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January 09, 2021

A Big Heart From the Beginning

lucretia photo
Lucretia came home from grade school one day and admitted she wanted to punch a rude fellow student who'd made fun of her brother during lunchtime. As she poured out her frustration to her mother, it was easy to get a glimpse of Lucretia's huge, compassionate heart, one that aches for the vulnerable and compels her to defend and help them.

"I controlled myself," Lucretia remembered, "but I told Mom I was mad and wanted to do something about that student. Of course, you have to take a step back and rationalize that some kids can be mean when they see something out of the ordinary. Their social filters have not yet developed."

When recalling her family caregiving experiences, Lucretia explained she has three disabled siblings, her brother and two sisters, and she was the oldest. She was protective, but she also helped with their bathing and combing, and cooking for them, among other things.

Over the years, Lucretia's empathetic heart has drifted toward helping the elderly. After moving from California to Texas in July 2019, she saw a television commercial for Home Instead Senior Care®. Two months later, Lucretia joined the Home Instead franchise owned by Cara Delgado. Cara's award-winning office serves north Houston, including Cypress, Jersey Village, Highlands, Hockley, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Spring, Tomball and Waller.

"I had been in this kind of field since 2013 in California, where I worked for in-home support services. We served people of various ages, from little kids to middle age. There were all kinds of care situations, including paralysis. I was a CNA long ago, but I remained at a job where it was not needed," Lucretia said.

Lucretia has been a hit as a CAREGiver. Two months shy of her first anniversary with Home Instead Senior Care, Franchise Service Coordinator Chloe Carter announced Lucretia had been honored as the office's CAREGiver of the Quarter.

Referring to Home Instead Senior Care, Lucretia said: "Things are going well. I love it. The staff is good and accessible, and they communicate well. The initial Home Instead training was helpful, and they later handled the procedures and protocols of COVID-19 well when it surfaced in February and March. The office provides PPE and sent training videos. I take precautions even if I am not working. I avoid being out in crowds and mask up when I am shopping."

Staying healthy for the sake of the clients is a priority for every CAREGiver. Lucretia, of course, feels strongly about an 88-year-old Parkinson's client for whom she has served since last fall. "He's a sweetheart, and so are his wife and daughter," Lucretia said. "I started with the client on Sundays last October. I was happy when Chloe called and said they wanted me to take more hours and work Mondays through Fridays, beginning in November."

Lucretia previously had taken care of two people with Parkinson's disease and was familiar with the condition. The client, on hospice, is unable to talk much. "I am happy if I hear 'good morning' and 'goodbye.' He said my name once, and it totally surprised me and made my day. He knows who I am because when I come in to start a morning shift, I see a big smile. There are small victories each day. Anytime he can finish his breakfast, that is a positive because sometimes it is hard for him to eat because of swallowing difficulties," Lucretia said.

"His wife, who is 90, is not a client and is still independent. She is easy to get along with. She wants to try to help me. I gently remind her I'm there to make her life easier. Their daughter works as a nurse and is amazing. She sets up his nutrition in a blender and does the bulk of his physical therapy. He likes to listen to classical music, and his daughter has an Alexa device that plays the music with a voice request. It puts a smile on his face."

Lucretia added: "At the daughter's request, I help with his stretching and range of motion. I read his facial expressions. If he grimaces, I know he is stretching too far. He's mostly in a wheelchair, but he can walk a little with an assist. The daughter uses the Alexa device for medication reminders, prompts for periodical standing up and bathroom breaks. I help with transfers."

Lucretia shares duties with another CAREGiver on Tuesdays and Fridays. It's an honor for them to help their client. "The client and his family are good people. I know how stressful it can be. We CAREGivers are there to relieve their stress. There's a trust factor that builds. That's the beauty of this job – you feel good about helping someone and keeping them safe. And they appreciate it."

All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (281) 789-0419 or apply online at https://www.homeinstead.com/232/home-care-jobs. For further information about Home Instead Senior Care, visit our website at https://www.homeinstead.com/232. Our Home Instead Senior Care office, at 13105 Northwest Freeway, Suite 103, Houston, Texas 77040, serves north Houston, including Cypress, Jersey Village, Highlands, Hockley, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Spring, Tomball and Waller.