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CAREGiver of the Year 2018 - Eva

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CAREGiver of the Year Eva Has a Heart for HelpingCAREGiver of the Year 2018 - Eva

CAREGiver of the Year Eva Nash’s heart for helping people was on display more than 30 years ago, when she turned down a generous raise at a law office to finish her college degree and embark on a 24-year education career as a kindergarten teacher.

During her years at the attorney’s office, where she had started part time during her college days, Eva had tried to leave. But she kept getting raises and praises as an office administrator who helped grow the law office from three lawyers to 12. “One day,” Eva said, “I thought to myself: ‘At the end of life’s road, what is the important thing I did in life?’ At the time, I had a passion for little kids.” To show their appreciation for Eva, the attorneys collected enough money for a going-away present to pay Eva’s final year of college.

In 2006, seven years before she retired from teaching, Eva found another passion – senior care. “I needed extra income and wanted weekend work,” recalled Eva, who joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock in January 2006. “I enjoyed working on Friday nights and Saturdays with Home Instead Senior Care until a client died in early 2013, so I took a break.”

Eva retired from teaching in December 2013 – the year her 90-year-old father passed away – and decided to resume her caregiving duties in late October 2015. When Eva called Home Instead Senior Care, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho responded, “We had been praying that you’d come back to us.”

Eva meets each challenge with a little bit of humor. Or a lot of humor. Or by offering a soft shoulder and comforting words. Just whatever it takes. That’s why she was honored as CAREGiver of the Month twice – in April 2016 and October 2018.

One client has “a selective focus” when it comes to accepting a helping hand. Eva tells it straight: “She doesn’t like a lot of people. She has told some folks: ‘I don’t know you — you cannot stay.’ I have had no issues with her. I use humor a lot or joke with her to redirect the negativity if it comes up. Only once since we’ve been together has she gotten mad with me.”

Juanita knows why Eva is accepted by all who know her. “Eva is a true gem. She never worries if the client will like her or not. She has a positive attitude and knows all will work out for the best. She serves with grace and gives without expectation. Eva sees the good and positive side of everyone she meets and believes there is good in everyone.”

Eva works with two 24/7 clients during overnight shifts while occasionally taking some fill-in shifts. “It feels good to be with both clients. I’ve had one client longer, since 2016. She is in her 80s. There is confusion and some forgetfulness, which is not unusual for seniors. Sometimes I try to remain silent or go to the kitchen instead of allowing her to engage me in discussion in the wee hours when she should be trying to sleep. To disengage in those situations, it allows her to try to sleep. After dawn, there can be lots of conversation,” Eva explained.

“A physical therapist comes to the house to try to help her with chronic leg pain. She can stress a lot sometimes while coping with leg pain, and that’s understandable. She begs God to help her with the leg pain, and I do all I can to try to take her mind off it.”

Eva also assists a client who has had Parkinson’s disease for a while. “I think she does well. She sleeps OK most of the time, but occasionally she’ll get up at 1 a.m. and want to make coffee or look through her Rolodex. I am a standby assist, and I often remind her to use her walker. She has a friendly dog named Alex, an older pet that requires attention. I take him out a couple of times a day,” Eva said.

Juanita knows that Eva does everything she can to help a client, pointing out: “Eva is amazing. All of our clients love having Eva care for them. She enjoys bringing happiness to our clients and their families. I believe her outlook on people and life is what makes her an extraordinary person. Eva is intuitive and picks up on cues from our clients that help her provide the highest level of care. Eva also has the highest level of integrity. She is committed to caring for our older adults.”

It’s important, Eva said, not to be a smothering mother hen. “I make myself available to assist clients, and I never try to force myself on them or be intrusive. I want to try to keep their independence intact as much as possible. Many of them mentally can function just fine. Their bodies have given out, and they need the help. I come alongside them, but I want them to keep their dignity,” Eva explained.

Eva likes the interaction with seniors and listening to their stories because she likes to hear about their journeys through life. “I want to become like a family member for the client if it is possible. When I went to a facility to assist a client and was at the dining table with her, one of the other residents thought I was my client’s daughter. I told her, ‘No, I am here as her friend.’ It felt good that the resident sensed the closeness,” Eva said.

Asked about her future, Eva said: “I am not looking at any personal deadlines, a finish point or retirement. This is working well for me, and I feel good. Maybe later I’ll re-evaluate. As far as this fall has gone, I’ve had family things I wanted to do on Fridays, and Home Instead has been flexible about allowing it. For instance, I have a nephew who is a high school football star as a senior. Since I didn’t get a chance to see him play in 2017, I wanted to watch him this fall.”

Juanita said: “It is a joy to have Eva, who is a wonderful person all around. It also is an honor to call her my friend, alongside with many of our wonderful CAREGivers. We are truly blessed to have Eva on our CAREGiver team of professionals.”

All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online call (806) 281-4663. For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care.


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