CAREGiver of the Month - Richelle

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Switch from EMT to Caregiving Suits Richelle

In football terms, Richelle Garcia-Prudencio called “an audible” on her career plans. And the change in course, although not a 180-degree turn, has been paying off for the award-winning CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care® of Las Cruces.

“I was going to Doña Ana Community College to become an emergency medical technician because I thought I wanted to be a paramedic,” said Richelle, honored as CAREGiver of the Month for July at the franchise owned by Jan and Ron Wimsatt. “As far as my emergency medical service certification, I’ve gotten all of my basics done. But I found it wasn’t what I really wanted.”

One of Richelle’s friends, February CAREGiver of the Month Mirna Marinelarena, encouraged Richelle to give Home Instead Senior Care a try. “My mom is a nurse, and she said being a nurse is tough stuff, and that scared me,” Richelle said, “but Mirna really likes being a CAREGiver and talked about it.” So Richelle started with Home Instead Senior Care on July 11, 2014.

“Mom wasn’t surprised because I wanted to work with the elderly since I was in high school. Mom is very proud of me,” Richelle said. “This is not a job everyone can do. It takes a lot of patience and understanding. I enjoy my job very much, and it doesn’t feel like a job. While picking up med-tech experience, I discovered on our emergency-services calls that I had a really easy time with elderly patients. They were easy for me to talk to, just like my grandparents with whom I visit as much as possible.”

Richelle is still going to college, and she plans to be done next spring. “I am going for my CNA license. I am taking it slowly, but then I would like to try for geriatric physical therapy. I like Home Instead Senior Care, and I’d like to stay with the company after I get the CNA license and work in a facility,” said Richelle, peering into her 2016 crystal ball.  

At present, Richelle is learning a lot from her CAREGiver job, including a burgeoning knowledge of classic cowboy movie actors, because of her 96-year-old client’s favorite pastime.  “I did not know who John Wayne was until I became my client’s CAREGiver about a year ago. He loves Westerns and has a John Wayne collection of movies,” Richelle said. “He grew up on a ranch in Colorado and is kind of a cowboy.”

Although Richelle wasn’t previously an aficionado of Western movies, she said the office matched her well with a good client. “I enjoy him, but all of my clients have been good. I started off as a fill-in for this one and then became the regular CAREGiver. I see him twice a day, seven days a week,” Richelle said. “He is very sharp and has a great command of his memories from childhood. His major challenge is his mobility – he’s in a wheelchair.” 

The client’s daughter said their family is fortunate to have Richelle as a CAREGiver. “She is exceptional,” the client’s daughter said. “Richelle is caring, efficient, observant and a great companion. She helps immensely by notifying us of any issues with Dad. Richelle also alerts us when any supplies or groceries are needed. Without batting an eye, Richelle fit in to our chaotic life that includes three dogs and three little girls. I’m not sure Dad could be at home without Richelle because she means a lot to him.”

More than just one client and his family, Richelle receives high marks from the office:

Staffing Manager Ann Marie Vasquez: “Richelle is a great CAREGiver. She is always open to helping with last-minute fill-ins. She is also very reliable, never misses her clock-in and clock-outs. Richelle is about giving her client the consistency he needs. One thing I really appreciate about Richelle is that she is always very professional.” 

CAREGiver Development and Training Coordinator Valerie Catalan: “Richelle is always professional with the office staff as well as her clients and their families. She always has her clients’ best interests at heart.” 

Client Care Coordinator Dona Martinez: “Richelle gives 100 percent. One of her previous clients moved from out of state, and he needed assistance with unpacking boxes. After Richelle was introduced, she jumped in as if she had been there for years. Because of a VA benefits complication, the client had to end services and was heartbroken. He called us a few times to see how she was doing and say he missed her.”

Operations Specialist Ariel Kannady summarized, saying: “Richelle is an amazing CAREGiver. She is extremely consistent, which all of her clients love. They know they can depend on her, and she won’t let them down. Richelle also gives her clients’ families a peace of mind because they know their loved one is in the best of hands.”

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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