Looking for someone to give an honest opinion? Usually there is no doubt where a senior stands.
“My client likes me,” said award-winning CAREGiver Marla Elliott, who
paused and giggled. “Well, she would tell me if she didn’t.
“I get a kick out of her – she really is great. She’s got a good sense of humor.”
When she arrived as one of the 89-year-old client’s CAREGivers on
September 20, 2013, Marla was stepping in to help a widow who was
recovering from surgery during which a pacemaker was implanted. She was
weak and needed 24/7 care. Now, nearly six months later, Marla is the
client’s only CAREGiver, and she loves making the 10-minute drive for a
morning shift every day “to get my client going for the day.” The
client’s improvement has been remarkable.
“She is very sharp, and I like to hear her stories – she’s
interesting because she’s been around the world. Her husband, who has
been gone 17 years, was in the Air Force,” Marla said. “She’ll be 90 in
May, and she’s doing great. She doesn’t like to use a cane, but that’s
what the occupational therapist wants. She is independent, but she also
realizes she needs help.”
Just after joining her client, Marla learned there would never be a
fish fry at her client’s home in Brownfield, about 40 miles southwest of
Lubbock, where the Home Instead Senior Care® office is located. “She is
allergic to seafood, and she made that clear,” Marla explained, “but
she loves stew and soups. She likes to help me make them, and she has
her own recipes.”
Some say there’s nothing like a good bowl of soup to warm the soul.
Marla has thought of something even better – caregiving. “I love the
feeling that I get when I help someone. A lot of people have helped me
during my life,” said Marla, who lost her husband about 10 years ago,
“and it is a good feeling to be able to give back and help someone else.
The clients appreciate what you do, and that makes it even better.”
Asked what God-given skills a good CAREGiver might need, she replied,
“I equate faith with learning patience. Patience is very important, and
I think it comes from God.”
Marla, who joined Home Instead on August 13, 2013, recently was
selected as CAREGiver of the Month for the franchise owned by Tracy and
Terry Baugh. “Marla has proved to be a great asset to Home Instead and
our clients,” Office Manager Juanita Camacho said. “She has such a calm
and peaceful demeanor about her. I believe these qualities have and will
continue to ensure our clients that their every need will be met with
the highest standard of quality.” Marla, a Lubbock native, worked
for six years as a medical in-home care specialist for a Brownfield
clinic before a client passed away and left her with no one else. “I
thought I had better find something else quickly,” she recalled, “and
someone suggested Home Instead, so I called to see if they needed anyone
to help in Brownfield, and they did. I got lucky.
“My work with Home Instead is going great. The franchise really cares
about its employees, and there is job flexibility. The training is
good. It is really time well spent.”
Marla might be helping her client for a good while – the client has
two sisters who live in Brownfield; one is 99 and the other 102.
“Longevity runs in the family,” Marla said. “None of them looks her age –
they look great. Though she is alone for the rest of the day after I
leave, she’s done well – and her doctor lives next door to her, which
gives her a level of comfort.”
When someone pointed out that Marla’s touch had to be one of the
reasons her client was able to scale back on her care from 24/7 to about
28 hours a week, she replied, “You’ve got to give the occupational
therapist a lot of credit. I am trying my hardest for her; I am not
But Marla might be one of the most humble CAREGivers. While Marla
said she appreciated the honor, she also said, “I am just doing my job. I
did not expect to get honored. I prefer to remain anonymous – I think
most CAREGivers do. We just like to help.”
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.