for Home Instead Senior Care® of
Victoria is something special for Michelle Canava.
feeds my soul,” the CAREGiver of the Month said. “I love it. At the end of the
day, I feel as though I’ve accomplished something. I receive fulfillment from
being able to take care of people who need the help.”
views her clients through a special lens. “Every time I work with a senior, I
think of my grandmother. I want the best for my clients, just as if it were my
grandmother,” Michelle said.
took care of me because my mother died when I was nine months old, and my dad
was in the Navy. I really admired her. She worked at a shoe store in Wichita
Falls forever – she was an institution there – and was still working part time
at age 83 the same year she died. She would go crazy if she sat around and did
nothing. She had a good life. My only regret was that I was not able to be
there to help take care of her at the end when she died three years ago.”
handles four overnight shifts with a married couple like a breeze, has another
regular client on a less-frequent basis and also makes herself available for
fill-in shifts when needed at the Bay City hospital. She handles all of that
easily because she had another role model while growing up, her dad, who is
still working full time at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls.
passed his work ethic on to me. Since he was in the military, he always took a
disciplined approach to work, and I find that I do, too. He is truly one of a
kind – he works nights and rides a Harley,” Michelle said.
grandmother and dad also helped Michelle develop the abundant compassion that
she uses to comfort others. “Life is all about relationships,” Michelle said,
“and there’s no better place to see that than to work for Home Instead. Clients
and their families become my family.”
was with a client when she died, and Michelle remained for the entire day to
console the family, who later pointed out the exceptional assistance to the
Home Instead office. “The family was very sad and was crying, and I stayed
strong for them. I did not want to break down in their presence. I was giving
them hugs and then stepped into another room to compose myself,” Michelle said.
“I went the distance with my client, and that was true for the family, too.”
there is hard work, challenges and sometime sorrow, Michelle also has had fun
since joining Home Instead Senior Care on Aug. 14, 2014, following an online
search. In fact, she has gone fishing with a client because it is what he
loves. “He gave me a fishing pole for our outings. He gets on his scooter and
goes with me to the pier about a block away from his beach house. He mostly is
into catch-and-release, and he usually pulls in catfish,” Michelle said.
enjoys teaching me how to fish. I usually go along with the lesson, but I’ve fished
before and know the basics. It is fun to fish with him and get the pointers. He
can’t wait to get me back to fishing in May with him. He wants me to catch a
as fun as fishing for the client are the meals that Michelle prepares for him:
meat loaf, pot roast, navy bean soup and more. “Michelle,” the client often
says, “you’re my favorite. Now sit down and eat with me!” Other than the
fishing pier, Michelle and the client often are seen in the neighborhood
grocery store and at doctors’ offices, too.
client responds to Michelle’s shower requests while bargaining for an extra
scoop of ice cream. “I make sure it is sugar-free ice cream. Why not reward him?”
Michelle said with a laugh.
ice cream scoops aren’t covered in Home Instead’s training, Michelle said, the caregiving
instruction is good and it works. “They cover everything from A to Z in
classes. Learning everything you can about your client is the biggest thing,”
she said. “Sometimes you do things that seem a little peculiar, but if that is
what makes the client feel comfortable, I am glad to do it. Home Instead
encourages adjustments and adaptations. I love the company. The office has been
fantastic. I am content with Home Instead Senior Care. I know I would miss the
relationships if I left. I love my clients. It is hard not to get attached.
They do feel like family.”
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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.