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February 25, 2022

Care Professional of the Month - Maria

maria cgom22

Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Month Maria Contreras-Sandoval’s caregiving adaptability was evident when she shifted her compassion-oriented career from child care to senior care. “I believe that all my life will be caring for others,” Maria said.

“I started helping others professionally in 2010 by working with young children, from infants to 5-years-olds, at a child-care facility, and I worked at that job for almost nine years. I really enjoyed my work. In 2018, I started to work with seniors at other companies,” said Maria, who joined Home Instead in February 2021.

Referring to owner Kelly Hutchison’s award-winning Home Instead franchise in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, Maria said: “One of my friends told me about this company, and I went on the internet and found it. I put in my application, and a few days later they called me for an interview via Zoom. Soon after, they offered me the job.”

Maria has been a hit with her clients and their family members. On Jan. 26, Digital Brand Manager Mia Tatone announced that Maria had been honored as the Home Instead franchise’s CAREGiver of the Month for February. “Maria is very soft-spoken and quite humble, but she has made an impact with our Home Instead clients,” Mia said. ‘Dynamic’ sometimes is simpatico with ‘understated,’ which is subtle and effective in its own way. That is the case with Maria. We love her.”

Human Resources Manager Alina Merrill agreed with Mia. In fact, Alina added: “Maria is always there when we need her help as far as staffing is concerned. She goes above and beyond to accommodate and help if she is needed for last-minute emergencies. She is very likable, personable and kind. Every client who meets Maria later calls the office and asks to have more time with Maria.”

Among the considerations for achieving CAREGiver of the Month status, an employee has shown he or she has gone above and beyond the call of duty, Mia pointed out. Empathy and compassion are taken into account for the award, as well as skill and wisdom for dealing with challenging situations. Maria embodies Home Instead’s guiding principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”

In addition to her strong companionship skills, Maria provides safety assurance, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and transportation and errands. Maria offers personal assistance with eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, incontinence care, cognitive impairment, hospice support and mobility. By expertly doing so, Maria not only assists her clients, but helps their families eliminate worry, reduce stress and re-establish personal freedom.

To build on their knowledge and experience, Maria and other Elk Grove Village CAREGivers are offered the opportunity to increase their dementia-care skills by taking part in the Home Instead network’s one-of-a-kind training protocol. Home Instead’s Person-Centered Care Training for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias is recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association® for incorporating the evidence-based dementia-care practice recommendations in these topic areas: Alzheimer’s and dementia, person-centered care, assessment and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication.

Maria loves being a part of the CAREGiver team for Kelly’s franchise, a member of a highly successful network founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Home Instead network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for older adults, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide care throughout the United States and 13 other countries.