CAREGiver of the Month - Ruth


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Ruth Handles Unexpected Oven Cleanup with EaseCAREGiver of the Month - Ruth

CAREGiver of the Month Ruth Cooper was cleaning her client’s bathroom when an acrid scent wafted into the room. Knowing something was amiss in the kitchen, Ruth dropped what she was doing to investigate. Her client had wanted to make muffins, and when she preheated the oven, she had forgotten she had stored a few dishes in the oven. So, Ruth came to the rescue.

“It was totally accidental. The dishes were melting, but there was no fire. I turned the oven off and aired out the house,” said Ruth, who simultaneously calmed her client as she took action. “She was panicked and felt badly, but there was no reason to dwell on it, because accidents happen. Nothing like that had happened before, and she gave no indication she couldn’t handle making muffins.”

Ruth said she’d take care of everything, and she did. “I cleaned it all up for her, and she was so happy when the cleanup was done,” Ruth said.  “It was a simple mistake we all could have made.  I learned a lesson, and always checked the oven when I was with her. I also put up a little sign on the oven to remind her to check the oven if I was not there.”

Score one for Ruth and Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria. Ruth had saved the day and reinforced the bond she had established with the client. It was just one of the memorable days Ruth has had since she started her first professional senior-care job July 27, 2017. Ruth found the job by acting on a tip from her fiancé, who was working where a Home Instead Senior Care office employee lived.

Before becoming a CAREGiver, Ruth had been assisting her siblings with their father’s care for two or three years. “Dad lives with a brother and my mom, who works a lot,” Ruth explained. “We run errands, and I help him with medication reminders and filling prescriptions. I make sure he gets to his medical appointments and take him to the store. He can cook for himself.”

The job with owner Stephanie Niles’ award-winning franchise is going well. Ruth said: “My clients are good people. The office tries to assign us CAREGivers to the clients who will make the best matches. I can switch clients, but the objective is to try to remain with the same clients. Seniors get comfortable with their CAREGivers and want the same people. Flexibility is pretty good. It is one reason I like this job. I can get time off if I let the office know in advance.”

Training is good, Ruth said, and the in-depth courses are helpful. “I’d like to get to more ongoing training. The office tries very hard to arrange the schedule, so you can get more ongoing training,” she pointed out. Ruth has two regular clients, both of whom she joined about a month after she had begun her job. “I do cover for other CAREGivers and have gotten to know their clients. It is a good system, because those clients know who I am, even if I am not their regular CAREGiver,” Ruth explained.

With one client, Ruth also is helping with pets. “The client has two friendly dogs that are adorable and sweet. I help her bathe the dogs occasionally. I hold their leashes when we take them out for walks, when the weather is good, and she feels like getting out,” Ruth noted. “Otherwise, the routine is about the same with both clients: companionship, light housekeeping, transportation, transferring and personal care with one of them.”

While Ruth has been honored for her work, she praised Stephanie and the franchise for lending a hand to her family and other CAREGivers after Hurricane Harvey hit in late August and disrupted life for everyone in the Victoria area. “At the earliest, it was about three or four days before we could go back to work. I did not stay with any clients because one left the area with a family member and the other stayed at home in El Campo but did not lose electricity, nor did she have much damage. We had CAREGivers who live in the area who checked on her to make sure she was OK,” Ruth recalled.

“I live on the outskirts of Victoria in Mission Valley. We did lose electricity, but our water supply was OK,” Ruth said. “We have a 1-year-old son, so I worried about diapers and formula. Home Instead received basic-living supplies from other Home Instead owners and held what we needed until I’d get done with a shift. I was so happy to get the baby formula, diapers and other basic supplies. We shared with every other CAREGiver and their families to make sure everybody got what they needed, and it all worked out well.”

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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