Caregiver of the Month Dolores

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Dolores Helps With Client’s Confidence, Memories

“Dolores is a kind and soulful spirit. She comes into a room, and you can’t help but smile. Her heart just pours out the humanity.”

–  Juanita Camacho, Home Instead Senior Care office manager

Award-winning CAREGiver Dolores Walton wasn’t going to let her client wallow in despair when he started to speculate about his future.

The client’s sister had Alzheimer’s disease and didn’t realize it, and the client was heartbroken over the ordeal. Now the client believes his memory is beginning to decline and is afraid he too has Alzheimer’s. Enter Dolores, her optimistic outlook and can-do attitude.

“I could tell that he was almost panicked, but I told him he shouldn’t be because he does remember more than he realizes,” said Dolores, who has been helping the client since January 2014. “He has lots of stories, when he was 7, when he was a teenager, when he was in the military and from his marriage. We’re going to work to keep those things fresh in his mind.”

Dolores, a graduate of  the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program, has a strategy for the client and a routine they follow that helps generate confidence for him while trying to sharpen his recall on short-term memories.

“I challenge him every day to tell me stories about when he was young. He’s having a problem reading the Wall Street Journal, but he’s still trying. I have him tell me about how you’d read the stock charts. It keeps his mind going,” said Dolores, CAREGiver of the Month with Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock.

Her work with her client doesn’t end there, either. 

“He loves TV news, and during commercials, I ask him about what they talked about. What did they mean? What did they say about Iraq? We discuss things to keep him mind active,” Dolores said. “He likes TV commentators Bill O’Reilly, Dennis Miller and Megyn Kelly. I can get him to laugh because I tell him he watches Megyn Kelly only because she’s so pretty.”

Dolores is perfect for her clients, Juanita pointed out, because she seems to know what they need before they ask.

“Our clients are always so pleased with the way Dolores has a sixth sense about her. It’s almost magical how she comes in and knows what kind of care our clients need,” Juanita added. “Dolores takes great pride in her God-given talent of caring for others. She wants to give our clients the ability to have the best quality of life possible. Dolores is a self-starter – she needs little or no supervision. She dives right in and does what needs to be done.” 
Dolores, whose father lost his struggle with Alzheimer’s in 1996, believes it’s important to give clients as much independence as possible while at the same time keeping them safe. She allows her “sixth sense” to help direct her with clients, who she describes as “just like my family.”

“My gentleman client told me when I first came to assist him, ‘I don’t need any help. I don’t like to be put to bed, and that’s the reason you’re here.’ I reassured him, ‘I am here to assist you with anything you need. I am not here to put you to bed.’ We got along fine after that,” Dolores explained. “I think people had been trying to force him to go to bed earlier than he wanted. I told him that I wasn’t forcing him to do anything. In the evening, I sometimes put him in the wheelchair and offer him the chance to go outside. Then we worry about bedtime.”

Dolores started with Home Instead in November 2013 after a friend tipped her off to the franchise owned by Tracy and Terry Baugh.

“My friend Denise told me it was a gratifying job,” Dolores said. “I had been taking care of my two grandchildren less and less because they were getting older and had gone on to school. I had more time to take a job, so I applied online. I love this job. I enjoy taking care of my clients. I develop quite a relationship with them.”

In addition to the bonds that she develops with her clients, Dolores praised the Home Instead training and the office’s flexibility with her hours. With school out for the summer, she trimmed her work time to help care for her grandchildren.
“As a grandmother,” she said, “family comes first, and the office understands. My hours are likely to increase again when school starts in August. It’s a good job for me and my family situation. I would recommend it.” 


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