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Care Professional Awards & Recognition
At Home Instead®, our success revolves around the work of our Care Professionals – and we make sure they know it! We celebrate Care Pros year-round through: notes of appreciation, recognition in our employee newsletter, flowers, extra time off, and even impromptu office parties.
Do You Know Someone With A Caring Heart?
We all have that someone who is a natural born caregiver. If you know a friend or family member that would make an outstanding Care Pro, someone who would easily receive a standing ovation from Home Instead, please share the career opportunity - we’d love to meet them!
Care Pro of the Month: April 2023
We are so excited to announce Ana as our April 2023 outstanding Care Professional of the Month.
Ana first started working with Home Instead at 25 years old. She stayed for three years before she decided to stay home and be a fulltime mom. Her youngest recently turned 19 years old and she knew she needed to go back work. So, she returned to the company that gave her a chance to learn and grow as a caregiver… and we are thrilled that she did!
A very friendly and detail-oriented person, Ana is a natural at caring for others. She enjoys being there to help clients who are losing their independence and can count her to help. Clients never like to a burden to their families, so Ana’s care helps to alleviate any burdensome feelings a client may be facing. The families Ana is currently assisting praise her level of care because she treats everyone as if they are her own loved one.
One of Ana’s dreams is to become a United States citizen. She is currently pursuing that dream and we wish her the very best!
Care Pro of the Month: April 2023 - Ana
Care Pro of the Month: March 2023
We are so excited to announce Sa’aga as our March 2023 outstanding Care Professional of the Month.
Sa’aga joined the Vista Home Instead family nearly a year ago. Her motivation for becoming a caregiver was to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Whether it is listening to their stories, helping them with a difficult task, or simply smiling at them which brings a smile to their face – it is all considered joy to her.
When asked what she enjoys most about being a part of Home Instead, she remarked that it is nice that we have the trust and confidence in her to be an excellent caregiver. And excellent she is. Her compassion, care, and concern resonate with her clients and their families.
Sa’aga has such a big heart, and she is very passionate about her family and her faith. She has four amazing children and eight grandchildren who she loves to talk about!
Care Pro of the Month: March 2023 - Sa'aga
Care Pro of the Month: February 2023
We are so excited to announce that Rena is our February 2023 outstanding Care Professional of the Month.
Rena has been part of the Home Instead family for many years, and has been taking care of people for 30 years. The caregiving seeds were planted in her heart early on when her mom would take her to retirement homes after church. She fell in love with the elderly and caring for them. In fact, her mom currently cares for others too.
Her favorite part of her job is find ways to make her clients laugh. Whether she tells a joke or even pokes fun at herself, she looks for opportunities to bond and bring a smile to their face. Rena also likes to interact with other caregivers and work on building a team approach with clients. We often here how Rena and her co-workers have developed a way to motivate a joint client to shower or exercise or eat – there is such joy in a team victory.
When not serving our clients, Rena is bonding with her three kids and her granddaughter and can often be seen traveling around with her furry friend Russell.
Care Pro of the Month: February 2023 - Rena
Care Pro of the Month: January 2023
We are so excited to announce that the January 2023 outstanding Care Professional of the Month is Shelby.
All throughout her childhood and teens, Shelby helped to take care of her grandparents. So, when her service with the military came to an end, it was natural for her to pursue caregiving – something she could pour her heart into. That is exactly what she has done since joining the Home Instead family six months ago.
The thing she loves most about working with clients is hearing their stories, learning about their life experiences. Shelby also looks forward to the change of pace from client to client – no two clients are alike and that adds to the adventure of being a caregiver.
Some day when Shelby isn’t taking care of people, you might find her cliff diving or building her very own barndominium!
Care Pro of the Month: January 2023 - Shelby
CAREGiver of the Month: June 2022
We are so excited to announce that the June 2022 outstanding CAREGiver of the Month is Dulce.
Her career as a caregiver started four years ago when she walked through the doors of Home Instead Vista. She was driven to become a caregiver because of the loss of her mother. In her heart she felt that caregiving would allow her to care for others in the same way she took care of her own mom.
When Dulce walks into a room it is full of joy and light, and her clients experience that each day. “Seeing my clients happy makes me happy,” says Dulce, “What I love most abut working with my clients is getting to know them, giving them love and attention, and making sure that they’re in good hands.” It doesn’t take long for someone to know how kind and caring she is, and that she has the cutest giggle.
She enjoys being part of the Home Instead family and working alongside other caregivers and the office team, and we are thrilled she is part of our family. So, we hope that one day – when she isn’t so busy caring for others – Dulce’s dream of traveling to Jerusalem will come true.
Thank you for being a big part of our family, Dulce!
CAREGiver of the Month: June 2022 - Dulce
CAREGiver of the Month: May 2022
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Nicole. She has served for Home Instead Vista for nearly two years. Caregiving has become second nature to her as she genuinely loves to help others, especially those in great need.
When we asked Nicole what she enjoys most about caregiving she said, “I enjoy hearing from our clients about what a difference each individual makes in their lives. We all have our special bonds and unique talents that make our clients happy. It makes me proud to be a part of our wonderful team!”
We are proud to have Nicole on our team. And when she is not serving clients, she is taking care of her sweet son and dreaming of a day she can travel outside of the United States.
Thank you for being a big part of our family, Nicole!
CAREGiver of the Month: May 2022 - Nicole
CAREGiver of the Month: April 2022
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Gwen. She shared her story so beautifully that we present her own words:
Technically, I have been a caregiver for three years and employed by Home Instead. However, I have been a “caregiver” my entire life. My nature is a nurturer and helper. My career was an elementary school teacher and special educator. “Caregiver” is embedded in the elementary field.
I was not really motivated to become a caregiver, but I fell into service fortuitously. I was planning to teach into my seventy’s, but my plans were foiled. At 55, I had a stroke. I was not physically paralyzed, but my part of my brain (parietal lobe) was paralyzed, in a manner of speaking. My diagnosis is Aphasia. My communication and processing were affected. My recuperation was long. Hence, I still needed to bring home income, be stimulated, and feel useful. My previous principal helped me with a reference and told me that caregiving would be a good fit for me. He was right.
What I love most about working with the clients are the “whole of the persons”: their personality, their history, their stories, and their friendship. Once, I worked with a ninety-three-year-old, gal that was married to a Los Angeles Dodger baseball player. I saw his team picture on the wall. It was obvious how much she loved him and her family as their pictures were on the walls, in every room. I was impressed! She would tell me how much she missed him.
I also learned she loved big bands and was a really good dancer. I find that interesting. We had fun listening to Glen Miller music on my laptop computer. We would look on YouTube for examples of big band dancers. I loved her! She was the most warm, interesting, and fun person. This is an example of why I love working with the people!
I appreciate working with Home Instead and enjoy being part of the team. I love getting the support and resources being part of Home Instead. I get opportunities for training and growth. I’ve been very lucky working with the Vista Home Instead office. I love working with administration who are supportive, caring, friendly, and value us. They treat us well!
I have a huge love of animals and the Earth. My dream is to build a sanctuary for rescued circus animals, so they can live in happiness and comparatively free.
I am an advocate for many things like for seniors, abused humans, animals, or the planet.
Thank you for being a big part of our family, Gwen!
CAREGiver of the Month: April 2022 - Gwen
CAREGiver of the Month: March 2022
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Johnathan.
Johnathan came to Home Instead after serving as a private caregiver for two years, and in his first six months he has shown his true heart for caring for others. When asked what drew him to caregiving he spoke of his grandparents, “I had the best grandparents. They gave and cared for me through my young life, and becoming a CAREGiver permits me to extend that kindness to others.”
One of the things that Johnathan looks forward to with his clients is hearing their every-day phrases. There is so much to learn from our older generation, and Johnathan said it best, “Shakespeare could not match half the wit I have gleaned from these folks.”
He enjoys being a part of the Home Instead Vista family because he knows his needs will be met and his questions heard. Plus, he knows every time he walks through the door he will be greeted warmly and immediately offered snacks.
When Johnathan is not caregiving, he is working toward becoming an accomplished illustrator in the next five years. He often will craft a tiny figurine out of clay or wood and sneak it into a friend’s home. Perhaps even his clients might discover a miniature figurine somewhere in their treasures.
CAREGiver of the Month: March 2022 - Johnathan
CAREGiver of the Month: February 2022
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Naima.
Our Home Instead team has been so grateful to have Naima onboard for the last four years, and part of the caregiving field for 17 years. For her, helping others is very satisfying. In her own words, “I feel and believe that my clients are part of my family. I care about people, especially the ones in need.”
She likes being a part of the Home Instead family because of the company’s experience in providing care, and she appreciates that our team is organized and supports one another. Naima is a big part of providing that excellent care. “I would like my clients to know and believe that I strive to provide the best care that they need and deserve,” said Naima. Her care for others runs deep and she is always ready to help with whatever their require or request.
Outside of caregiving, Naima is raising her sons. Her bucket list goal is to see her boys grow up to be the best that they can be, well-behaved, and successful in education. She can’t wait to see them graduate from college with outstanding achievements!
Thank you for being a part of our team, Naima!
CAREGiver of the Month: February 2022 - Naima
CAREGiver of the Month: October 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Marisol.
Marisol joined the Home Instead family in fall of 2020. It was her first time stepping into the role of CAREGiver and she did so with flying colors! She loves having a job that allows her to complete tasks but also has tremendous meaning for someone else. In her own words, “I love the companionship we develop. It’s always wonderful to find a game or something to keep them active. There is nothing more touching to the heart, at the end of the day, than to receive a thanks!”
Though she loves being a part of the Home Instead family and serving others, she has other aspirations as well. She is currently part of a team named Emprendedores Unidos para un Planeta Verde. This group just started a few months ago and they are working to make it an official campaign that helps to clean up the environment. No doubt her goal of becoming a little more extroverted will help her role with this important initiative.
Marisol has a big heart for people and the planet!
CAREGiver of the Month: October 2021 - Marisol
CAREGiver of the Month: September 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Jetzenia.
The day Jetzenia, who we call Jetzie, walked through our Home Instead doors we knew we had someone special. She has been with our team just under a year but has nearly 15 years of caregiving experience. Her desire to become a caregiver stemmed from the loving relationship she had with her grandparents. They taught her how to care for others, and in her words, they “taught her well.”
When we asked what she enjoys most about working with her clients, Jetzie shared, “What I love most about working with my clients is when I feel they trust me. They want to feel safe, and I will always provide them with the best of me.” The highlight for her is when they share their stories of struggle and achievement – all great lessons to learn from.
Jetzie wasn’t shy in sharing that she loves being a part of Home Instead Vista. She feels appreciated and respected and feels as though she is provided a safe place to work. In the same ways she is treated by Home Instead, is how she aims to always treat her clients and their families. She feels blessed that she can adapt and respond to client needs, she is always open to constructive criticism, and aims high to provide the best care possible.
Down the road, it is her goal to visit countries and volunteer at orphanages. It has always been something she has wanted to do – and we already know she will have an amazing impact when that day comes.
CAREGiver of the Month: September 2021 - Jetzenia
CAREGiver of the Month: August 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Melissa.
Melissa joined our Home Instead family nearly three years ago, and in that time, she had made quite the impact on the families she has served – and on us. She had been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years and decided she wanted to work part-time, and she found her “job home” as a CAREGiver.
A woman with a heart of gold, Melissa always hopes that people know that she is a kind and caring person. She takes her role very seriously and treats every client as if they are her relative. When we asked her what she loves most about serving her clients she shared, “Knowing that I’m making their golden years better health wise. And putting their family members at ease knowing that their parents are being cared for properly and safely, especially during the pandemic.”
She enjoys being part of Home Instead because at the end of the day she knows she is having a positive influence on our clients’ lives.
We asked Melissa if she could travel anywhere in the world where would she go. She didn’t hesitate to say Japan! We hope she can cross that off her bucket list sooner than later.
CAREGiver of the Month: August 2021 - Melissa
CAREGiver of the Month: July 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Stacy.
Stacy was built to be a CAREGiver. She left Vons 18 years ago on maternity leave to start her journey as a homemaker and homeschool teacher. It only makes sense that she now continues to take care of others at home. Her desire to become a CAREGiver stemmed from wanting to use her skills as a housewife and mom, but also to do something that could bless others.
Perhaps the thing she loves most about her role is getting to know her clients. Not just their likes/dislikes and routines, but their life stories, history, and when she can their family recipes. When asked why she enjoys being part of the Home Instead team, she replied, “It’s not corporate. There is a feeling of family at Home Instead, where support and care come freely.”
One thing that stands out about Stacy is her heart for God. More than anything her goal is to glorify God in all that she does, and that includes taking care of our aging population. We are blessed to have her on our team – part of our family.
We always like to find out what tops our CAREGiver’s bucket list. For Stacy, she hopes to travel to Tokyo one day. We hope she can make it there soon!
CAREGiver of the Month: July 2021 - Stacy
CAREGiver of the Month: June 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Valerie.
We have been blessed to have Valerie on our CAREGiving team for the past five years. When you ask Val why she chose to become CAREGiver, she simply says, “Because I love it.” She loves helping people and being a bright light in their life. Never does she want to see someone alone, so if she can be that friend who can make them laugh or smile, then her job carries much more meaning.
Year after year she continues to stay with the Home Instead Vista family because in her own words, “They are good people to work with.” And we are thrilled that she stays and continually takes on new clients and new challenges. Because in Val we have a very loyal, passionate CAREGiver with a big heart for people. But someday Valerie may retire and perhaps take that dream trip of a lifetime to Greece.
Congrats, Val – you deserve it!
CAREGiver of the Month: June 2021 - Valerie
CAREGiver of the Month: May 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Jasmine.
Jasmine is probably one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She is passionate about caring for others, not only in her job, but in life. She has been caregiver for 13 years, and has been a part of the Home Instead Vista family for the last four years. She discovered early on that she really took pride in caring for others and that the role of CAREGiver fit her perfectly.
When asked what she loves most about working with her clients, she replied, “I love being important to them. I love it when they know they are in goods and being cared for with all that I have.” She enjoys being a part of Home Instead because she knows there is a team who will back her up during both the easy and the hard times. Jasmine is a very dedicated CAREGiver with a tremendous amount of pride in what she does and her overall work ethic.
When Jasmine is not caregiving or taking care of her awesome kids, she dreams of traveling to Bali. That is at the very top of her bucket list. But it’s easy to imagine that when that trip to Bali comes, she will find a way to help someone along her travels!
CAREGiver of the Month: May 2021 - Jasmine
CAREGiver of the Month: April 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Lorena.
When Lorena joined our Home Instead team just 6 months ago, we knew we had found someone very special. She has been in the caregiving industry for over 21 years, and she is not only very skilled she is equally as dedicated. Plus, every client sings her praises!
Ever since she was young, she knew she wanted to care for others. Seeing people happy, cared for, and truly loved is what she treasures most in her work. In her words, “It’s what they deserve.”
Having worked with other agencies, as a private caregiver, etc. what Lorena enjoys most about Home Instead is how the team makes her feel comfortable with her hours and clients. She is incredibly flexible and willing to always help, but her personal time and care matter too.
Looking back after 20 plus years, Lorena would love to share her experiences with new caregivers – things that she knows and understands now that she did not when she first started out. Already she is a helping hand teaching CAREGivers the best body mechanics and showering techniques for certain clients. Her plan to give back has begun, and we are thrilled that she is sowing into our family of CAREGivers.
She may be just under 5’, quiet, and somewhat serious, but in that small package is a mighty woman who absolutely loves what she does. If help is needed, she is there.
CAREGiver of the Month: April 2021 - Lorena
CAREGiver of the Month: March 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Merlin.
Merlin’s journey as a CAREGiver started in 2015 with Home Instead in Lancaster, CA and then transferred to San Marcos/Vista area in 2016. He was drawn to caregiving when his father became sick with COPD and chronic pain from a hip that needed to be replaced. At that time, Merlin lived in Colorado and his dad lived in Nebraska; the distance made it very hard for Merlin to assist his dad in the ways he wanted. When his dad passed, Merlin decided he would become a caregiver to help people like him – people who desperately wanted to give their loved one support and care, but distance and circumstances made it impossible.
When you ask Merlin what he loves most about working with his clients, he is quick to answer with, “the people you meet add rich diversity to your life.” And what he enjoys most about working with Home Instead is get togethers feel like family reunions, “It's like a family reunion getting together with your cousins and siblings.” Although 2020 has limited those fun family gatherings, the spirit is still there.
Taking care of living things runs deep in Merlin. Before caring for people, he started with farm animals. He ran a hobby farm with chickens, goats, a donkey, some rabbits, doves, and other assorted animals. He lived on a half-acre and their farm produced a lot of the food they ate, including the eggs from the chickens, vegetables from the garden, and fruit. They even had a beehive! Thinking back, he shared, “I loved making my own soap from the goat's milk and cheese from the goat's milk as well. I do miss my chickens and fresh eggs.”
You never know where live may lead you, and we are so thankful that Merlin’s journey has brought him to Home Instead. I think the next place we might find him is one of his bucket list destinations: exploring Muir Woods national forest seeking out ancient trees. How fun!
CAREGiver of the Month: March 2021 - Merlin
CAREGiver of the Month: February 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Nidhal.
Nidhal’s answers to our questions were so cute and fun, that we thought we would just share her words.
Tell us, how long have you been a caregiver, and how long have you been with Home Instead?
I have been a caregiver at heart all my life growing up as the oldest sibling and grandchild. I was always looking after my siblings and cousins. I have been with Home Instead for seven months now!
What motivated you to become a CAREGiver?
I have a real interest in helping others and gaining future health care experience. Truly, I consider myself an empath. I am able to feel others’ emotions around me without them necessarily telling me verbally what they need. At the end of the day when I come home, I know that I have contributed some positivity into earth's orbit and that makes me happy. I also lost my grandma due to cancer when I was in high school, in a way being a caregiver is a healthy way for me to cope with the pain of her being gone. The elderly can really teach us beautiful things about life.
What do you love most about working with your clients?
The stories they tell about traveling, love, life experiences, the advice they give! I love making them laugh too.
What do you enjoy about being part of the Home Instead team?
I enjoy the wonderful group of friendly people in the office that are understanding when it comes to schedule flexibility since I am also a full-time student in college. The staff at Home Instead really know how to take care of their caregivers, (sounds a bit ironic on paper haha) they go above and beyond to make us feel appreciated during birthdays, holidays and in general! I am so grateful for that.
What is one item on your bucket list for the future? An adventure? A goal?
My goal is to graduate from CSULB in Spring of 2022 and move into my own home. I've also been researching online marketing and I am thinking of starting my own online business as a side hustle in the near future to help pay the rest of my tuition.
What is one thing you would like people to know about you?
I am a woman with many passions, not only do I love healthcare and studying medicine, but I love acting and entertainment. Anything dance, theater, concerts, film, interests me.
It is so cool to read what drives our CAREGivers. Thank you for sharing YOU with Home Instead, Nidhal!
CAREGiver of the Month: February 2021 - Nidhal
CAREGiver of the Month: January 2021
We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Kaitlyn.
At only 15, Kaitlyn started caregiving for her great grandmother. Her passion for serving others grew and she eventually joined the Home Instead family in January 2020 with the Long Beach office. Shortly after she moved to North San Diego County and transferred to our Vista Office.
Kaitlyn shares, “When I found Home Instead and decided that I wanted to be a caregiver, I had been looking for a job that had something to do with my goal of becoming a social worker. My motivation was always to help people in need.” And she does that daily with our clients.
What she loves most about being a CAREGiver is hearing the stories and memories of clients. Giving them an opportunity to share what they enjoy brings such light to their faces and their spirits.
One of the things Kaitlyn appreciates about her Home Instead family is the office team. They are a very “tight knit” group who work hard to ensure that CAREGivers are comfortable, and shifts are going smoothly.
Ultimately, Kaitlyn would like to become a foster parent. She wants to be able to give people an easier and happier future who may not be given the opportunity otherwise. When asked what is one thing she wants people to know about her the answer was, “I’d like people to know that I am very passionate about what I do!” Her heart for people is exactly why she is our CAREGiver of the month.
CAREGiver of the Month: January 2021 - Kaitlyn
CAREGiver of the Year for 2020
It is a great honor for the Home Instead Vista office to select a CAREGiver of the Year, and especially for 2020 we had so many CAREGivers step up to the plate in ways like never before. They worked during a pandemic and went above and beyond to care for and protect their clients. It is with great enthusiasm that we announce Tom as our 2020 CAREGiver of the Year!
If you were to meet Tom, you would understand why he rose to the top of our list. He always shows up with a smile on his face and is a fan of getting others to laugh. Afterall, laughter is the BEST medicine. Although aging is no laughing matter, it certainly can make the process a little easier when joy is interjected into day-to-day life.
When we asked Tom why he became a CAREGiver, he shares the story of his dad who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In 1998 his dad fell and broke his hip, and for a period during his recovery Tom traveled back and forth an hour plus from Escondido to Seal Beach to help his parents’ post-surgery. It was a stressful time as he was raising a young family, running a business, and trying to decide the next steps for his father. About a month later they placed his dad in a facility while they figured out the best long-term course of action. In just short five days, his father passed. Sadly, he did not receive proper care and it resulted in his early passing.
As Tom drove home after the funeral, he felt his dad did not deserve to die alone in a facility. He told himself that if ever the opportunity presents itself, he would love to help people in a similar situation. Fast forward 16 years and Tom retires from his business and starts to think about what to do next. That is when he recalls the experience with this dad and his desire to help others. Just a few days later he saw an ad for Home Instead, applied, and the rest is history!
Often time what makes for a great CAREGiver is their personal experience and a heart to help others facing similar circumstances with grace and dignity. Tom exemplifies that on a every level. He understands the importance of living and honoring life, and that sometimes it is just about making someone comfortable in their own space. He also gets the value in little things like a home-cooked meal for a couple on a free-meal service or taking a walk on the beach with a client, playing golf with someone who has Alzheimer’s but remembers how to swing and putt. Or standing beside a wife grieving the loss of her husband as hospice takes him away. In his seven years he has seen it all, and if you ask him where he wants to be seven years from now, he will tell you, “Doing the same thing I am doing now, I truly enjoy it!!”
Tom will be the first to tell you that, “Getting old sucks!!!!!” It certainly does, but in his role with Home Instead he knows that he can bring sunshine to the doom and gloom of aging, “How badly people in need crave friendship, I know with me, my clients light up when I come and hate it when I have to leave. It’s a very special feeling to know that you’re making a difference in someone’s life!!”
We are so blessed to have Tom as part our Home Instead family, and we know that the many clients he has served the past seven years feel the exact same way.