CAREGiver of the Month - Maude


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CAREGiver of the Month - Maude


Maude Shifts Careers to Help Others

When CAREGiver of the Month Maude Oehlerking left Illinois and her stressful corporate world five years ago to move to Lubbock, she found friendlier surroundings, a fulfilling job, a promising new career possibility and a better climate for her husband’s health. 

“My husband and I love Texas. Folks in Lubbock are so nice – there is a night-and-day difference from the Chicago area, and we were even used to those brusque attitudes because my husband and I are Illinois natives. From Day 1 here, people have been welcoming. In fact, we were really surprised and were wondering, ‘Are they talking to us?’ when people in the stores asked if we needed assistance,” said Maude, who joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock on Oct. 29, 2015, while working on her nursing prerequisites at South Plains College. 

The 44-year-old nontraditional student loves to help seniors and their families, and she wants to eventually become a registered nurse. The career path is a far cry from what she was doing in the Chicago suburbs, and her CAREGiver job dovetails with her vision of the future. 

“In Illinois, I worked for an air freight company, but I did not want to go back to the corporate world after we moved,” Maude said. “We needed a change, and the West Texas weather has benefited my husband. His health is on more of an even keel here because the cold weather and humidity in Illinois were issues.” 

Of course, there was no escaping the Great Lubbock Blizzard of 2015 last December. Maude and her husband might have thought the wind was blowing in straight from Lake Michigan during three horribly snowy days after Christmas. “It was crazy. Thankfully, my husband and I own a Jeep, so I made it to my clients,” Maude said. 

That did not surprise Office Manager Juanita Camacho.  “For Maude,” Juanita said, “there is no middle ground. Maude shoots for the top of the mountain in all things, including caregiving. She believes anything worth doing is worth doing right. Maude has a positive attitude, is self-motivated, eager to learn, caring, kind and extremely dependable. Her intuition guides her quickly to solving challenges and taking care of the needs without prompting.” 

Maude proclaimed: “I have been a family caregiver my whole life. Now I am a professional. Being a CAREGiver is a natural thing. My grandparents moved in with my family when I was in fourth grade. I helped Mom take care of them, even in such little ways as getting a glass of water. After my grandfather died, my grandmother continued to live with us during my high school years. She had dementia. I also helped both of my parents before their passing.”

The family caregiving has stretched into Maude’s marriage, too. “My husband, who was a truck driver, has serious medical problems and is on disability. We try to remain positive. We don’t sweat the small stuff. We enjoy every day as it comes because we never know when things could change,” Maude said. 

Maude’s interest in becoming a nurse was further sparked by five months of home care for her husband that she learned from a doctor. “My ultimate nursing goal is to work in wound care. I learned from a doctor how to care for my husband’s surgery incision after a tumor was removed. The wound needed to be treated twice a day, involved his whole trunk and took five months to heal,” Maude said. “It was like assisting a burn victim and involved skin grafts.”

Joining Home Instead Senior Care, Maude said, has been a positive. “The office is so nice and very friendly. They take the time to get to know you and always treat you with respect. Even if they correct something, it is not confrontational,” Maude said. “I love my schedule because Home Instead Senior Care is flexible with hours and accommodation. For instance, I have Wednesdays free for my husband’s medical appointments.” 

Maude added: “It is not like a normal job and actually doesn’t feel like a job. It feels as if I am visiting a close friend. I have five clients, and I like a variety of clients because it keeps me fresh.

I think of clients as if they are like my parents and grandparents. I would want interaction with my senior loved ones if I had a CAREGiver with them, so that is what I try to do: Engage the clients by talking to them, reading books, whatever it takes. I want to give them my attention.” 

Juanita describes Maude as “amazing,” and the office manager added: “She did not have much caregiving experience when she found Home Instead Senior Care, but she had a desire in her heart to care for others. The desire to give of yourself to help others is much more valuable in our industry, even more than experience. We can teach skill, but we can’t teach heart.” 

Juanita added: “Maude now cares for one of our clients who needs a higher degree of skilled care and she has taken on the responsibility with the fiery attitude that there’s nothing she can’t or won’t do to help our client. Because Maude is working toward a nursing degree, she feels her position at Home Instead is helping her move closer to her dream. We are so blessed to have Maude as a part of our team, and she is appreciated and valued by everyone.” 

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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