CAREGiver of the Month Ayma

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Ayma’s Caregiving Work Sets Example for Her Children

Award-winning CAREGiver Ayma Thelus’s cute, bright-eyed 10-year-old daughter is intrigued with her mother’s compassionate occupation.

“Mom,” she often tells her mother, “I want to help people like you do. Maybe someday I can be a doctor.” Ayma’s oldest daughter isn’t alone – her sisters, 9 years old and 6 – also tell their mother they want to help people. Ayma obviously has made an impression on her girls. She also has impacted her clients at the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves Houston, Bellaire, Missouri City and Sugar Land. Home Instead Franchise Staff Coordinator Destiny Wesley said it was easy to select the Certified Nursing Assistant as CAREGiver of the Month.

“Ayma is a very soft-spoken, gentle spirit,” Destiny said. “Her goal is to please her client and to meet whatever need he or she may have. She has the biggest, softest smile that you have ever seen, and it is very welcoming. She is one of our outstanding CAREGivers.”

Ayma has been with owner Greg Gomez-Mira’s Houston franchise at 8313 Southwest Freeway since January 2013. “My sister-in-law suggested Home Instead because she was a CAREGiver and really liked it,” Ayma said. “And she was right. Everybody in the office is so nice, and the training is good.”

Ayma has one regular client, a wheelchair-bound woman in her 60s who suffered a stroke and is trying to regain the use of the right side of her body. Ayma has been with her client for nearly half of a year and is not only helping her with activities of daily living but encouraging her as she goes through her physical therapy.

“Some clients aren’t so nice at the beginning because they just don’t know you, but that was not the case with this woman,” Ayma said. “She loves having me there, and I love helping her. I let her and her family know that I am there for her in any way I can help.”

Ayma’s client lives with her father, who is in his 80s and in good health. “Her dad is definitely not a client because he looks and feels very young,” Ayma said. “We have another CAREGiver who comes in the morning, and I come in the evenings to give him good support and help her.”

Ayma takes care of the laundry, cleans the client’s house, provides personal services, helps with  medication reminders, checks her blood pressure and helps her at bedtime. But her client, a former college instructor, also wants to remain as independent as possible. “She gets bored at home,” Ayma said, “so she comes along with me on grocery shopping and other errands. She wants to remain as active as possible, so she volunteers at a hospital during the day hours. I encourage her to keep up her pace and energy level if she can. It’s a good thing.”

Ayma has wanted to help people ever since her childhood days in Haiti, where she attended College Adventiste du Cap-Haitien as a teenager. “It’s like a combination high school and junior college,” Ayma explained. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a nurse. I did become a CNA after I moved to the U.S. in 2000, but I got married and had a family before I could work on becoming an RN. This is a good job because I like helping people first, then No. 2 comes the money. I would rather work to make my clients happy – that is the ultimate payment.”

The secret to being a CAREGiver, she confided, “is getting off to a fast start. If you can please someone in the first week, then you generally have won them over and it gets easier after that.”

For Home Instead, she’s experienced a wide range of caregiving situations, from dementia clients to those who are returning from hospital stays and are just trying to regain their independence. Now, of course, her regular client is trying to deal with her partial paralysis.

“It is a good company,” Ayma said. “I help seniors with any situation that comes up. My job has been a positive influence on my kids, too, because they can see what I do, yet my hours are flexible enough that I am able to spend a great amount of time with them.”


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