(Change Location)

February 08, 2022

Two-Way Care: Misty and Her Clients Have Comforted and Inspired Each Other

CAREGiver of the Quarter Misty

When bonding relationships develop, sometimes the CAREGiver-client roles are switched. Twice-honored Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Quarter Misty Juarez poignantly found that to be true last year, and those were experiences she will never forget. They involved tears as well as laughter at just the right time.

“Both of my regular clients have helped me get through some of the worst days of my life. Last year, my 13-year-old niece took her own life Feb. 5. Working with my clients through my grief helped me stay busy and heal. They prayed for me and my family through that unsettling period following the memorial service,” said Misty, who was selected as CAREGiver of the Quarter in January 2022 at Home Instead of New Braunfels. Misty previously had been honored by the franchise during the fourth quarter of 2018.

One of Misty’s clients, Mrs. H., acknowledged Misty’s situation and said: “She knows I am a prayer warrior. I have a deep faith she helps me celebrate, so praying for her and her family was an honor for me. Misty and I go to different churches, but neither of us sees that as a problem, and she reads to me from my church’s Bible study materials. We’ve gotten along so well, and she has done so much for me. She is very special, and I consider her a very good friend. I love her.”

Misty and the client met in 2018. Just before Thanksgiving that year, Mrs. H. fell and suffered a broken pelvis. “I needed help at home, and my son made the arrangements with Home Instead,” recalled Mrs. H., who is also visually impaired. “When Misty came to my home, it was love at first sight. She is so thoughtful, and always upbeat and cheerful. Her judgment is really good because she knows when I need help and when I did not.”

Mrs. H. added: “Misty consistently worked with me more on my physical therapy; now there is no more PT. After the fall, I was on a walker, with a goal of progressing to a cane. In April 2019, I met my goal of transitioning to a cane. That was an emotional day. I cried, Misty cried and those at the physical therapy center cried. Along that journey, as I was getting better, she was keeping track of my medication schedule and remembered things when I did not. She does more, for instance, driving me to my appointments.”

Since the client is vision impaired, she leaves the meal preparation to Misty. “She loves to cook and makes delicious meals. She knows what I like, and she occasionally brings food from home that she knows I will like. Before COVID-19, I would go with her on grocery shopping trips. After COVID-19, she took that over on a solo basis, and I am glad,” the client said.

One of Misty’s other clients also praised his CAREGiver. Mr. B. said, “Misty is both very personable and very professional. She has a concern and understanding for her clients’ needs and challenges and does what is necessary to help me. I absolutely like having her assistance. She has been working with me for about three years.”

The clients’ cheers for Misty sound familiar and often make their way to the award-winning Home Instead office owned by Jeremy and Sylvia Farber, where the superlatives are celebrated.

General Manager Allison Johnston said: “Misty freely gives of her big heart to her clients. This last quarter, Misty shared that same devotion to a client she had never met. She connected with the client’s story and was happy to work on her day off to take the client to Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio. This was going to be one of the client’s final opportunities to spend the day out with her children and grandchildren because of her terminal illness.”

Service Coordinator Victoria Raxter added: “Misty is a great communicator and is truly dedicated to her clients and meeting their needs. I have talked with Misty a lot during the past several months, and she is a tough woman who still has the energy to make people laugh even when she is going through a lot. Misty has a sweet and bubbly personality, and she gets along with just about everyone.” 

Client Care Coordinator Amanda Hodge, RN, said: “Misty is an infectiously positive person. She instantly makes you feel comfortable when you are with her. You can know her for five minutes and feel as if you have known her for years. This shows in the way she takes care of her clients.”

Misty’s clients not only want to keep her as their CAREGiver, but they’d like to see her even more if it were possible. Mrs. H. said: “I miss her when she is not here, but I know she is busy with other clients and a wonderful family.” Since Misty has had the two primary clients for whom she has cared for more than three years, she said, “It feels as if they are more like friends and family and less like clients.”

Her endearing nickname for Mr. B. is “Cookie Monster.” Misty explained: “You see, he has a fondness for cookies and leaves cookie crumbs on the floor. The first time I cleaned for him, I told him the ‘Cookie Monster’ had been there, and it is our running joke. I wear my ‘Cookie Monster’ scrubs just for him. When I first was assigned to care for Mr. B., I was told he might not want to talk much, but I sat down, and he talked to me. He is very easy going and has a fun personality, and I look forward each week to spending time with him.”  

Mrs. H. and Misty met in uncertain times in their lives. The client had returned home after her fall, and Misty had lost a client whom she had helped almost every day. The client moved to a facility, and Misty still visited her ex-client until she passed away six months later.

Misty recalled: “My new client was having a hard time with her recovery, being away from home for more than a month. She didn’t want a CAREGiver at first, but she realized she was unable to complete the same tasks as before without assistance and said: ‘I am resigned to my fate.’ We have grown close during the years and have gone through some hard times together.”

In addition to her niece’s death, Misty had surgery last summer and ran into major complications. “It was humbling and made me appreciate some of the seniors’ trials. I was thinking, ‘How do seniors do this every day?’ Life can be a struggle, but prayer and laughter got me through. I had to laugh through awkward moments and also knew there was some unknown reason for what I was going through. My ordeal gave me insight into personal-care struggles and to be grateful when the body works the way it’s supposed to. When we are healthy, we take so many things for granted,” Misty said.

“During the trying times, my clients prayed for me, and I believe I came out a better person. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘It can make you bitter or better.’ We each get to choose which way we go, so I choose for it to make me better. To make a long story short, taking care of others is the best form of medicine for me. It’s good for the soul and lifts one’s spirit.” 

All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (830) 624-8380 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.