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July 2019 CAREGiver of the Month - Elayne G.


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Teacher Pointed Elayne Toward Compassionate CareerJuly 2019 CAREGiver of the Month - Elayne G.

An experienced, perceptive high school instructor recognized Elayne Gonzalez’s big heart while taking note of Elayne’s outstanding academic work in a health sciences class six years ago. The teacher’s suggestions for a career path planted a seed.

“My teacher, Mrs. Moore, saw something in me. She said, ‘You ought to take my CNA class during your senior year.’ Mrs. Moore also taught a phlebotomy class that I took,” Elayne said.

In 2014, when Elayne graduated from high school, she also earned a State of Texas CNA license with the help of Mrs. Moore’s classes. The teacher went a step further to help her student. Elayne said: “She also recommended me for a job at the University Medical Center, where I stayed for two years. I later was a PRN at the care community, working there for two years. Mrs. Moore and I keep in touch. She has provided references for me.”

While working at the care community, Elayne decided to change an aspect of her career and work more one-on-one with seniors. She took care of 12 residents at a wing of the care community, had a lot of tasks and found little time for interaction.

Elayne had seen the Home Instead Senior Care® sign often when she drove past the office, and she decided to research Home Instead online. On May 24, 2017, Elayne joined the award-winning franchise that is owned by Tracy and Terry Baugh. In July 2019, Elayne was honored as the July CAREGiver of the Month.

“I love Home Instead and the one-on-one interactions with clients,” Elayne said. “Most of them want to talk, and they tell me about their lives. I love hearing about their travels, careers and families. I have a lot of questions, and they are eager to respond. It is really fun. It doesn’t feel like a job sometimes, although I am very diligent and work hard. I am having a ball with the clients. I lose track of time – it goes by quickly when you have fun. They don’t want me to leave. I assure them I am coming back. They are always happy to see me.”

Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho said: “Elayne is the perfect example of the heart of a CAREGiver. She is an amazing young woman with so much love and kindness to offer to our clients. She continues to show compassion, dedication and excellent work ethic.”

Juanita added: “Elayne’s positive attitude makes it easy for her to gain our clients’ trust. She builds great relationships with clients, their families, other CAREGivers and our staff. Elayne has cared for some of our higher-need clients and as well as some very independent clients.”

Elayne will never forget the three months with a client whose condition improved so much that he was able to live again on his own without help. That was accomplished with the help of 30- to 45-minute rides on a two-person bicycle around a sprawling care community campus. The client had seen the two-person bike as he and Elayne walked to the dining facility, and he asked Elayne if they could try riding it.

“It was the physical therapy department’s bike. I gathered all the permissions for us to ride it. He had done well in physical therapy during rehabilitation before we started riding. He’d been active physically earlier in his life and had been a golfer. Getting the client out and about was big. He loved riding, and we had a good time. We went fairly slowly and didn’t overdo it. We never came close to tumbling or anything like that. I’d turn around and ask, ‘How are you doing? Tired? Need to go inside?’ ” Elayne recalled.

The rides took place on Sundays and started in March, so the temperatures were in the 70s and low 80s. They would go out near the close of Elayne’s shifts, which ended at 4 p.m., so it was the warmest part of the early spring days. Elayne pointed out: “The weather was good.”

She added: “We had water, and he wore a hat and sunglasses. It was cool to give him that experience. I don’t have many clients who get their physical function back fairly well. He lives on his own at the independent housing area of the care community. He was pleased to use the bike. It was cool. We had fun, and it was good exercise for the client and me.”

Juanita said: “Being a CAREGiver brings joy to Elayne’s life; she said she knows she is making a difference in someone’s life.”  

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 , or to learn more about the company's services and how to become a CAREGiver click on our digital brochure.

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