The Home Instead Senior Care® sign tugged at Mirna Marinelarena's heart. While she was working at a nearby South Telshor Boulevard business, she imagined the possibilities every day when she gazed at the distinctive purple logo and phone number underneath it.
"When I first saw the sign, I was interested. I decided I wanted to be a CAREGiver and thought about going into the office and applying," Mirna admitted. "I wanted to find something that was fulfilling. When the moment was right, I applied."
On March 1, 2014, Mirna realized her dream and became a CAREGiver. Eleven months later, she was honored as the Las Cruces Home Instead's CAREGiver of the Month. Ask Mirna how she feels now, and she quickly says, "I love my job and taking care of the elderly. To give back to people is so rewarding. When you think about it, these seniors gave so much to society and mean so much to so many people that to be able to help them remain at home feels great."
Some days – and clients – are not easy. Mirna acknowledges that fact. "One client who has dementia can be hostile. That's OK, because I like the challenge. They need someone to care about them, to love them," said Mirna, who has three regular clients.
Client Care Director Faith Lester testifies to Mirna's steadfastness and compassion. "Mirna listens intently to her Alzheimer's client, and Mirna can sense the client's mood and when it is changing," Faith explained. "Mirna works with efficiency when it comes to her client, who needs a greater amount of physical care. She anticipates her client's needs, neatly gathers all of the supplies she requires, does what needs to be done, cleans the area up and is on to the next task."
Faith added: "Mirna is a calming, quiet influence on her clients, and they can feel her compassion and care in the way that she carries out her duties. Her focus is on her clients, and she is totally there for them."
CAREGiver Development and Training Coordinator Valerie Catalan echoed Faith's praise by saying: "Mirna goes above and beyond to ensure her clients have the best care possible. She constantly goes to work early or stays late anytime she is asked. Mirna is so kind and has excellent communication skills. She is always helpful and pleasant."
Client Care Manager Dona Martinez couldn't help but notice Mirna's special qualities, too. "Mirna is always willing to help. One client asked her to get groceries for him, and he has a very particular list of items that he needs because of his diet," Dona pointed out. "One day, the client called the office to let us know how amazing Mirna is. The client said there were some items on his list the store didn't have, so Mirna picked up other items she thought he would like – and he really did. He said Mirna is so great at improvising and thinking outside the box that he just loved having her work with him."
Administrative Assistant Dawna Sue Walter said Mirna is doing a great job while also going to college to earn her CNA accreditation. "Mirna is great!" Dawna Sue said. "She is always willing to work extra time or go in earlier if her clients need her. She is a hard worker and communicates well with everyone in the office. Mirna also has a great attitude. She handles her clients' needs all while going to school."
Mirna pointed out that Home Instead Senior Care's staff has worked well to provide job flexibility so she can attend Dona Ana Community College for her CNA Studies major. "It is nice to have so many people who are hoping for the best for me and want me to succeed, whether it is my work with clients or additional education," Mirna said. "They are good to me, respectful and very appreciative. They are quick to point out the positives and are great at boosting morale.
"My hopes and dreams are to finish school and get into the specialized field of Alzheimer's disease and dementia," Mirna added. "That could include working in a memory unit or facility. I find that I have the patience to work with dementia clients, and I try to put myself in my clients' shoes. If they have dementia, their situation is out of their control."
Cheerios and strawberries, classical music, long walks to Candlelight Knolls Park. Mirna has taken the time to find out what makes that client happiest. For Mirna, it's all about her clients and nothing else.
"Making my clients happy makes me happy," Mirna said. "That is why I love Home Instead and working with seniors, as well as providing a support system for their families. It is very rewarding. I believe my job makes me a better person. How many people can say their jobs do that for them?"
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.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.