CAREGiver of the Month Abbie Garcia has had several good sources of education, training and practical experience that have helped her assist seniors in the best way possible since joining Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock in January 2016.
"Home Instead's training was good, and props go to Michelle Williams, our training specialist. Every month, you can go in for more training. I have participated in two recent ongoing training classes, dementia care and a summer course for helping the clients cope with heat," Abbie said.
"Office-CAREGiver communication is good. The staff is friendly, and I love working for them. They show me something new about life all the time. The clients give me good perspective on how to love life and take nothing for granted. It's easy for healthy people to feel sorry for themselves, but the clients have worse situations and provide a model for living."
When Abbie was searching online for a job, she had a specific employer request: "I needed to work evenings, and Home Instead Senior Care had night shifts while others did not," Abbie said. "It is necessary because of a family situation."
A different family caregiving situation led Abbie to seek senior-care employment. "Mom was with us for three years, and she was on dialysis. So, I have a lot of senior care experience," Abbie said. "Mom now is living with my dad and sister here in Lubbock, and she is doing well."
Abbie found a good fit with the award-winning franchise owned by Tracy and Terry Baugh. Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho said: "Abbie is a sweet and kind young lady who has embraced client care. She has a natural caregiving talent, and she is intuitive to our clients' needs. Abbie always has a smile on her face and a kind word for anyone she meets. She truly has the heart of a CAREGiver because she goes above and beyond the call of duty. Her demeanor is endearing. You can see her genuine desire to be of help to others."
Abbie's clients have wide-ranging interests and provide her with many memorable days.
"A husband and wife love the Texas A&M Aggies, and he has an A&M blanket," Abbie said. "I retrieve the newspaper every morning for the husband, who looks at the comics and obituaries. He jokingly says he wants to see if he's in the obituaries. The wife, who seldom goes out because of her health condition, has a love for nature and her garden in their big back yard. There is a pecan tree in the front yard, and an apricot tree and rose bushes in the back. I bring in apricots so they can eat them. I also cut roses, bring them in and place them in a vase on the kitchen table so they can enjoy them while they eat."
Another client, a 96-year-old widow, has quite a sense of humor, is polite and always asks about Abbie and her family. The client also offers good advice: "Be sure to tell your husband that you appreciate him. Don't take each other for granted." Although the client's husband passed away some time ago, she keeps a bag packed and is ready in case he returns "to take her home."
"Sometimes she doesn't realize she's home, in the house that her late husband built. In addition to early stages of dementia, she has gotten infections that cause additional confusion and can make her sad and tired," Abbie said. "I do not argue with her; I refocus her. She likes to watch Joel Osteen, a famous Houston pastor, on TV, and I watch with her. We also watch Pastor Kenneth Copeland. Watching these pastors on TV puts her at peace."
Juanita said Abbie's patience and compassion fills a perfect need for the client, who was Abbie's first with the franchise. "Abbie is a great asset to our office and our clients because she is instinctive. No matter where she goes, she fits like a warm fuzzy glove and is always a great fit. For the short time Abbie has been with us, she is in high demand by clients and their families," Juanita said.
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.
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