CAREGiver of the Month - Laura

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‘Curly Locks’ – Laura – Comes to the Rescue

“Curly Locks” is not just another pretty face. Laura Calderon, an award-winning CAREGiver at Home Instead Senior Care® of Las Cruces, noticed something seemed wrong one day with her 81-year-old female client and quickly alerted the client’s son. 

“Laura earned the trust of a son of one of her clients,” franchise owner Jan Wimsatt pointed out, “which speaks volumes of how she conducts herself as a CAREGiver. She is always aware of what her client needs and provides it.”

Laura may have averted a disastrous outcome for her client, who seemed to be running a fever, appeared to be dehydrated and definitely was acting out of character. “My client usually is jovial and carries on a conversation even though she has dementia. She likes to call me ‘Curly Locks,’ and we get a giggle from it,” Laura said. “But on that particular day, she wasn’t acting like her old self at all. 

“Her son lives about 45 minutes to an hour from the client, so I summoned him and we gave her Pedialyte and Gatorade. The son decided to send her to the hospital, and it turned out that she had an infection. She was there for a while and then received help from a physical therapist when she came home.”

Now the client has returned home, continues to get stronger and is back to telling Laura such things as, “You know I love you, Curly Locks! You’re such a good kid!” With a laugh, Laura said, “She’s just like family – all four of my clients are like that. I love them all just like family.”

It takes a special person to be a CAREGiver. Laura is among the best of the best and has been honored as a CAREGiver of the Month. Jan noted: “Laura has always impressed me with her ‘service-above-self’ attitude. We are so blessed to have her on our team!”

Community Service Representative Ariel Kannady, while also leading the office cheers for Laura, relayed superlatives from other staff members:  

  • CAREGiver Development and Training Coordinator Valerie Catalan: “Laura is very good at communicating with the office as well as her clients. She is so kindhearted, and whenever she walks in the room, she brings a very gentle and bright presence.”
  • Staffing Manager Ann Marie Vasquez: “Laura is an exceptional CAREGiver. She is very conscientious about her clients’ needs. She calls us when there are concerns during her shifts. She will ask for time off only when she needs it.”
  • Client Care Coordinator Dona Martinez: “Laura is very sincere and genuine. She gives her heart 100 percent while working with her clients.”

Laura uses the word “heart” often in discussing her four regular clients. One, of course, calls her “Curly Locks.”  “Another client is a 92-year-old widow who is very precious to me, just as all of my clients are. She stole my heart,” Laura said. “I work with her three times a week for 2½ hours each time and help her with personal care, light housekeeping and shopping. She is just so loving that I hate to leave her at the end of a shift. She has few people who are still around; her brothers have passed away, and she had no children.”

Once a week – on Tuesday mornings – Laura helps another female client and her dog, whose name is “Ruffy.” When Laura had to arrange for another CAREGiver because of her son’s graduation, Laura heard this from her client: “I wish you didn’t have to miss your shift – Ruffy needs you.” Laura said, “I just had to laugh. I like both her and Ruffy, and she’s right – I have gotten attached to her dog.”

Every Thursday morning, Laura helps a client keep her house extra clean because the client’s husband undergoes an in-home medical procedure on that day of the week. “I help her sanitize the house because it is hard for her to do it all. She is so sweet – once she got to know me, she found a special decorative plaque and gave it to me to show her appreciation.”

“All of my clients have captured my heart,” Laura said. 

Laura’s heart is evident in other areas of her life, and she has a track record of helping others. She worked at a school for seven years before switching exclusively to Home Instead Senior Care. She and her family are active in their church, Potter’s House Christian Center, where she is a part of several ministries on Saturdays and Sundays that include nursery duties, Bible studies, music, drama and skits. 

Laura credits God with giving her the strength and compassion to help others. She also praised her church’s pastor for preaching God’s Word and amplifying and elaborating on it so that she could apply the messages to her everyday life. “I hear the Word in wonderful ways every week, and I am also impacted by the power of the Holy Spirit,” she explained. 

Laura thought her heart was big enough to share it both with the school and Home Instead Senior Care but found the situation too challenging. “I needed different hours from the school because I have a family that includes four boys,” Laura said. “I eventually had to give up the school job. Home Instead is outstanding from several aspects, including the fact that they are so flexible in matching me up with the shifts that work for my family and me. They also provide a number of hours and work to achieve a good client-CAREGiver match.”

Last but not least, Laura, who joined Home Instead at month’s end in June 2014, said she has good bosses and a terrific support system. 

“I love all of my people in the office. Jan Wimsatt and everybody work very hard, and they take care of us CAREGivers,” Laura said. “They always emphatically say, ‘Call if you ever have a question.’ My co-worker at school, who told me about Home Instead because she was a part-time CAREGiver, was right. She loved Home Instead, and so did another school co-worker in the school library. For them, part-time hours worked well. For me, it is a good full-time job. It feels great to have made such an impression on a dementia client who remembers me even when I am not with her. She asks about ‘Curly Locks.’ ”

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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