Esvy Iglesias was investigating a CAREGiver position last May at Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville. Her background immediately caught Recruiting Coordinator Monica Faulkner's eye. Among her previous jobs, Esvy had worked in a local school system for 10 years in the English as a Second Language program. She also was a translator and tutor. Monica persisted while they played phone tag for several weeks.
When Esvy arrived for the job interview, Monica took note of Esvy's bubbly personality – she laughs easily and has a disarming smile. Monica said: "We have a client who needs a Spanish-speaking CAREGiver. I know you'll be good." Esvy chuckled when she said, "Monica kept repeating, 'I know you'll be good.' I decided to give it a try and joined them May 22."
To Esvy's surprise, the 87-year-old Spanish-speaking client was completely deaf. "When I was alone with her the first time, we were holding a normal conversation. We chatted about both being from South America. I am from Colombia, and she is from Peru. After the shift, her daughter-in-law told me about the deafness and asked, 'How did it go? Were there communication problems?' Well, no. She is a very good lip reader," Esvy said.
"The totality of the situation grabbed my heart. On the way to the shift, I was having doubts about being in someone else's house, a total stranger, and I wasn't really sure if I wanted to do it.
After the shift, something triggered an emotion deep within me. I have three family members who had had hearing impairments to varying degrees: My grandmother, my mother and a brother. The client was my mother's age. I knew immediately I wanted to help this special person, but I said to myself, 'I cannot get attached.' Well, it's hard to not get attached."
Esvy added: "Beyond being a great lip reader, she is very smart. Neither of us 'signs.' She gestures a little, but she can't have me gesturing too much because she can't try to read my lips and watch my hands at the same time. The Spanish dialects we use are very familiar. There might be a certain word I don't understand, and I have to ask her to explain. By and large, we understand each other very well. We never turn on the TV. We talk and talk."
It isn't hard to see how Esvy lives the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of "Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart" in her unique caregiving situation. And it's not hard to see why she was honored as a CAREGiver of the Month.
Esvy "takes the lead" in many ways that would not normally come up for a CAREGiver. The client's daughter-in-law asked Esvy to take part in medical communications and informs Esvy when her mother-in-law's nurse is scheduled to visit the home. "The daughter-in-law has me explain to the client what's going on," Esvy said.
With the daughter-in-law giving permission, Esvy also "took the lead" by incorporating technology for her client's enjoyment. "We have a Home Instead GrandPad® for her. I went to Mr. Gibson, our co-owner, and I was so happy he responded. After I brought the GrandPad in, I explained 'Skyping' to her. I showed her many things and let her decide. She has watched two YouTube videos, including activities she can try while using her walker. There also are activities for her face to help minimize wrinkles."
At Esvy's suggestion, her client has knitted gifts for her son and daughter-in-law. "The client said no one takes her out to buy gifts. Since she loves to knit, we set up a project where she knitted a cup cozy for her son and surprised him. She wrote 'my son,' his name, 'I love you' and 'happy birthday.' Then I had her put lipstick on, and she kissed the paper. We rolled it up in the cozy. Later, she knitted a stocking hat for her son's Christmas present. She also knitted a beautiful purse for her daughter-in-law's birthday. I got a big silver button with rhinestones for the purse. We try to do things to help the relationships," Esvy explained.
The client and her family look forward to having Esvy each weekday and depend on her. "The office told me I'd be the client's only regular CAREGiver. I appreciated the confidence everyone has in me," Esvy said.
"I have one of the best clients. She's wonderful, a one and only. I love what I do. I give comfort. They trust you. There is a great deal of fulfillment to the job."
All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online call (704) 924-9909. For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care.