CAREGiver of the Month - Kimberly

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Caregiving Is in Kimberly’s Blood

Kimberly Carrera had never been a professional caregiver before joining Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria in April 2016. But caregiving came naturally because it is in her family’s DNA. When Kimberly’s grandmother was 5 years old, she helped take care of her blind grandmother, Kimberly’s great-great grandmother. 

Four years ago, when Kimberly’s grandmother was 79 years old, she was taking care of an infirm senior. Now at age 83, Kimberly’s grandmother is undergoing dialysis, but she still drives and lives in her own home. She took care of her husband, who had heart problems, until he died in 2006. 

“Family caregiving is our way of life, especially when I think of my mother and grandmother. I was raised to have compassion and to care for others. Since I had done this as a family caregiver, I knew I had the capacity to do it,” said Kimberly, who raised two sons and a daughter. “My grandmother allows us to help with things that have gotten harder for her, including yardwork. But she is amazing and still does plenty of things on her own.” 

Less than three months after she started with Home Instead Senior Care, Kimberly was honored as CAREGiver of the Month. When she was conducting an online job search, she came across owner Stephanie Niles’ franchise. “I was a little puzzled at first because I had never known any companies that did this sort of thing,” Kimberly said.

She was a natural at the job, an immediate hit. The first assignment was a difficult one emotionally because her client’s health was in a tailspin. “I started with her April 30, and she died May 23. She knew it was a tough situation and asked me one day: ‘Do you like your job?’ We talked about dying. I told her, ‘You are my reason for being here,’ ” Kimberly said. 

“I love my job, and my clients are like grandparents or aunts and uncles – I love them all. I have been so blessed by the client-CAREGiver matches. Every client shares wisdom with me. I get attached to the clients, and that is good and bad. The bad is when one of them passes away or moves out of their homes.”

Being a CAREGiver, Kimberly said, is a blessing and beam of sunlight during a year of personal challenges. “This has been part of a fresh start for me,” Kimberly said. “I have had to draw on my faith, and I believe everything happens for a reason. Helping others has had a healing effect.”

During the hiring process, a Home Instead Senior Care office staffer told Kimberly she could see her heart: “Kimberly,” she said, “our clients need your love and compassion. They will benefit from what you have to share.”

At Home Instead Senior Care, Kimberly said: “I feel I am surrounded by family. Everybody is friendly. The people with whom I deal directly most often are Esther DeLaRosa, Carmen Chavera and Elizabeth Hernandez. Orientation and basic training were good, and I am continuing with the ongoing training. The office is always available and quickly answers questions.” 

Kimberly added: “I got sick about a month ago, was out for a week and ended up in the hospital for a short time. When I came back, Home Instead Senior Care found extra hours to make up for my loss of hours when I was out. For fill-in shifts, the office calls often because they know I am generally flexible enough to help at the last moment. I would actually rather work than have a weekend off. Every client has been so amazing and so sweet. I don’t feel as though I have ‘a job.’ I feel I am spending time with my friends.” 

All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment​, please apply online or call 361-433-0330. For additional home care information visit Home Instead Senior Care​.​​


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