CAREGiver of the Month Catherine

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From Mowing to Caregiving, Catherine Has a History of Serving Others

Catherine Hermens recalled the summer when she was 12 and decided to make a little spending money. Catherine, who loved spending as much time as possible outside during those summer months in Bend, Oregon, enjoyed visiting the seniors at a nearby retirement mobile home park.

She offered to mow lawns.

“Before I knew it,” Catherine said, “I had more mowing jobs than I could handle. Almost all of the seniors gave me a few bucks, a sweet treat and lots of hugs before I’d leave their yards. I remember being especially pleased when I could get the grumpier ones to smile. I was eager to see if they’d be nice and act as if they were happy to see me again the next week. It’s funny how I still enjoy the most challenging seniors.”  

And it’s no wonder why Catherine was honored as CAREGiver of the Month at Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock. She had found God-given talents of hospitality, companionship and service, attributes that served her well later during a lifetime of helping people.

“I have been the caregiver type as long as I can remember. Caregiving comes so naturally and is where I am the happiest,” Catherine explained.

“I have spent many years working with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities in various settings, and I have worked with seniors in community recreation programs and in home care since I was in middle school. What I like most is making a positive difference in the life of a person who would otherwise be feeling alone, possibly unworthy, sad and frustrated. I love listening to their stories. Their lives are so fascinating and rich with stories. I do my best to serve others with a loving heart and provide respect and dignity to all.”

When Office Manager Juanita Camacho announced Catherine’s honor, she said: “Catherine has been an absolute blessing to our company and our clients. She is an exceptional CAREGiver and person because she is compassionate, caring, kind, trustworthy, loyal and has a heart of gold. Catherine treats everyone with the highest degree of dignity and respect, and she is always very professional and helpful.”  

When Catherine and her husband moved from Denver to Lubbock about two years ago, Catherine went straight to the Home Instead Senior Care office at 1010 Slide Road, west of Texas Tech University and applied. She became a CAREGiver in July 2014. “Since I had a very positive experience working for a Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Portland, Oregon, in 2007, this was the only agency where I applied once my search began,” Catherine said.

“After moving to Lubbock and deciding to take a break from the type of work I was previously doing in case management, what I wanted to do most was to work in direct care with the elderly. So here I am! I currently have one client, and we’re together four days a week with a consistent time frame for my shifts.

Juanita said Catherine is a natural at caregiving and is a joy for the office. “Catherine always has a smile to share, and she works well with others. She is open to new ideas and shares her thoughts with other CAREGivers and staff as well as communicating well with co-workers, staff, clients, clients’ family members and medical professionals. Catherine is always seeking to learn how to better serve our clients,” Juanita said.  

Catherine perfectly played the role of chaperone when one senior took her final trip outside of Lubbock, and the emotional occasion provided Catherine with a front-row seat to a sentimental outing where plenty of tears flowed.

“Last year I took a client to the birthday party for her 100-year-old brother-in-law, who she had not seen since her husband passed away two years before. She told me that her brother-in-law was one of her favorite people on Earth,” Catherine said.

“We had to drive about an hour out of town to get there, which was the first time she had been out of the city limits since her husband passed and since she became quite ill. It was a very big social gathering of family and friends on her late husband’s side. She had feared she would never have a chance to reconnect with them. It was a perfectly wonderful day, though we had to drive through a terrible Texas dust storm in the return trip,” Catherine added.

“My client thanked me for days afterward. This very special lady passed away last Valentine's Day. But a few days before she left us, we reminisced about the fun birthday party that brought her such joy. She said she felt so loved by people who she feared had forgotten her and that if she never had another chance to see them again, she thanked God for that very special day.”

Noting how fitting it was for Catherine to be an integral part of the trip, Juanita said: “Sometimes CAREGivers just touch the depths of my heart, and Catherine is one of those people because she is very endearing and such a joy to be around.”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of non-medical services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, apply online. Visit Home Instead Senior Care to learn more about senior home care services. You can share our digital brochure for additional information. Please like us on Facebook.


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