CAREGiver of the Month Sarah

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Sarah Gives Back by Being a CAREGiver

Sarah Kammer wanted to venture into uncharted territory, so to speak. Senior care was an entirely new challenge for the New Mexico State University student, a wildlife major who joined Home Instead Senior Care of Las Cruces on Aug. 26, 2013, for a variety of reasons.

“I needed a way to give back to people,” said Sarah, who was born in Colby, Kansas, but grew up in Silver City, New Mexico. “A lot of my inspiration comes from my grandmother, who is in a care facility in Kansas. My motto is, ‘I will treat my clients exactly the same way I would treat my grandmother.’ You bond with your clients and really get emotionally invested in them, but you have to remain professional because you still have a job to do beyond being a good friend.”

Staff Manager Ann Marie Vasquez sensed something special in Sarah when she hired the college student despite her lack of caregiving experience. “To me,” Ann Marie said, “Sarah is a CAREGiver who has come a long way. When I hired Sarah, what I admired the most was her positive attitude. 

“One of the things I remember from Sarah’s interview was her comment, ‘This is a good time in my life to give back to the community.’ I knew when Sarah said that, she would make a good CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care. She has blossomed into a fantastic CAREGiver. She always asks questions and if she has a concern, she brings it to our attention right away.”

Client Care Director Faith Lester said there’s no doubt that Sarah is a deserving CAREGiver of the Month honoree. “Sarah is a proactive CAREGiver,” Faith said. “When she has a client, she asks questions and is actively seeking solutions to better serve her client. Sarah has a sweet and caring demeanor that is comforting for our clients.”

Being a CAREGiver, Sarah said, has been an incredible adventure, one that has been fulfilling from Day 1. “It is a very personal experience, and it feels great,” she said. “There is a cause-and-effect thing going on for both the CAREGiver and client. As you help your clients, you change as a person. And they change because you help them.

“Everybody who does this job knows how rewarding it can be. It’s a very big challenge sometimes. You see clients at their best and worst. It is never the same thing two days in a row.” 
Sarah, a conversationalist who could hold her own with any TV talk show host, also gave another reason for seeking the CAREGiver job: “I feel I needed to work on my people skills.”
So how about those new experiences, Sarah?

“Thanks to an 80-year-old male client,” Sarah said, “I have become a PGA Tour fan. Golf is a sport I never thought I would enjoy. I watch it between working on chores with him. When I come in the door, I ask him to tell me what’s going on with golf. I am not a golf expert, but we do invest a lot of time in golf.”

Another client and his wife have six dogs. That might seem unusual, but not to Sarah, who has three of her own. “For a few minutes when I first get there,” she said, “it’s kind of crazy and there’s a lot of barking. He has rescue dogs. The dogs give him a way to interact. He can get one, pet it, talk about it and then tell stories. He has all kinds of stories about his dogs.”

And, no, her client and his wife don’t ask Sarah to walk the dogs. Her time is client-centered. What else has she observed during her job?

  • “I had a retired teacher with dementia during a short-term assignment. Whenever she was sad or frustrated, we would read or sing nursery rhymes. It was what she did as a teacher, and it always made her feel better. She was quite a treat.
  • “One woman client still has a car and drives, but she has mobility issues. I do her grocery shopping. She is a widow who is otherwise pretty independent and lives alone. For her, it’s nice to have someone to talk with. We visit and have quite a bond.”

With 20 to 30 college credit hours remaining, where does caregiving go from here for Sarah? “I’d like to keep going during the school year, at least that would be my hope,” she said. “Finding a full-time job within my major is the aim. I guess I’d just have to see what happens. There’s no doubt this has been a good job, and I’ve made good friends.”

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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