CAREGiver of the Month - Kindle


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Kindle Hein


Kindle Balances National Guard, Classwork With Caregiving

A CAREGiver of the Month honor isn’t the first salute Kindle Hein has received. She is First Lieutenant Kindle Hein of the New Mexico Army National Guard.

As a Signal Officer for the past four years, Kindle helps manage Department of Defense communications, computers and satellite equipment for her Guard unit. As a CAREGiver since September 2015, Kindle has been a safety net for clients and is a source of dignity, respect, comfort and encouragement for them and their families, as well as providing services that enhance seniors’ lives and allow them to remain in their homes.

In addition to military and caregiving responsibilities, the New Mexico Military Institute graduate, who has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, is back in school. Kindle is taking classes with the goal of becoming a Register Nurse by May 2018 with a degree from New Mexico State University. Kindle can envision herself as a flight nurse or emergency nurse. Working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Las Cruces, she said, dovetails perfectly with all other aspects of her life. And she likes what she’s doing.

“I really enjoy the job. Everyone in the office is so nice and so friendly. They care about you as a person. They have 100 or more CAREGivers and yet they remember my name – that is impressive. Training has helped and was very useful, especially learning the transfers,” said Kindle, who investigated the award-winning franchise owned by Jan and Ron Wimsatt during an internet search. “I was aiming for a position that had a flexibility of hours because of school and other commitments, and their flexibility is very good.

“I hadn’t done any senior care professionally, but I had assisted my mother. She suffered serious injuries in a car accident six years ago and lost the use of her left arm. Among other things, I helped her bath and dress, and her condition improved. But two years ago, she suffered a heart attack, is confined to a wheelchair and is on oxygen. She is doing pretty well because my stepdad takes good care of her. She lives about an hour away, and I try to see her every week or so.”

One of Kindle’s occasional fill-in assignments has paired her with a former longtime Department of Defense contractor who is a wheelchair-bound amputee but yet remains active. “She does not stay in one place for very long, and I have driven her around. She goes to ROTC events and Chamber of Commerce functions as well as serving on the board at the White Sands Missile Range Museum. She also likes gardening shows,” Kindle said. “She has me sit in with her at some of the meetings because of my National Guard status, and they are interesting.”

Kindle does a good number of fill-in shifts, but she also has two regular clients.

“They are nice people,” Kindle said. “After I fix breakfast for one of them, she likes to watch the morning news and knit. We have a commonality because I knit, too, and we show each other our knitting. We’ve also gone through her photo albums.”

The other client, Kindle said, loves to watch the constant activity in her bird feeder. “I think she feeds the neighborhood birds,” Kindle joked. “She can see the bird feeder, her rose garden and the TV from the same spot in her rocking chair. The birds entertain her, and so do cowboy movies. She has had cats, but after the last one died, the family opted not to get another.”

Kindle has assisted dementia clients, including one when she started with Home Instead Senior Care. “The moods fluctuate with the up-and-down of memory loss,” Kindle said, “so the challenges change with the moods. One client just wanted to play cards and nothing else.”

She added: “One turned herself into a hermit who never wanted to leave the house, and I noticed she became more uneasy as the afternoon progressed. There was some irritation on her part, and redirection and refocusing on my part. One client really surprised us CAREGivers because she was enduring despite lung cancer that went undiagnosed until her final month of life. It was a surprise, and she must have had a really high threshold of pain because there were no signs.”

Overall, Kindle said, things worked out pretty well in her quest to assist her clients. “This has been a good experience for me,” she said.

Client Care Manager Dona Martinez said Kindle is very proactive and notes that she works closely with her clients, asks questions, learns their needs and then jumps into action. Kindle likes to discover the clients’ likes and does things that make them feel special.”

Scheduling Manager Ann Marie Vasquez agreed, explaining: “A client’s daughter said Kindle was great with her mom, who has dementia. The daughter said Kindle stepped in and was just excellent with her.”

Another Client Care Manager, Marie Zembas, pointed out that Kindle was supposed to be a fill-in for one client. “The client’s daughter said when Kindle became a part of the regular CAREGiver schedule, she and her mother couldn’t have been more pleased,” Marie said.

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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