It was 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon in Las Cruces, and CAREGiver of the Month Gloria Bustamante and her 99-year-old Home Instead Senior Care® client weren't playing bingo or trying to solve a crossword puzzle. They were listening to "Overture to Cockaigne" at the Las Cruces Symphony. "Concerto for Harp" and "Symphony No. 5" followed on an April day filled with classical music.
Gloria and her client loved every minute of it, and they were back home by 5:20 p.m. Gloria's client once played a viola for the Detroit symphony. While she no longer has musical instruments, she and Gloria have listened to her vintage taped compositions from the client's performing days.
"I had never been to the symphony before I began assisting my client," said Gloria, who has been helping her client since July 2015. "I have many enjoyable experiences with each of my clients, and they are all special in their own ways. But going to the symphony with a client is really a memorable experience. I have done it twice."
Another unique experience with the client for Gloria is learning a few Polish words like "cześć" (hello) and "do widzenia" (goodbye). "I am not very good at it yet," Gloria admitted, laughing.
Gloria's client is recovering from an injury related to a fall that occurred in April when she was alone in her room at her independent care facility. The client is in a rehabilitation wing of the facility, and Gloria and another CAREGiver are cheering her recovery and trying to get the 98-pound client to eat more to quicken the process that will allow her to return to her room.
The client turned 100 just two days after her unattended fall and, because of her condition, there was a muted celebration that included flowers and a big birthday card. "There will be a much bigger celebration when she returns to her regular room," Gloria assured.
In addition to her musical client, Gloria has two other regular clients, including a man whose wife is his primary family caregiver. "She needs help because of her husband's dementia," Gloria said. "They have been married for a long time, and they like to debate issues with each other from time to time as all couples do. Sometimes I'll step in to try to keep the peace, but usually it is all in fun."
Gloria noted that the couple still have their car, but neither goes out of the driveway with it without a family member going along. "He likes to go outside and tinker with things, talk about his car and be alone by himself for contemplation. I allow him to do that as long as I can see that it is a safe activity. It is a way for him to maintain some independence."
Before joining Home Instead Senior Care in March 2013, Gloria had been serving as a private-day caregiver. Gloria, who had 10 total years of senior-care experience before becoming a CAREGiver, also serves as the primary family caregiver for her 86-year-old mother who recently learned that her cancer is in remission. "Mom is fairly independent yet and doesn't require a lot of care," said Gloria, whose father died in 2003.
Gloria wants to earn her CNA license and looks forward to the day when she can become a registered nurse. She is taking all of the ongoing education classes with Home Instead Senior Care that she can. "The training is comprehensive," Gloria noted. "Home Instead Senior Care is a very different company than any other one that I've served. They will work with you on schedule flexibility and are very understanding. They also like to reward their employees. It is a good job."
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.
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