CAREGiver of the Month - Ana


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Breaking Bread With Client a Special Time


The event involved a slice of bread and a smile at the supper table. It was a simple yet significant confirmation that Ana Cortes, a humble, soft-spoken CAREGiver, had been grafted into her 76-year-old client’s family. 

Ana had been invited to the family supper during her shift for the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves the Northern Shenandoah Valley, including Winchester, Virginia, and 25 other communities.

“My client’s daughter gave her mother a half slice of bread and put the other half back. When my client picked up that other half slice, her daughter said, ‘Oh, you want the whole thing.’ But my client put the bread on my plate and her daughter said, ‘Oh, she’s looking out for you!’ My client smiled at me. What a nice moment it was,” Ana said. “My client was looking out for me, and had me in mind before thinking of herself. It was something that said to me, ‘You are a part of my family.’ ”

Ana is also a highly regarded member of the Home Instead Senior Care family at the franchise owned by Aaron Blight. She was selected as CAREGiver of the Month for September, almost seven months after joining Home Instead on Jan. 27. “Congratulations, Ana!” office staff members said while announcing Ana’s honor. “We want to thank you for your dedication to our company and your willingness to meet our needs. 

“Everyone should know that Ana works every day, and she is available and always able to meet our short-notice needs. Ana never calls off her assignments, always shows up on time and is very dependable. Her clients are always thankful for her good attitude, and she has the ability and willingness to deal with some of our more difficult clients. Ana has truly been blessing to our company. Thank you, Ana!”

The office staff members are happy that a member of the Home Instead Senior Care family in Martinsburg, West Virginia, tipped Ana off to the job in Winchester, where she lives. 

“I had a friend working out of the Martinsburg office,” Ana recalled, “and she told me she thought I would enjoy Home Instead. I had finished my CNA education at Valley College in Martinsburg, took the West Virginia test and passed it, and then found Home Instead. 

“I am happy with Home Instead and like working for them because they are flexible with work hours and find a way to make things work for me. I’ve also gotten good matches for clients.”

Ana has two regular clients, including the one who generously gave her the extra piece of bread. “I have worked with her twice a week and sometimes more as a fill-in since she moved here in July from Berkeley Springs,” Ana explained. The client suffered a stroke, and communication sometimes is hard. “We CAREGivers ask a lot of yes-or-no questions,” Ana said. “She’s nice, but we are still working on figuring everything out with her. She has a CAREGiver from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, and since she lives with family, they are there for her at night.”

That client, Ana said, likes to go to the park near her house and also make shopping trips to a grocery store when the CAREGivers take her to physical therapy sessions. She carries a basket with her wheelchair, and we pick out things. “She has kept a CAREGiver from Martinsburg – a franchise also owned by Aaron Blight – who was with her in Berkeley Springs, and she comes down three times a week to assist her. Our client is enjoyable, and we do well together.”

Ana’s 100-year-old weekend client lives in a facility and receives 24/7 care from Home Instead Senior Care. “Every day with her is different,” Ana said. “When she is feeling down, I try to get her outside so she can look at the flowers. She seems to know about every one of them because she used to love to garden. Checking out the flower gardens around the facility is a good redirection. She is a former teacher who also used to volunteer for the library, so she knows about a great deal of things.”

That client also likes to make sure her CAREGivers eat when she eats. “There’s a bistro at the facility,” Ana explained, “and if we CAREGivers don’t get something to eat when we take her there, she tries to share her food with us all the time. She doesn’t want us there to watch her eat.”

All in all, Ana said, her first foray into senior care has gone well. “I had not done this before,” Ana said, “and I had not been a family caregiver for a senior, either. When I was looking into education possibilities in the post secondary, I thought this looked good. And I do like it. I like talking to my clients. There are lots of stories, lots of history. We are on the end of a hard time once in a while, but that’s OK. It’s a good job.”​

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​​.​

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