CAREGiver of the Year Joe Hernandez has a home, but he spends a good deal of the time at his client’s house, and he believes that is where he’s at his best.
“My home might be a bit of a mess. But I work hard at keeping everything in order at my client’s house. I sleep at my home, but I feel as though I live about a mile away from it – at my client’s
acreage,” joked Joe, who assists the client and his family on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria.
Ask the client’s family, and they explain that Joe was grafted into its clan more than 18 months ago. Joe’s client, once a vibrant, strapping do-it-all cowboy businessman, is mostly confined to his bed, recliner or wheelchair because of a dementia that continues to erode his health and has robbed him of his ability to communicate. But Joe understands him as well as anyone. “It’s his eyes. And when he gives me that smile,” Joe explained, “it just makes my day.”
The client’s condition worsened earlier this year, and he went into hospice in March.
“He has pretty much lost the strength in his right arm, and his legs are so wobbly. I wish my client was more active, and we could do more together like we used to. He used to walk through the home and knock things around. I’d have to clean up after him, but I would prefer to have that happening than his current condition because he gets very little exercise now,” Joe said with a sigh. “He is basically bedridden, but I move him to a wheelchair and then to a recliner on occasion. Because he still gets agitated, I have to situate him in the recliner a certain way or he will hurt himself. It can be a lot of work, but it is all worth it.”
When Deborah moved back
to Edna – the Jackson County capital that’s 100 miles southwest of Houston –
she wanted to care of her mother. “Mom is 90 now, is sharp as a tack and is
doing reasonably well,” Deborah said. “It’s funny — when I graduated from high
school, she wanted me to go to nursing school. So, I did — for three days – and
then quit. I took one look at the large medical words and got a little
intimidated. Now I wish I had stayed in nursing school.” Read more...
“My kids and my grandkids
are my life, and the Home Instead office knows that. On Dec. 13, my daughter
gave birth to a beautiful 5-pound, 3-ounce daughter, who is my 12th
grand baby. All 12 grandchildren are within 10 miles of where I live.” Read more...
I was 16,” Diana recalled, “I worked as a private-duty caregiver for friends of
my mother and grandmother.” Later, Diana also served as a family caregiver for
her ailing mother and stepfather, who both died five years ago. Both were
diabetics – Mom had heart problems as a result, and my stepfather had to have a
leg amputated. I lived with them for three years before they passed away.” Read more...
never forgot the experience of helping her mother. “I see caregiving as
treating the client as if they were family. You assist them like you would want
your family to be treated. It’s the Golden Rule,” said Bertha, who has three to
four regular clients and works every day of the week except Sundays. Read more...
who had worked as a home health hospice caregiver in Jonesboro, Arkansas, for
several years, found Home Instead Senior Care after moving to Victoria last
year to live with her elderly mother and joined the franchise in September. “I
learned a lot in the hospice job and knew I could take that knowledge with me
to my next position,” Victoria said. Read more...
Rita has never been
frustrated by any client’s words or behavior because, as a seasoned and trained
senior-care professional, she had seen it before. Instead, she treated her
client, who was in his 70s, with the dignity and compassion he deserves. When
he refused to shower, Rita assisted him in cleaning up as the opportunity
presented itself and when he allowed it. Some days, he refused to eat until
Rita gently persuaded him. Read more...
Maricruz laughed when she
recalled a situation that called for a calm demeanor. “One lady client had
accepted the fact that she could not drive, so she wanted me to drive her car
while taking her along for an errand. Well, everybody is used to her own car,
and I am no different. While I was getting a feel for her car, I tapped the
brake pedal a little too hard when we were pulling out and gave the car a
little bit of jolt. My client looked at me and said with a smile, ‘Oh my. Maybe
I should be driving.’ I said, ‘I am sorry. I am used to my own car.’ Things
went smoothly the rest of the day, and the client was happy. She got me to
drive her everywhere,” Maricruz said. Read more...
For the past three months, Yolanda
has been working overnight shifts to assist a dementia client who lives with
her husband. “I reintroduce myself every night, but I am a familiar face to
her. She’s a really happy lady. She has already eaten and is getting ready for
bed when I come in. I engage her and chat about how her day has gone, and I tell
her I am there to help her. She doesn’t talk a lot, but she responds to
questions. She mentions playing the piano, which she apparently does during the
day. My duties are to keep her comfortable and help with personal care, and she
needs to be turned every two hours. She’s all right with that,” Yolanda
explained. Read more...
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. Read more...
“To overcome her anxiety,” Jasmine explained, “I get her dog, the house key and take the client out to my car. I drive around the block and return to her house. She recognizes the outside of her house, and when she sees it, it’s like hitting a reset button for her. She knows she is where she’s supposed to be, so we go back inside. She says, ‘I am back home.’ ” Read more...
CAREGiver of the Month Joella Coone came home from a shift with her 88-year-old client, turned on her TV, sat down and started watching a football game. She caught herself, laughed and said: “Why am I watching football?” The answer was simple. A client has ignited her interest in sports, particularly football, baseball, golf and all things Texas A&M Aggies. “I never watched sports in my life before I started working for Home Instead Senior Care®,” joked Joella. Read more...
Alicia continued to assist her mother for about 10 years when she wasn’t in school. Her mother, Alicia said, raised her to be responsible. “My mom is the biggest influence in my life,” she said. Alicia, who recently was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria. Read more...
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. Read more...
To help her mother, Hannah took a training course from the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center to learn how to assist with certain daily medical activities and procedures, including IV administration involving her mother’s PICC line. “I was eager to help in any way I could. Mom was my role model and imprinted on me. Read more...
part of her own personal faith journey, Edith has taken turns with Perpetual
Adoration at St. Philip Catholic Church in El Campo, where she lives. Edith
knows Highway 59 well – with Home Instead Senior Care, she assists with clients
who live in towns up and down the freeway corridor from Wharton to Victoria. Read more...
Stephanie Ortiz is a rapt audience of one for
a client who practices her weekly Sunday school lessons on the CAREGiver of the
Month at Home Instead
Senior Care® of Victoria. Read more...
“Mom remembered him, and he had a brother in her grade,” Monica said. “My
client was one year older than Mom, but they were in the same rural school. He
even wrote a story about going to the school. Read more...
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.” Read more...
Maria’s creative and bold
companionship aspect of care is one of the reasons why she was honored as
CAREGiver of the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria less than five months after
joining owner Stephanie Niles’ award-winning franchise office just a six-minute
drive from the mall. Read more...
Award-winning CAREGiver Linda Gonzales heard the phrase over and over at her clients’ family reunion and never grew tired of the introduction. It was music to her ears. Read more...
Tammy Wild has experienced the highs and lows of caregiving, and the highs far outweigh the lows. “I just love my job, and not many people can say that. Most people just tolerate their jobs, but not me – I enjoy it,” she said. Read more...
CAREGiver Fred Kaspar, a man for all seasons, left this corner of Texas too soon. Many people, young and old, will mourn his unexpected passing for some time to come, but they’ll also be hanging onto the multitude of smiles and great memories that Fred created. Read more...
Award-winning CAREGiver Frances Barbontin peered out the window at the driving rain and wondered aloud about her upcoming drive on U.S. Highway 59 from her client’s house in Goliad to her home in Victoria. “I’ll bet the water’s pooling up again on some of the low spots. I hope it’s not too bad tonight,” Frances said, perhaps a bit too loudly. Read more...
After nine months with the client and his family, CAREGiver of the Month Joe Hernandez feels a loyalty and devotion to them. "I do what I've got to do," Joe said, "to help the client and the family." Read more...
Jesica's compassion for seniors is on display in hospital and their homes. Read more...
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.