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March 04, 2021

Summer of Family Caregiving Changed Alise Forever

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Alise
When nearly every other 14-year-old girl was enjoying the summer at a shopping mall, swimming pool or hiking and biking trail, Alise Trujillo experienced the most challenging summer of her life in 2013. “Yes, I’ll admit it was,” Alise recalled, “but it taught me so many lessons in that short span of three months.” She was referring to her help with the hospice care of her terminally ill grandfather, who was suffering from various forms of cancer.

“My mother and I were the overnight team for my grandfather’s home hospice care. I had no other responsibilities. I have taken care of many ill family members in the past,” Alise said, “but that was the most impactful memory I have. I provided the kind of care that ensured my grandfather was as comfortable as possible and that he had everything he needed in a short arm’s reach when he eventually was no longer able to move.”

Alise added: “I learned about what the end of a true love story looked like, and I learned about the impact the nurses and other professional care team members have with their smiling faces and bright attitudes. I also learned what pain my parents endured while they were losing a parent. Most important, I learned what it was like to lose someone I loved so deeply. I watched what felt like an entire lifetime vanish before my eyes, and it changed my life forever. I grew to realize how precious each moment is and how important it is to celebrate life as much as possible because in the moments before death, you will look back and reflect on the life you’ve lived.”

So, as a 14-year-old, Alise absorbed many deep concepts that summer and sought ways to cope with the sorrow, sense of loss and emotional exhaustion. “During the following school year, when I entered high school, I joined the cross country team to help release stress. That was such a liberating choice. I still run to burn off angst till this day,” Alise said.

Fast forward to March 2020, when Alise joined owner Michael Lammers’ award-winning Home Instead® franchise of Boulder, Broomfield and northwest Adams Counties that is based in Louisville, Colorado. A full-time college student who is majoring in biology with a goal of becoming a telemetry nurse, Alise had heard about Home Instead through a friend. Alise’s friend formerly worked for Home Instead and spoke highly of the company and the CAREGiver job.

“I decided to really dive into this Home Instead CAREGiver position during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic because I felt the importance of seniors needing assistance while many of them were moving out of facilities and into homes for safety and an escape from the isolation. I have been so appreciative of this opportunity to work with seniors hands-on and gain a better perspective on what it means to genuinely care for someone who is not your own,” Alise said.  

Alise is happy she is able to serve her Home Instead clients during many different kinds of days, which come with changing moods, likes and dislikes. “That has allowed me to gain a deeper insight for who our clients are as a whole. As a result, I am able to see things they’ve done throughout their lifetimes, such as marriages and having families, careers, college paths and traveling, and learning about their favorite things. By that, I mean favorite books, foods, colors and everything else,” said Alise, who is known for taking an intense interest in each client. That endearing trait has drawn attention from clients, their families and the Home Instead staff.  

While announcing Alise had been honored as the Home Instead franchise’s March CAREGiver of the Month, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: “Alise is positive, professional and poised. She demonstrates excellence both in her direct care to her clients and in her leadership within the care team. We are very proud of her! Her statements about what she loves about being a CAREGiver illustrate a lot about her heart and her character. Alise is studying to be a telemetry nurse, and she will be great one.”

Alise enjoys her time with the Home Instead clients, and she has “quite a few favorite stories” when it comes to reflecting on her experiences. “One of my most memorable experiences is shopping with a client. Helping her into my car, going for a drive and simply getting out of the house meant everything to her. I could see it in the expression on her face and the inflection in her voice,” Alise said. “There is a husband and wife, a kind couple who live in a quaint, memory-filled farmhouse. They were the very first couple with whom I had worked, and I continue to work with them every weekend. I am forever appreciative of their kindness and ability to make me feel like I belong.”

Alise worked with a former client who was recovering from a back surgery, and every morning Alise would make him coffee, eggs, bacon and potatoes with plenty of salsa. Alise said: “This client was unique because I felt when I spoke, he really listened to me. We watched movies while he finished breakfast, and we would rate the movies 1 to 10 on how much we liked them. Before his afternoon nap, I would always give him a large bowl of ice cream in his bed. I will never forget his sweet old dog, Blaze.”

Alise savors the time she spends with Home Instead clients because she said: “Most of them often don’t have anyone with whom to talk or anyone who truly listens. I find it fulfilling when I can be both of those things for a client. I’m lucky to work with them. They make it extremely easy to be kind and understanding. Having built a relationship with each of them makes going to work refreshing and exciting. I don’t work at my job with the goal of earning accolades, but the CAREGiver of the Month honor made my week. I am so excited to be recognized.”

 All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (720) 890-0184 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.