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November 09, 2021

Caregiving at Age 10? That Was Earlene

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Earlene

At the tender age of 10, Earlene Guel became a family caregiver, a role she has never stopped embracing. “I realized I was blessed with such a great heart since I was young,” said Earlene, who has spent her past two years with Home Instead® of Louisville, Colorado, which serves Boulder and Broomfield Counties as well as northwest Adams County. “Eventually, being a family caregiver for so long made me realize I should do this kind of job for a living, and here I am,” said Earlene, the award-winning franchise’s CAREGiver of the Month for November.

Whether serving as a family caregiver or professional senior-care specialist, Earlene has experienced the roller coaster of emotions involved with serving others. She pointed out she has “lost countless numbers” of people in her life, but she knows they are in a better place. Earlene said, “Knowledge of that fact has helped me push through in my career because I learned so much and continue to do so no matter the situation. In addition to my Home Instead clients, I have many more family members to whom I have dedicated my love and heart.”

Earlene explained: “I was blessed to help my grandma at her life’s end. I also took care of my aunt in Mexico, who had cancer and needed a lot of personal care. I stayed with her for a while and dedicated myself to helping in any way possible. She fought until she sadly passed away 10 months ago. It made me aware that the little contribution of help we give to others, even if it is small, we receive an appreciation.”

Earlene’s working career began when she became a teacher’s assistant. Then she went into retail for three years before entering health care. She took courses at Emily Griffith Technical College. “I became a phlebotomist and enjoyed every minute of it, but I decided to get involved even more. I took my CNA course and joined Home Instead. I have always been a very loving person, and my love for the elderly is so immense that any time I am outside of work and see a chance to help a senior, I will do it,” Earlene said.  

Earlene’s sister Ashley introduced her to Home Instead more than two years ago. “Ashley made a very positive and amazing recommendation to Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews on my skills. Before I knew it, I had an interview and was hired shortly after. I have been with Home Instead since November 2019, and it has been an amazing experience. Being a CAREGiver has taught me to have more patience and compassion,” Earlene said.

Rianne said: “Earlene has been a steady, caring presence with her clients during her two years with Home Instead. One client notes Earlene is ‘very hard to replace’ when she is away because she is such a one-of-a-kind person and they have such a special connection. I’ve also been deeply impressed by her thoughtfulness and her empathy. She has a remarkable ability to put herself into the shoes of our clients and their families.” 

When asked what she likes most about her Home Instead job, Earlene said: “The seniors, for sure. They are all so unique, and it’s amazing to see them and realize they were impactful people when they were younger. In fact, they still are, because they can teach you so much. I feel as if I am part of a family to a senior. I am someone they look forward to seeing for a couple of hours or sometimes for an entire day. They share their life’s stories or how their day went.”

One of Earlene’s clients was gymnast at a time in history when gymnastics didn’t receive the high level of respect it does today. “She is one of the most loving ladies with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. She always has so many good things to share. Back in the day, when she was a gymnast, most people viewed gymnasts as circus-job people. Of course, the total opposite was true. I love listening to her stories about her flexibility and talent. I have several other client stories, but the best part is being able to listen to all of them. That is a blessing,” Earlene said.

The clients and their families played a huge role in the franchise’s decision to honor Earlene, who was surprised to be selected as a CAREGiver of the Month. One client told Rianne that Earlene deserved the honor “for always going above and beyond.” The client was thrilled to be told of Earlene’s award.

Earlene told Rianne: “How exciting to be selected! I’m so happy I got this opportunity. It makes my heart happy. It’s been such a great time working with the office and very rewarding because I do what I love. It is great to be part of the Home Instead family and part of the lives of the beautiful, loving seniors for whom I love to care. I wouldn’t change my job at all. But if I do make a change, I feel as if I would still be a caregiver in the family because it’s such a natural thing for me.”

 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.