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the home instead difference sonoma county california

The Home Instead Difference

It's Not About Simply Counting the Years - It’s LIVING Them!

Quality of Lifenot just sustaining it but creating itis one of goals of ALL our Home Instead Care Professionals!

To always strive to identify the joys that make life worth LIVING for each individual client in our care and make those JOYS accessible again!

This page is dedicated to some examples of that MISSION in MOTION!

Enriching the Lives of Our Clients...
One Memory at a Time

collage of home instead making memories with our clients

Exceeding the Expected

a hand holding a small house figurine that has a heart shape in it

At Home Instead, we believe in not only meeting but also exceeding the expectations of our clients and their families. We are committed to providing a level of home care and support that goes beyond what is anticipated, and we are honored to have the opportunity to share the heartfelt story of one satisfied client who experienced the Home Instead difference firsthand:

"Very responsive to all requests; everyone with whom I have worked shows genuine compassion and willingness to help. I never felt as if I was on my own, and Home Instead helped us solve any issue we had with either care coordination or insurance requirements. I am very happy working with them. With respect to our caregiver, Ali, she does a lot to help my father and has exceeded my expectations. My father likes her very much as well! She has driven him to many places which has been invaluable. Overall my experience with Home Instead has been very positive."

At Home Instead, we understand that providing exceptional care is more than just meeting the basic needs of our clients. It is about going above and beyond to ensure their happiness, independence, and quality of life. We are honored to be entrusted with the well-being of our clients and are dedicated to exceeding expectations every step of the way.

The Ruby Ring!

The Ring

It is not uncommon for dementia clients to give possessions away. To “gift” personal items that once held deep meaning to them when their memory was intact. Sometimes these can be monetarily valuable items, other times deeply sentimental items. The receiver of this generosity is so often unaware of what, if any value the item gifted holds. Or held in the past to more than just the one afflicted with dementia.

This is when honesty and integrity - even when no one is watching, must be intact. Our Caregiver had been working with her client who has dementia long enough to build trust and friendship to where she began daily to take off the Gold & Ruby ring she wore and “gift” it to her Caregiver. At first, the Home Instead Care Pro would refuse to accept this gift from her client and notified us in the office of this exchange. As the client’s dementia progressed and the months passed, the client became agitated when the Caregiver would decline to accept her heartfelt gift. So as any great Care Pro would do…she daily began to accept this gift, redirect the client after humbly thanking the client for gifting her such a treasure. At the end of each shift, the Caregiver would take the ring off her finger the client would pace on her hand and place it in the jewelry box on the client’s dresser and record this action in the care notes. The Care Professional communicated this action to us in the office, so we were all aware of this. The office support called the client’s son to make him aware of the situation. He was so taken back by the Care Pros honestly & integrity and told us the story and great value of that RUBY ring. It was the ring his father gave his mother when he proposed to her. He had bought it for her while serving over seas in the Korean War. He was so grateful that we were able to protect that deeply sentimental family heirloom. This dear sweet client continued to decline at which time the son moved his Mom into his family home to be with her in her final months of life. Thanked us for the care and friendship our Caregiver “gifted” his mom.

Time passed and one day he phones to let us know his mom had passed and he had something he wanted to drop off at our office for his Mom’s Care Pro. It was that RUBY ring! He said Mom obviously wanted her Caregiver to have it.

I can tell you it brought tears not just to the Caregivers eyes, but to all of us in the office. Honestly & integrity it’s self --- is such a gift!

A Care Professional's Bright Idea Brings New Life to an Old Wardrobe!

Bright Ideas Mary

Our September honoree of the STANDING OVATION award goes to MARY L!!!! Mary loves her scrubs and having been in in-home care for years, she has a wardrobe full of them. She asked for a patch so she can represent Home Instead, so we created one!! Mary wanted to find a way to upcycle her wardrobe of scrubs so in addition to her new logo Home Instead scrubs, we have found more than one way to use them!! Thanks Mary for such a bright idea!!

A Care Professional Recognized for Impeccable Documentation Skills!

Caregiver Elizabeth

When our Ambassador Care Pro Elizabeth finishes a shift with the best skills and documentation, we have a perfect match for the client and their family.

Elizabeth makes every shift complete with exemplary details that immediately reports to our virtual “family room”.  The details are accessible online by the client’s family so that they will know about the day's activities, personal care tasks, mental health, transportation, meal prep or doctor visits. Every detail is accounted for allowing the family to feel connected though at a distance.

Elizabeth is awarded the Home Instead corporate Standing Ovation recognition for documentation for June of 2022! Congratulations Elizabeth- we are so proud to have you on our team!

A Care Professional Who Goes Above and Beyond the "Basics" of Home Care!

Caregiver Ann L.

What a remarkable Care Professional!

Ann was chosen as a Rookie of the Month for July 2022. Not new to caregiving but new to us at Home Instead, she has picked up the challenge of getting her two clients out and engaged.

“Mary” hadn’t been to a concert in years but thoroughly enjoyed her trip to the mariachi concert on the grass at the Green Music Center and then down to see a movie because both she and Ann had read the book “Where the Crawdads Sing”!!!

She then spent her shift with “Eoin” having him teach her how to do the Scottish dances that he treasures and hasn’t danced since his wife passed.

When asked how she was able to offer this life changing care to her Clients, Ann replied, "I really like to have FUN, I feel that they should too!” It is worth noting that Ann's hands-on care is exceptional too!

Thank you Ann, we are so grateful you chose us!!!

A Day at the Corner Market

a small corner market

Our Care Professional Amy, shared that her client loved to go to the market. Her daughters would advise the Care Pro to take their mom to Safeway or CVS for her items. The client was disappointed and hated to go to those stores and kept insisting they were not the market. So, one day, Amy asked her where she thought the market was and the client said I will tell you. Amy and the client got in the car and the client directed her up one street and down another until they found a small corner market. The client wanted to shop at this market because she had gone to high school with the owner of this market, and it made her feel good to know the owner. The client had a long relationship with this owner, and it gave her comfort and trust with someone familiar. The daughters were surprised and thrilled that their mom got to experience shopping at her friend's market. This is an example of how our Care Pro took the Lead, heard the desires of her client, and acted appropriately to give her the best day ever!


photo of male seniors face and photo of goldfish

Among the many stories Mr. M, my client has so passionately shared with me over the last few days before his hospital visit, has been the story of his beloved pet, goldfish, “Survivor”. Recently alone these past few weeks, swimming patiently in his somewhat darkened aquatic world of late still exists a shining, shimmering emblem of Mr. M “”The Magician’s Magic Handiwork”, a nine-lived scaled, living creature that -evading all odds: first to avoid being eaten as a supper fish for Mr. M’s bigger Aquarium Fish, second surviving the freezing cold and hazardous daily perils of a yearlong outdoor pond pillaged by raccoons, cats, algae, starvation of proper food and attention while still the size of a pinky finger.

This magnificent creature, now amazingly grown to the size of a hand, is aptly named affectionately, “Survivor” by Mr. M. He is now truly … the sole survivor. Does he HAVE a soul? Some, like me, think he just might…. And it’s ignited by his faithful owner, who… yes of late has been understandably overwhelmed to the point of forgetting to feed him, or properly change his tank, but not for lack of love.

I discovered the fish was quite hungry in its ever-growing green turning tank- and after seeing its electric response to attention and food I reminded Mr. M of the fish who quickly realized he’d neglected to feed it due to all his distractions of late. There is talk in the family to give it to a neighbor for a healthier existence- which may be the path. Still, romantically, I question the value however of giving Mr. M the final say as it is more than a possession or even a pet but a symbol of luck and perseverance - OF LIFE!

How wonderful it would be to ensure weekly tank cleanings, daily feedings and adding a few newcomer fish for “Survivor” to socialize and live with in a brightly bustling fish aquarium targeting Mr. M’s deepest sense of wholeness in his domain- a feng shui effort of enormous Herculean undertaking…. Worth it? Just a thought.
--Steve, new Home Instead CARE Professional

Protecting Your Loved One From Phone Scams!

home instead helps protect seniors from phone scams

Alma, a newly hired Home Instead CAREGiver, called our office today and reported that yesterday, 2/24/22, while on shift with her client Mrs. E – the client received a phone call on her cell phone that was clearly suspicious. In covertly glancing at the phone Alma read that it was a "spam likely" identifier on the face of the phone.

It was a call from Wells Fargo and left a phone number for her to return the call. She wrote down the phone number, Alma redirected Mrs. E to the laundry, returned to the phone and deleted the call and disposed of the piece of paper that had the number on it. Mrs. E agreed to "call the number back later". Alma, our Home Instead CAREGiver also identified that when she is with Mrs. E shopping, Mrs. E uses only a Chase card. Mrs. E may or may not have a Wells Fargo account, but the evidence lent itself to a scam/fraud call.

This is an example of how an aware CAREGiver noticed her client was about to become a victim of one of the many prevalent elder financial scams, & stopped her client from becoming one. This is how our HOME INSTEAD CAREGivers are trained to be aware of these invasive call scams targeting older adults and what to look for. If you See something--Say something! Alma did just that. Followed up by documenting and reporting so we in the office could follow up with the client’s family to let them know this risk was mitigated and to reach out to her financial institutions ensuring a breach hadn’t occurred.

10 Years of Giving Her Heart to Sonoma County Seniors!!

home instead caregiver shirley

HUGE congratulations TO SHIRLEY ON HER 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY AS A HOME INSTEAD CAREGIVER!!!! She is gracious, loyal and has embraced new technology. She is steadfast in her commitment to her clients and to embrace new educational trainings and ever-changing technology. She has always been an excellent communicator and reporter. She is highly vested in her clients’ best outcomes and greater quality of life! Congratulations Shirley- we couldn’t be prouder to have you on our team!

We are there for you during life's toughest moments...

home instead caregiver holding senior's hand

"Your caregiver this morning, when my mom passed, was amazing. I went to give my mom the morphine as I did every 4-5 hours, talked to her… she was alive. Held her hand for a while talking about “Pepper” the cat. I could tell she was still with us. However a few minutes after squeezing my hand and giving her the meds, she closed her mouth and was gone. I had not been in this situation ever before, your CAREGiver quietly was beside me the entire time. I could not have kept it together without her."

~ A Testimonial by Client S. from Santa Rosa, CA

I am learning so much and am so grateful to have met this man!

origami collage

I have enjoyed my time with my client Mr. M. since I came on to take care of him a few weeks ago. His wife had just recently passed away and I wasn't sure if I was going to be coming into a grieving husband or what the situation would be but when I met him and also his caregiver Valerie they both were lovely people. Mr. M was very open and happy to meet me. We had no trouble getting along, right away he had many things to tell me and I quickly discovered that he was an incredible historian and very intelligent man who was the veteran and had done many things in his life.

He had been on quite the journey during his lifetime and had a lot of stories to tell me one of which was his wife Harriet like origami. I wasn't going to ask him that much about her because I wanted him to feel comfortable talking about it or not. I didn't want to push but his life views are remarkable and he had no problem opening up to me and talking about her. He told me while showing me her art room and workspace all the wonderful things she used to create and do and she loved to do origami… but he had no use for her things now that she passed.

He was looking to get rid of things little by little. In our conversation, I told him that my daughter was into Japanese culture and had been learning the language and she was into drawing an anime he quickly got up from his chair and went into the back room and pulled out a crate that he had packed full of origami paper and artwork from his wife. He had no use for it so he pushed it to me and said if your daughter would like this, please take it. I would love her to have it and make good use of it. I told him I could not do that and he insisted so much that he put it in my car himself so I thanked him and I took that box home.

As I emptied the crate so I could take it back to him, I found that his wife had created several ships, birds, cranes and flowers out of paper origami. She had them in a little box. Mr. M told me that he had never seen her artwork because she always went into her room and close the door and never showed him what she was creating.

I decided to create a mobile for him out of them so that I could give back to him what he had given me from her and hopes that it would not make him sad and bring him Joy. Once I created this I brought it to him the next day with his empty crate.

In that crate I also found some patterns for origami that he had been looking for. He said that she also made a dragon for people who are sick- her friends and family. She would make them and give them these dragons and he could no longer find the pattern. When I found it , I printed it for him.

When I gave him the mobile he gave me a great big hug and thanked me for it he immediately went into her back room and hung it up on a hook on the ceiling so it could be displayed next to the model airplanes that she had made for him! He also hung up a bunch of her baskets that his daughter had taken down during his wife's passing and he wanted them back on the ceiling.

He was essentially getting rid of and also putting back together her room the way that he wanted to see it. It is displayed beautifully where he can see it and he tells me all the time he is grateful for it and that made me very happy.

He is a very humble man and a simple man and feels that he does not need many things. I am learning so much from him and am so grateful to have met this man. He is going to take a lot of history about Petaluma, the war, about lighthouses and the Great Lakes with him when he passes. I am so happy and privileged that I get to be the one to listen to him. I am appreciative of everything that he shares with me and feels comfortable enough to tell me .

Home Instead truly has some amazing clients and families in our care. The staff is so good at placing the right caregiver is with the right people. I'm very happy to work with this company and with these women.

~ Lindsey P. Home Instead of Sonoma County Caregiver since Sept.2020

It’s all about making it Personal to Home Instead Caregivers…

male caregiver with elderly client

My client Robert wanted to go to Bodega Bay. So we went out to the Wren Brown Gallery first, he knows Wren because he buys so much there. Then we ventured to Spud Point but the line was too long for Chowder, so we went to the Dog House for hot dogs. Back to the Tides for the bathroom, and of course we had to go through the gift shop. We both purchased stuff. We were bad influences on each other. 🙂 Very fun day with my client!

~ Jack (Home Instead Caregiver Since 2017)

When an ordinary day can turn into something marvelous!

When I arrived at our client, Jordan’s home he was dressed and ready to go get his COVID vaccine. A little apprehensive about leaving the house, ( Jordan suffers from Dementia & gets anxious and agitated which can accelerate very quickly) but there we went. I got him all buckled up, turned the heater up, and the seat warmers & away we went. Onto Hwy 101 N heading to Santa Rosa jamming to the 50’s on my car radio. He talked a lot along the way about how beautiful this and that was and all the traffic on the road. It was adorable.

He talked about how pretty the mountains were in the distance & I told him, I had a treat for him on the way home. We’d take Petaluma Hill Road (a back country road that just lovely this time of year in the spring) on the way back home so he could see the Mustard fields in full bloom. I couldn’t wait!! It happened to be a chilly bright sunny day in Sonoma County.

Once we pulled up in the drive way for the drive thru vaccination clinic, his demeanor changed & he asked “what was going on?” I told him it was “a drive thru doctor’s appointment, but it would be really quick!”. He stated, “ I hate to tell you this, but this makes me furious”. ☹️ 😒

Time to change the energy and redirect his focus from the line of cars & I started to count the cars ahead of us & then we’d move forward, then I restarted the count until we got to the nurses station. (There was only 8 cars ahead of us, by the way) And it went quick! Then of course, in pure Jordan fashion, all the attention from the nurses at check in, he had completely forgotten that he was furious! Interesting!? Haha 😂

Our first contact was with a mid-aged, matronly, well-intentioned intake woman who chatted him up a bit. Then a beautiful mature blonde nurse with the needle came over, and asked “Jordan M.”? Of course, he perked right up and said “that’s me and what’s your name?” She said her name and tells him she’s been, "doing this for 35 years and loves what she does,” and he responds, “well, you don’t look it and if you don’t look out, I’ll have to marry you!” 😂 She smiled and was very professional about it and went about her business. Then we waited the 15 minutes afterwards before heading home. While we were in the car waiting I had the radio on and we talked about the scenery. We parked along the back side of this building under tall trees, a walking trail and the rail road tracks. It really was pretty!

On the way home, he chatted about the same beauty we talked about driving up to Santa Rosa, but this time we had the mustard fields, the mountains, the cows, the birds and the horses to see and it was magic. With the 50’s blaring, the sunroof open and his window rolled down, wind in his hair, he had his arm in the window sill and drummed his hand to the beat of the music and rocked his head, enjoying the tunes. I kept looking over at him and just allowed him to be in the moment 💖 My heart was full.

He came home a happy camper. I checked in with the caregiver the next day to see how his evening went and she said he was so happy and chipper!

What a successful beautiful day. Not just for Jordan, but for me too! 😊

~ Melissa (Home Instead Sonoma County Staffer)

Let Home Instead of Sonoma County Impress You!

collage of home instead making memories with our clients

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