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The New CAREGiver Arrives

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The New CAREGiver Arrives ​By Elizabeth Shean

One of Mom's greatest concerns about relocating to Albuquerque from Houston was finding a new CAREGiver℠. She loved her Houston CAREGiver, Anita, so much. She believed her to be irreplaceable.

To try to ease the transition, I called the Albuquerque Home Instead Senior Care® office to set up an intake appointment before we'd even left Houston. I felt getting a new CAREGiver on board quickly would help establish a new routine for Mom and relieve any potential anxiety she might be feeling after the move.

Last Tuesday, Mom waited with anticipation for her new CAREGiver, Jessa, to show up. And Jessa did not disappoint.

It must feel awkward to know you are going to help a person bathe on your very first introduction to each other, but Jessa handled the situation with such grace that I could tell Mom felt completely at ease. I overheard them chuckling together in the bathroom, so things must have gone well.

Naturally, it can take time to see if two people are going to enjoy each other's company. In contrast with Anita, Jessa is a quiet person, which makes me wonder if Mom is going to miss the conversations she used to have with Anita. I suppose time will tell.

Jessa is very experienced, having been a Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver for over five years, and that translates to excellent skills. As an example, Mom complimented Jessa on her gentle touch when transferring Mom in and out of the shower. Jessa also is quite proactive at finding tasks to stay busy throughout her shift. She never oversteps her bounds, but she offers to take on additional housekeeping chores and such—which is a Godsend for me, because being relieved of the housecleaning burden allows me to enjoy my spare time instead of devoting it to drudgery.

Jessa's first visit was unusual from the standpoint I had friends coming to visit that day and, so, had already performed many household tasks that normally would fall to Jessa. But our wonderful CAREGiver willingly took on some unusual requests. She:

  • Inventoried and organized my pantry
  • Started laundering a vast pile of towels and linens that I'd used as packing materials for fragile items during the move
  • Began jotting down a list of cleaning supplies I need to pick up
  • Flattened cardboard boxes and placed them in the recycle bin

Like I say, normally I would never ask a professional CAREGiver to do these types of things. But they needed to be done, and I was grateful Jessa cheerfully took them on. As she said, she'd rather be busy than idle.

Jessa comes today for her second shift with Mom, and she'll tackle more of the typical tasks, like preparing Mom's lunch. I like it when a CAREGiver can cook, to some degree, because I think a lot of bonding can occur over a good meal. I don't expect Jessa to prepare a five-course meal, but the ability to heat a can of soup and make grilled cheese (one of Mom's favorites!) cannot be underestimated.

As I said in my last post, caregiving is a team sport. Every day I feel grateful for the support of my siblings, and I appreciate Jessa's contributions, too. Honestly, investing in professional CAREGiving is one of the best decisions I ever made. I can't wait to watch this new friendship between Mom and Jessa flourish.


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