CAREGiver of the Month - Anita


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Anita Rivera


Anita Strikes Balance of Work, Family Caregiving

Anita Rivera found the perfect job that allows her to assist her 84-year-old mother, who is battling congestive heart failure. To say Anita has been happy since she started working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Las Cruces on Aug. 14, 2015, is an understatement.

“I wish I had found my job with Home Instead Senior Care earlier. After my first week on the job,” Anita recalled, “I came into the office and announced to everybody, ‘I just love my job.’ Jan Wimsatt, one of our franchise owners, looked a little puzzled and said with a smile, ‘Who is this person?’ ”

That person was Home Instead Senior Care’s CAREGiver of the Month for January. In detailing the reasons for her happiness, Anita explained: “I had a busy schedule with my previous job, and it wasn’t working because I could not be there when Mom needed one of us family members. I decided to change careers to better handle her care because her health had been declining. She is a trooper, but she needs a hand. My job gives me flexibility to do that.”

Anita’s mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure more than a year ago, and she had suffered a heart attack 10 years ago. Her mom lives with her sister, and they also have someone who drops by to see her if they are not with her. Anita’s mother is in a rehabilitation facility now because of a swollen foot but expects to come home soon.

“I really like working with people and helping them. I had not had a professional caregiving job before, but I was helping my mother as a family caregiver so I figured there was a good chance I could do this. When I started applying for jobs online, I found Home Instead Senior Care,” Anita said. “I learned so many things from Home Instead training that not only helped me with clients but also has helped me care for my mother. The training is very detailed, and I want to keep going with training by taking the ongoing classes.”

Anita has four regular clients and also works fill-in shifts if she is available. Anita’s daily schedule goes something like this: Mornings, clients. Afternoons, mom. Early evenings, clients. Night-time tuck-in, mom.

Anita has had some memorable moments. One client in particular tugged at her heart strings. Anita started working with him and his wife before Thanksgiving and had only about two months with the client before he lost his battle with cancer in January. “I miss him and my 3 o’clock tea with his wife,” Anita sadly said.

Anita found unusual and serendipitous ways of helping her client – and assisting his wife while she was taking care of him. “During his last month, he was in a lot of pain and felt chilly quite a bit of the time. I remember one day when he felt so cold I took my scarf and gave it to him. His wife chuckled and told him, ‘That’s a woman’s scarf.’ He replied, ‘I don’t care – it keeps me warm,’ ” Anita recalled.

Her client was on a thickened-liquid diet. But in the final month, he was allowed to have more solid food. One day, Anita brought a soft drink, and her client winked and asked, “Could I have a swig of that soda?” Anita asked his wife, and she said, “Sure, go ahead.” That made his day.

“At the end,” Anita said, “he would tell me at the dinner table that nothing tasted good any more. He insisted a soda helped him regain his taste, so I would let him have sips of a soda with his meal with his wife’s permission. What a difference it made for him. You wouldn’t think something like that would mean so much, but it did. We also had a lot of fun. I would laugh with him and listen to his music.”

Anita remembers taking the client’s wife to the hospice facility when he was moved there. “He went fast – he was transported there on a Wednesday and died on a Sunday. It was sad when I got the call from her. He was my first client who passed away,” Anita said through her tears. “But I really like what I do, and I plan to keep going.”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of non-medical services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call (575) 522-7133 . Home Instead Senior Care also accepts online applications to become a in home caregiver.​

For further information about the company, visit Las Cruces Home Instead Senior Care, or learn more about our company's senior home care services by viewing our digital brochure.​​​​

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