of the Month Amparo “Carmen” Alvarado will never forget her “two
angels,” who were clients of Home Instead Senior Care® of
Winchester. The humorous, poignant and uplifting memories, Carmen said, will last
day, Carmen was wheeling around one of her angels, a 92-year-old client, at a
care community. They finally stopped near the front desk, where they watched
people coming and going. A random thought suddenly inspired the usually quiet client,
and she turned to Carmen and said, “You know, Carmen, I wish I could find a
good-looking guy.” Carmen replied with a question: “What are you looking for?”
The client answered, “Someone who is around 72 years old.” Both laughed. The
client’s work career had dominated her life, and she had never married.
was such a nice lady who could interject something and make you chuckle,”
Carmen recalled. “A nephew was in charge of overseeing her care, which was
extensive in terms of mobility, transfers and even eating. I received
assistance from a CNA to get her up. Transferring her from bed to recliner to
wheelchair was a challenge. Since she was partially blind, I also fed her.
Companionship was a major part of care. I enjoyed being with her.”
other angel appreciated Carmen’s pep talks, conversations that the client took
to heart and provided the energy to push ahead with daily living. When Carmen
began assisting the client and her husband in 2017, the wife didn’t want to eat
because she said she did not want to go on. Carmen recalled: “I shifted the
mood of those moments by saying, ‘This is not your time to go. You have more
living to do, and you should do it in the best way. You should enjoy your time.
I believe that’s what God wants.’ While depression is not unusual in the
general population, you sometimes see it more often with the elderly. A kind,
uplifting word really helps.”
client agreed with Carmen and started to eat again. The client told Carmen:
“You are improving my life by encouraging me to eat.” Carmen said, “It broke my
heart when she did pass away about a year after I went to assist them. I stayed
with her husband, who passed away six months after she did. Neither had
dementia. They were good people, and I enjoyed them.”
has been helping seniors and their families since March 2013, when she joined
the Home Instead Senior Care franchise that serves
Northern Shenandoah Valley. “I saw a newspaper advertisement and
applied,” Carmen explained.
came to Home Instead Senior Care with a good deal of experience. She earned her
CNA in New York State in 1995. “I was a family caregiver and helping my mother
who had Alzheimer’s. Her situation motivated me to take CNA courses and become
certified. It was sad, but my mother’s situation is something that had to be
addressed,” Carmen said.
Carmen was asked if she draws on memories of her mother while taking care of
clients, she said, “I give them all of my love just as I did with my mother.”
Of course, Carmen has a special touch with dementia clients. She said: “There
are a lot of challenges sometimes. You must have understanding or it can be
overwhelming. Some refuse to shower, so you have to be gentle and encouraging.
Patience and compassion – those are things you must have.”
assists three or four clients a week and sees no end to her work. “I want to
keep going like I am doing now. There are many seniors, and they need our
help,” she said.
All Home Instead Senior Care
CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about
employment, please call (540) 722-8750 or apply online. For further information
about our home care services, please visit Home Instead Senior Care .