award-winning CAREGiver Silda Santos returned from her granddaughter’s
high school graduation in San Antonio, her 93-year-old client pointed a
finger at Silda and said, “Please never leave me again.”
Silda and her client bonded in a shortly after Silda became a part of
the client’s 24/7 care team in late March. Every night of the week,
Silda is a critical source of comfort – literally a lifeline – because
of the client’s medical condition. “I have watched as the condition
overtakes her, and the facial expressions follow. It is unbearable for
her sometimes. I do what I can to help.”
The client and her son believe Silda and her CAREGiver team are the
only option for her. She doesn’t want to go to a nursing home – she’s
been in her home for nearly 65 years. Prescription medication makes her
too lethargic, she said, although she tries it each night before
bedtime. Even with the medication, the nighttime sometimes still has its
That’s when Silda is at her compassionate best. “First off,” Silda
said, “I’ve got to say that she’s an amazing lady, really neat. This
challenge is frustrating and confounding. Her mother had the condition,
too, as well as other relatives, so they think it is inherited.
“I try to comfort her as much as possible, and I think it is good to
be with her all seven nights a week so that she has a familiar face when
she struggles. I have noticed that when she’s not sleeping, the more
active and engaged I can keep her, the better.”
Silda and her client often focus on conversations about family, Texas
Tech sports, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and anything else basketball.
“I watch a lot of games with her because she loves basketball,” Silda
said. “I am not a sports fan, but I have learned a lot about basketball.
If that’s what her interest is, that’s what I like to do. She also
draws on her faith. She grasps my hands, and we pray every night before
she tries to go to sleep.”
As much as the world champion Spurs depend on superstar Tim Duncan,
Silda’s client probably proportionally needs the CAREGiver of the Month
even more. Folks at Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock know they have
the right CAREGiver-client matchup. Said Office Manager Juanita Camacho:
“Silda is amazing. In fact, she is a true representative of what it
means to be a Home Instead CAREGiver.
“Her work ethic is recognized and appreciated ever so much, and I
wish we could bottle it to share with others. Silda has a heightened
sense for the needs of our clients, and she immediately prioritizes
those needs and makes sure the client receives the best care she can
“With her hard work and dedication to our clients, she has proved
time after time that being kind, caring and patient is what makes a
great CAREGiver. These are qualities that cannot be taught. They come
from the heart of an outstanding CAREGiver,” Juanita concluded.
Silda is a caregiver for all seasons because Home Instead is her
second job. She will start her 20th year as a preschool teacher this
school year. During the summers, she works in daycare at the preschool.
Although Silda likes both jobs, the work arrangement was forged out
of tragedy and necessity. Her mother and husband of 25 years died about
five months apart in 2002 and 2003, and her father moved in with her and
her 14-year-old daughter, the youngest of three daughters. “One of my
granddaughters also came to stay with us, and she was 3½ when my dad
came to live with me. I needed another income. I had been widowed for a
couple of years. It was pretty rough,” Silda said. “I found Home Instead
through a newspaper advertisement.”
Even though she’s always busy, Silda said everything seems to fit
together well. “My dad is 76, and he is in wonderful health. He takes
care of my property,” Silda said. “Dad worries about me not getting
enough rest, but I can’t stand not to be working.”
Or taking care of someone, young or old.
“I love my job,” Silda said. “I usually have my clients for years and
years, not months. The hardest thing about being a CAREGiver is losing
them to a nursing home or death. You bond with clients; it is hard not
to do so. I fall in love with them and want the best for them.”
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