CAREGiver of the Month Shelley


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Shelley Says Owners Set the Pace, Inspire CAREGivers

When Shelley Cruz-Solano became a CAREGiver in October 2013, she said franchise owners Jan and Ron Wimsatt immediately caught her eye. They were hard at work in the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Las Cruces, working shoulder to shoulder with their employees.

“Jan and Ron are right there in the trenches with everybody. They are good people with good hearts,” Shelley pointed out. “How can that not impress you? I have always been inspired to help seniors, but that inspires me even more. Jan and Ron are not absentee owners. They personally know us as CAREGivers, and they know their clients. How cool is that? I think it really makes a difference for anybody involved in receiving services or providing them.”

Shelley also has stood out as an outstanding employee, being honored as CAREGiver of the Month for her efforts as part of a 24/7 CAREGiver team for a female client. Shelley caught Staffing Manager Ann Marie Vasquez’s eye with her amazing work with the client during her afternoon-to-early-evening shift.

“Shelley is great with her clients,” Ann Marie said. “She works with a client who is mostly nonverbal. One day while I was on the phone with Shelley, I could hear the client telling Shelley to move closer to her. Shelley asked the client, ‘Is this close enough?’ and the client said that it was much better. I was amazed by how the client was actually talking to her, other than ‘hi, bye and yes.’ I had never heard the client with that level of communication. 

“I also have to say that Shelley is very good at calling us with concerns, is never late and fills in when she is available.”

Shelley recalled her assignment to the client about a year ago, when the client had ended a weeklong hospital stay because of pneumonia. “She would say, ‘Uh-huh,’ to everything, even if the answer should have been a definitive ‘no,’ ” Shelley said. “I knew I had made an impression or perhaps had won her over because one day, she grabbed my hand and told me to sit when we were transitioning CAREGivers on a shift change. She doesn’t show emotion, but I could tell something was up when she pulled me back to stay with her. But I also know the other CAREGivers do a good job with her, too, and they are good colleagues.”

The client’s daughter-in-law praised Shelley’s efforts with her senior loved one, saying, “Shelly is very attentive to my mother-in-law’s needs and the needs of the household.  She spends time with my mother-in-law and stimulates her. She is proactive about asking for cleaning supplies and telling us why it is needed. She makes sure the refrigerator gets cleaned.”

Shelley said spending time with her client is like being in her second home. “I like to keep my home clean and have everything run smoothly,” Shelley said, “and that’s how I treat the situation. If something doesn’t get done, I make sure I pick up the slack and get it done – there’s plenty to do. I treat her as I would treat my own grandparents. I like what I am doing, and it is not like work to me.”

The fact that office staff members have taken notice of Shelley’s work with clients was a pleasant surprise and gratifying to the CAREGiver, a CNA who worked in two nursing homes and a hospital before transitioning to in-home care with other companies and then landing with Home Instead Senior Care. “Home Instead is the best I’ve worked for,” Shelley said. “Sure, you draw a paycheck and do what is expected, but they reward and honor you for going above and beyond, and I just haven’t seen that anywhere else.

“I worked in nursing homes for three or four years at first, but I needed a break because you can never get to know the residents as well as you would like and provide that personal touch because there are so many of them to care for. For that very reason, in-home care is by far the very best way to go with seniors because that’s where they want to be, and that’s where they thrive. If I could keep my family, like my grandparents, out of a nursing home, that is what I would do.”

Shelley’s can-do attitude, senior-care expertise and people-person skills impressed staff members, including Valerie Catalan, the CAREGiver Development and Training Coordinator, who said: “Shelly doesn’t hesitate to help when asked, and she is always so friendly.”

Client Care Manager Dona Martinez added: “Shelley is very dedicated to the clients she serves. She is very passionate about her work. She communicates very well with the office about any concerns she has while working and is very good about problem-solving when she has obstacles come before her.”

Client Care Director Faith Lester also interjected: “Shelly is very observant. She looks at her clients and checks for any changes in condition.  She can tell you how they are doing and how they have changed. If there is a change in condition, she offers suggestions to continue safely caring for the client. Shelly is upbeat and smiles all the time, our clients love her because she is attentive and happy. Shelly calls the office in a timely fashion and lets us know if there is an issue we need to address.”

The bottom line, Community Service Representative Ariel Kannady said, is that Shelley simply stands out. “She is a great CAREGiver. She is dedicated, caring, trustworthy and patient with her clients. When she is with them, her attention is on the clients and their needs. Shelley is an all-around team player, and understands that CAREGiver relationships truly matter to the overall care of the client.”

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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