Taking care of little things, CAREGiver of the Month Mikaela McFarland said, can make a huge difference to clients. During the switch to daylight savings time in March, Mikaela took the initiative to change all the clocks in a clients' home. The husband and wife were appreciative.
"I'll do something so little, but it changes their day and puts them in a really good mood. Trying to work with clocks if you have arthritic hands can be difficult. I do strive to solve small problems," said Mikaela, who joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock in September 2016 and was honored as the franchise's CAREGiver of the Month in April 2019. Tracy and Terry Baugh are the long-time owners of the award-winning franchise.
"As the winter came, I discovered the thermostat wasn't programmed correctly. When the temperatures dropped, the air conditioning still came on. I found a YouTube tutorial and reprogrammed the thermostat. They were amazed and thought it was magic. It was 70 degrees inside, but it felt much colder to them. It was 50 degrees outdoors."
Mikaela added: "They are a very sweet late-80s couple, and they use walkers and try to be independent. I've helped them for more than a year. My duties include light housekeeping, errands and some meal preparation. When I come in at 1 p.m. if they are ready to eat lunch, they will stop and include me in the prayer. Faith is a big part of the lives of a lot of clients."
Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho said: "Mikaela can relate to our clients no matter what their needs are, and that alone makes her an amazing CAREGiver. Mikaela gives her full attention to our clients and builds good relationships with the clients' families, giving the families a sense of peace."
Describing Mikaela's unassuming, endearing personality, Juanita said, "She has a mild demeanor, and is soft-spoken and kind. Mikaela's tenderness helps our clients to feel a connection and sense of comfort. Mikaela is a young woman with an old soul."
Mikaela conducted an online search for a job after she moved to Lubbock to join her future husband. "Home Instead's Google reviews were good," Mikaela explained.
"I worked with seniors in an Arkansas memory-care unit for a few months just about a year before I came to Lubbock. My mom enjoyed being a CNA, so I thought I'd give it a try," said Mikaela, who grew up in the Four Corners area of New Mexico.
Mikaela enjoys her part-time work as a CAREGiver and wants to continue, but she has reversed her career path. "I thought I'd try being a CAREGiver. I love it, but I changed my mind about nursing. I started classes for computer science at South Plains College," Mikaela said.
Describing the pluses of working as a CAREGiver, Mikaela said: "The Home Instead scheduling is perfect because it's flexible and works well with my class times. I have had three to four regular clients, and they are short-hour shifts. Home Instead does a good job of ongoing training for different topics such as diabetes care. I love working with clients."
Mikaela is attentive to her clients' interests, including the Texas Tech men's basketball team that reached the NCAA Final Four championship game against Virginia. "During the winter, clients asked about Texas Tech games and what TV channel they were on, so I leave reminders. I am a 'so-so' fan with only a fair interest, but I keep up with my clients' desires," she said.
One of Mikaela's regular clients is a former Texas Tech cheerleader who is in her 90s. Several years ago, she could still do the splits. The client remains excited about Tech teams and keeps up with them. Mikaela has assisted the client for more than a year and helps her on three weekday mornings. "She'd love to have me more often, but I can't because of classes. I'm there 7:30 to 9:30 and get her up for the day. Sometimes she'll do stretches after breakfast," Mikaela said.
Mikaela will be a success at whatever she tries, Juanita said, and she has excelled as a CAREGiver. "Mikaela's desire to care for others was evident from the first day she joined our team and continues today," Juanita said. "We have been honored to watch Mikaela grow and be successful in our ministry."
All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online call (806) 281-4663. For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care , or to learn more about the company's services link to a digital brochure at www.hisc510.digbro.com.