It is like having a hotline. CAREGiver of the Month Sabrina Reyes' name and phone number reside on a refrigerator sticky note for her co-workers if they need Sabrina's help with redirecting a dementia client when a situation becomes especially difficult.
"She is my primary client, and I make myself available any time," said Sabrina, an honoree with owner Stephanie Niles' Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Victoria.
"They can put me on the speakerphone with the client at the kitchen table, and she hears my voice and prays with me. It is like divine intervention, and I found that it worked when I am with her. It takes her out of the situation and refocuses her into a good place with a Higher Power. She is sweet and I love her very much, but she has good and bad days."
It was by no coincidence that Sabrina discovered something that has such a positive effect on her client. While establishing bonds, Sabrina learned she and her client both belong to the First Baptist Church of Edna, and her client likes devotional books. "I read out loud from them, and we pray before meals. It is a way for her to practice her faith," Sabrina said. "She is a faith-filled client, and we are a good match for each other."
Sabrina is a good match for any client, especially those with dementia. She worked for six years at a memory-care unit in El Campo. She took off time to be with her family before re-entering the workforce with Home Instead Senior Care in April 2016 after hearing about the franchise from an aunt who has worked for Home Instead Senior Care since 2013.
"I like working with dementia clients. To make them happy or remind them of better times in their lives brings me satisfaction," Sabrina said. "To work with those with dementia, you have to have a lot of patience. That's something I have been gifted with. Of course, I use my faith while working with some clients when I know faith has been a part of their lives. There are other ways to reach them."
Sabrina and other CAREGivers are given the opportunity to take the Home Instead Senior Care network's Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program.
CAREGivers who are trained in the CARE program have a passion to work with Alzheimer's clients and receive ongoing training and testing to enhance their already outstanding care techniques. The Home Instead program offers a personal approach to taking care of seniors with Alzheimer's disease at home – where 60 to 70 percent live, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It is a unique program that has received acclaim and endorsements from experts.
The program equips CAREGivers to provide the highest quality of customized care that includes:
CAREGivers can provide assistance with establishing a regular routine and restoring the simple pleasures of life, among the best non-medical treatments for the disease.
Sabrina's client lives with her husband, and Sabrina is close to the couple's family. "I talk to the family daily, and they are very important to me," Sabrina said. "There is a whole team effort involved with the care, including fellow CAREGivers and others, and around-the-clock care keeps them in their home. Providing a consistency is important, whether it is day or night." Referring to overnight shifts, Sabrina said: "I love them, so I prefer to work them."
Sabrina believes she's in the right place. "The office is good. The ongoing training is good. I love my job because I know God sent me," she added.
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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