said Home Instead’s training was helpful and refreshed her skills. “I brought a
lot of skills. The ongoing training has helped,” Johanna said. “Communications
are good, and the office staff consists of great people. Bill Dahlquist runs a
great company, and I like working for Bill. He is wonderful, and so is everyone
else in the office. They definitely are great people. After I became a
CAREGiver, I recommended one of my group-home workers to Home Instead, and she
became a CAREGiver, too.” Read more...
Returning to the labor force, Lisa became a CNA to see if she wanted to work with seniors. Although
Lisa always has had a heart for seniors, she had not been involved in family
caregiving because she did not have any seniors in her life after her early 20s. “I had been close to
my grandparents on my mom’s side. But they died relatively young and suddenly. Read more...
Raven has worked with two
clients for the past five to seven months. “They are great. I enjoy them,”
Raven said. “They tell me I am their friend. I like this job because
relationships are a strong part of it. I develop friendships with the clients.
To emphasize, I don’t just see an older person – I am helping a person whose
life is full of color and achievement.” Read more...
the decision to apply for her first professional senior-care job, Rose said,
“When the kids grew up and left the nest, I missed the caretaking that was tied
to them. I thought, ‘What will I do with myself?’ I just knew I needed to fill
a void on the weekends and maybe some evenings. I saw a Home Instead
advertisement and applied. I never thought I’d love doing this as much as I do.
I am a social person: It gets me out of the house. It is fun and fulfilling for
me.” Read more...
was thrust into the role of family caregiver for her parents. Her mother died
five years ago at age 94. Mildred’s father died in 2015 just seven months short
of his 100th birthday. When Mildred works with her clients, it’s
hard for her not to think of her parents and treat her clients just as she
would if they were family members. Read more...
been doing home care for the past 10 years, including more than eight years
with other competitor agencies in Colorado Springs. Explaining her 85-mile move
up Interstate 25, Sharon said: “I wanted to get closer to my kids and grandkids
because I missed a lot of their growing up. After I got settled in, I saw the
Home Instead sign and did research on the franchise. I saw the Home Instead
reviews and felt compelled to apply. Everything happens for a reason, and I am
glad to be in senior care and doing it on behalf of Home Instead.” Read more...
Maurice, by volunteering
to respond to desperate situations, sometimes finds himself working long days
as a CAREGiver. “I’ve never done anything as fulfilling as working with these
seniors. At the end of a shift, I am sometimes tired but always smiling,” said
Maurice, who joined owner Bill Dahlquist’s award-winning franchise on July 22,
2016, and was honored as CAREGiver of the Month in July 2017. Read more...
the start, the job has been a good fit for Norberta, who said: “I love Home
Instead Senior Care, I really do. I am one-on-one with clients and their
families, so I can become more involved with people. In care communities, you
would like to develop relationships with residents, but it is much harder. It
is just so difficult to spend much time one-on-one with them. If you are
zooming in and out of the residents’ rooms, there’s not much of a chance for
that.” Read more...
Like all CAREGivers,
Brittany has faced surprises and challenges, and has experienced unforgettable
shifts. One day, as her birthday approached, a Parkinson’s client slowly and
stealthfully maneuvered on his walker – unbeknownst to Brittany – and went from
the living room to the kitchen where she was preparing a meal. “The client gave
me a hug, wished me an early happy birthday and managed to stuff a $100 bill
into my pocket. Of course, I gave it back. But to me, it was the thought that
counted,” Brittany said. “He was a very sharp person.” Read more...
Working as a CAREGiver
resurrected many family caregiving memories. “I had been attending my freshman
year at college in Greeley, Colorado, then moved back to Pueblo to help my
grandfather care for my grandmother. We were a good caregiving team,
keeping her out of a facility as long as we could,” Ericka recalled. Read more...
While attending school at Canon City, Jilan found her
calling by helping others just as her mother did as a therapist. “My mother
retired twice. When her bosses asked her to come back, she did for a while
because she enjoys helping people. It was hard for her to retire,” Jilan said.
“I volunteered at a skilled-care facility in Canon City while I was in high
school and later worked there. I found that working one-on-one with those in
need was more of what I wanted to do, so I later worked for an in-home care
company like Home Instead Senior Care.” Read more...
Taking care of people has
always been on Lucy’s heart, even when she had a good job with a worldwide
accounting firm in Nairobi. “I worked for this firm for 27½ years. I was not an
accountant, but rather like a secretary. Would I like to work there again? No,
not now. What I am doing is what I like the best. This is my calling. Yes, I
agree with other CAREGivers when they say, ‘Our reward will be in heaven.’ What
we receive in heaven will be eternal, forever. What we receive here and now is
fleeting and temporary,” Lucy said. Read more...
Fanny learned about Home Instead Senior Care at a job fair at her college. “I loved it when Home Instead Senior Care recruiters explained I could make my own schedule to fit my needs because I am a college student. It was a fine deal,” Fanny said. Read more...
Faith plays a big role in Awaitha’s life. “Jesus is my Lord, and I am not ashamed to say that. I don’t push it on other people. If they ask about my beliefs, I will talk to them about it,” Awaitha said. “I let my actions show my faith. I have a higher power to answer to with my conduct at work and in my personal life. If I come up short, I ask for forgiveness. The clients should notice something different about me. They understand actions that point to my faith.” Read more...
Mary’s Job Change Led to More Fulfilling Work
Clark Feels Fulfilled as a CAREGiver
Rozella’s Strong Sense of Duty Benefits Her Clients
Elaine Thinks of Her Late Husband as She Helps Others
With one of her endearing giggles, CAREGiver of the Month Elvia Rodriguez pointed out, “I am very patient with kids and seniors.” Forbearance and compassion are among Elvia’s best qualities because she works with both demographics in two separate jobs.
On weeknights and weekends during the school year, Elvia works for Home Instead Senior Care ® of Denver South. From the middle of August until late May, she is a teacher’s aide at an elementary school near her home. Elvia credits Home Instead Senior Care’s job flexibility for allowing her to continue to help two elderly sisters and other seniors during the school year.
“I started with Home Instead Senior Care in July 2015 because I felt I needed a summer job while school was out of session. My summer work is totally with them,” said Elvia, who will begin her 15 th year as a teacher’s aide on Aug. 18. “I was driving a year ago when I saw a Home Instead Senior Care car wrapped with the company advertising. I got the phone number and I called. A TV commercial featuring Home Instead Senior Care also caught my eye.”
Working as a CAREGiver has gone well, and Elvia isn’t certain if she’ll continue as a teacher’s aide after this school year. She has been taking a grandson with her to school, and he is a sixth grader in 2016-2017. When he moves up to middle school next year, she might consider focusing solely on Home Instead Senior Care.“Who knows? My plans could change. I am not the kind of person who needs a lot of sleep, so my energy level is good,” Elvia said. “I want to continue to help my two regular clients, sisters who live in senior apartments on the same floor of the same building where they’ve been for 25 years. They have no other CAREGivers, and I always want to be there for them.”
One sister is 103 and the other is in her 90s. Memory issues, light housekeeping, meal preparation and lack of transportation are among their major challenges. Their mobility is fairly good for their ages, and they can do such things as showering on their own.
“They are good ladies and fun to be with. They don’t want to deal with other new faces,” Elvia said. “I became friends with them by staying patient and building their confidence by trying to please them every way possible. They are comfortable with me, and I keep their same routines. They don’t like change.
“Problems have arisen – one of them told me one day that I could stay only one hour and then I would have to leave. I was able to talk my way into staying for the whole shift so I could get all of my work done. Usually it is the opposite – some seniors feel no one likes them or cares about them any longer. I make them feel as if they have a good friend who is in their corner,” Elvia added.
“On Saturdays, I try to make sure both of their apartments are clean. I do their grocery shopping and their food preparation for the dinner/supper hour. I also cut up fruit for them, package it in the refrigerator and prepare things for their other meals.”
Elvia, who has raised a family that includes two sons and a daughter, feels comfortable with senior care because she was a family caregiver for two grandparents and an uncle in her native El Paso, Texas, where she lived until moving 20 years ago to Denver. “My grandmother raised me, and I lived with her. When she got older and was battling diabetes, I took care of her until her passing,” said Elvia, who then made a major life change that took her from the Rio Grande River Valley to the Rocky Mountains.
Elvia made the 640-mile trip from El Paso to Denver during Christmas season more than 20 years ago to visit a longtime friend who had moved to the Mile High City and loved it. “My friend and I have known each other for 30 to 35 years and worked together for the same company in El Paso,” Elvia explained. “I was a buyer for a chain of retail stores. I selected dresses and shoes, and I used to travel a lot to clothes shows. After she moved to Denver, she encouraged me to come, so the kids and I moved.”
Elvia’s 90-year- old mother still lives in El Paso and is doing well, and one of her sons got married, moved back to Texas and lives in San Antonio. “I don’t miss El Paso much, but I go back to visit once in a while,” Elvia said.
Asked if she had to get used to the Colorado winters, Elvia said: “It was no problem because I didn’t particularly like the weather in El Paso. I do like it here in Denver, including the snow. All in all, I have liked everything in Colorado. I have lots of friends – young and old.”
For nine years, Bill Geller observed the compassionate and impactful work of CAREGivers from Home Instead Senior Care ® of Denver South as they assisted him and his wife with her parents’care. He was impressed so much that he became a CAREGiver on Feb. 25, 2015.
“My in-laws had had CAREGivers since 2003, when my father-in- law first needed one. He died in 2005. My mother-in- law continued to have a CAREGiver, and she died in 2013,” said Bill, who was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for July 2016. “I really liked my in-laws’CAREGivers, and they worked well with our situation. They were helpful and responsive.”
Bill has a huge reservoir of compassion to help others, young and old. The 1986 graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, had worked in the food industry. But Bill remained home with his daughters after their family moved from Los Angeles to Denver for his wife’s job transfer 20 years ago. Their oldest daughter is working now on her degree at Northeastern University in Boston, and their youngest daughter is attending Washington University in St. Louis. He treasures those family caregiving years.
“In addition to everything else involving my daughters, I coached their soccer teams for nine seasons. But the extent of my strategy was to point and say, ‘kick the ball that way,’ ” joked Bill, who also is a religion teacher at Hebrew Educational Alliance, having instructed fourth graders for the past six years. “I enjoy working with young people and seniors, and I wanted a part-time job. I found that working part time for Home Instead Senior Care is optimal. Carrying too many hours does not work for me and my family, and the office schedulers respect that.”
Bill said his daughters enjoy hearing about his CAREGiver work, which has offered them a different perspective on life. “Certainly, working with clients gives my family an appreciation for life situations other than their own. For instance, when my daughters think they have problems and I explain the challenges some of my clients encounter, theirs may not seem so overwhelming,” Bill said.
While working as a CAREGiver, Bill also serves as a long-distance family caregiver. His parents, in their 80s, are still living in Phoenix, where he grew up. They are doing “medium,” as Bill describes it, while remaining in their own home. He recommended a CAREGiver after his mother underwent a medical procedure in 2015, and the CAREGiver helped for about two months until his mother recovered sufficiently. “My parents now know what is possible if and when they need more help on an immediate basis,” Bill said.
CAREGivers, Bill emphasized, make a difference for seniors. “Home Instead Senior Care is great from an outside perspective, looking at the company as a family member of a senior loved one. Home Instead is also good from an inside perspective when I consider the franchise as oneof its employee,” Bill said. “The training was very good. You realize you won’t remember everything, but the training gives you a good feel for what you need to know. Laura, our trainer, is fabulous. She is both a nurse and a former CAREGiver.”
Bill added: “The CAREGiver-client matchups are very good. I have male clients, and I have found compatible personalities, really great fits. The schedulers have the hardest jobs at the franchise because in addition to matching clients and CAREGivers, they are scrambling with last-minute fill-ins.”
Bill’s four regular clients are ages 62 through 92, and usually he is providing companionship to deliver respite for their wives. “My clients’ wives need time away for shopping and errands. In addition, I have gone with clients on numerous medical appointments and have sat with them and listened intently so that families or medical people at their facilities will know how to proceed. I went with one man during an MRI and relayed the results to the appropriate people,” Bill said.
The reasons for requesting a CAREGiver are many. Bill remembers a one-time assignment that brought out the football fan in him. “A wife called the office and wanted someone to watch last season’s AFC championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots with her husband. She wanted to go out during the game and get some things done, and she prepared snacks for her husband and me. It was my only visit with this client, but it went really well. He has hearing loss and had the TV volume cranked to 87, but we had a good time, it was a close game and the Broncos won,” Bill said.
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