transportation and errands, home salon services, post-hospital transportation and personal care to suit the needs of her clients.
“I do light housekeeping, assist with meals, laundry and getting my client’s to their doctor’s appointments,” Mashburn added. “I’ve had medical assisting training so I can check on their vitals and transmit that information to their doctors, if need be. It’s a full service. I have a master’s in cosmetology so I can do their nails as well as shampoo and style their hair. But that’s in addition to the hourly personal care.”
Mashburn, who volunteered to help several sick and elderly in her community before moving to Cleveland, including volunteering for families who had loved ones in hospice even before she graduated from the Gwinnett (Ga.) College Medical Assisting Program, said she is looking forward to offering her services in Cleveland, where she already feels a warm reception.
“I really enjoy it here,” she said. “Cleveland is like a big city but it’s still rural. It still has that Southern hospitality charm. People aren’t in a rush. I like that they can take a minute to be cordial and strike up a conversation. I’ve always been more of a country girl and I lived in Roswell, (Ga.), which was more like Atlanta. So I’m glad to be back to a slower-paced life.”
Mashburn is a single mom with an 18-year-old daughter who is in school for studies in phlebotomy and learning to how to be a patient care technician. She has one older sister living in Cleveland and three older brothers in Georgia. Her hobbies include bike riding, painting, shopping, crafts and jewelry making.
For further information about her Customized Home Care, call Martie Mashburn at 423-310-1311 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.