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Featured Dementia CAREGiver - Kimberly

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Kimberly Honors Dementia Client, Promotes Independence​

CAREGiver of the Month Kimberly Carrera doesn’t hover over dementia clients in an effort to limit anxiety and promote self-worth and independence, and she always responds to repetitive questions in the same way – as if she was hearing each query for the first time. 

While providing help, reassurance and comfort to dementia clients, Kimberly also consoles family members who are frustrated and trying to understand the condition that leads to the loss of memory and thinking skills as well as out-of-character behavior. 

“I give my clients their space. It is still their home and their life. I want them to feel as though they still have a semblance of autonomy. I let them do as much as they want as long as they are safe. They need to feel worthy and have their dignity,” Kimberly said. “I always do the chores and work to keep the house nice, but I ask before I do anything. I don’t rearrange anything. To do so creates confusion and anxiousness for seniors.”

CAREGivers such as Kimberly are among the reasons Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria is an award-winning in-home senior-care franchise. Kimberly 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:

Maintaining a safe environment
Encouraging engagement
Providing mind-stimulating activities
Supervising daily activities
Creating social interaction
Providing nutritious meals
Managing changing behaviors
Supporting the person’s family

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.

To Kimberly, dementia care is personal. “I understand dementia not only from Home Instead Senior Care training but because I have an aunt and uncle with dementia, and my 62-year-old dad is showing some signs of it,” Kimberly said. “Dad is aware of some memory loss and has broached it. He said if things become challenging for him we ought to consider a facility. I told him, ‘Dad, I would never put you in a nursing home if I am able to take care of you, that I promise.’ He said, ‘Thank you.’ That is also my commitment to my clients.”

One of Kimberly’s clients sometimes is distraught and emotional, and the behavior can be difficult for the client’s son to process. He told Kimberly, “I can’t put my hands on what is wrong with Mom.” Kimberly said, “I have told him, ‘She is a different person from the mother you knew years ago.’ Her repetition is frustrating for him, and he is trying to understand it. It is important for him to be patient.”

Kimberly and the client’s son talk about every other day to keep him updated on how his mother is doing and what she and his mother have done. Having taken away his mother’s car keys, the son relies on Kimberly to take his mom on outings.

“It helps him to know I am his support. My presence has lifted a big weight off his shoulders,” Kimberly said. “He asks not only how his mother is doing but how I am doing. When my client has crying spells, her son asks, ‘Are you OK?’ I always tell him I’ve got everything in hand and he should not worry. His mother and I have a good relationship, and we make things work.”

​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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