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September 08, 2021

Kelly Keeps Caregiving Light, Fun

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Kelly

A senior-care specialist or CNA since 1982, Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Month Kelly Rodriguez possesses a unique caregiving touch that engages her clients in a variety of unusual and fun ways. Home Instead Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: “Kelly is unfailingly positive and has an unparalleled sense of humor. If anyone could make it through a conversation with Kelly without smiling, it would be an amazing first.”

Years ago, Kelly was working at nursing home in Rockdale, Texas, when she got married. At Kelly’s wedding, a 102-year-old nursing-home resident served as the ring bearer. “All of the nursing-home personnel and facility residents were invited to our wedding. One woman resident, who hadn’t walked in two years, accepted my invitation to dance at the reception. Everyone, including her husband, was amazed,” said Kelly, who worked as a CNA for three years at the care community about 60 miles northeast of Austin.

“At that Texas nursing home, I also formed a musical band that consisted of all the residents who could play instruments, even cymbals. We performed in the town parade on an old stagecoach that was our platform. A ramp was built to get the participants up on the stagecoach.”

Kelly’s travels took her from Texas to California and then to Colorado in 2019. In California, Kelly worked as an independent caretaker for three years for the Springs of Escondido, an assisted living facility. She was privately hired by people in the facility to help with the chores of being a caretaker as well as being a companion.

“I was a CNA in California, but when I came to Colorado, I decided I wanted to be a caretaker rather than a CNA. I like the feeling of being more of a companion to my clients, rather than the medical aspect,” Kelly said. In September 2020, she joined owner Michael Lammers’ Home Instead franchise of Boulder, Broomfield and northwest Adams Counties that is based in Louisville, Colorado. In September 2021, Kelly was honored as CAREGiver of the Month.

Kelly chose Home Instead because her grandmother had used Home Instead’s services when she was in her 90s. Kelly said, “My grandmother had such wonderful care, according to my mother, that I decided to interview with Home Instead. I am especially pleased to be working for Home Instead. The office staff really cares for its employees and understands when there are things with which I need help. I hope to be with Home Instead for the years to come.”

People have asked Kelly, “Why senior care as a career?” She is quick with her answer: “Throughout my life, I have had disabilities I have conquered, and I can relate to my clients through my experience of ‘having been there.’ I love the idea of helping the elderly. They can be so misunderstood, and they can become isolated even though they have family and friends. I like listening to their stories and getting involved in their activities and interests.”

Kelly bonded with a challenging client by becoming an Ohio State University sports fan. “He was not interested in anything but Buckeye sports and got quite frustrated with other activities. Since he loved Ohio State, we watched all their games together when possible. I also learned a lot about golf from the client. He would never go to activities at his care community, but I persuaded him to try the men’s social hour. It turned out that he really liked it. He always wanted me to stay with him at those functions,” Kelly said.

“I currently have a client who is from England. Among the things with which we talk are her past life in England and her late husband, who was a successful structural designer. We laugh a lot about her two kids. Her cat Alfred waits for me at the door when I arrive and has become very attached to me,” Kelly said. “In one other surprising instance, a client knows my mother because they were piano teachers in the same organization.”

Noting that Kelly takes a special interest in each client and tries to find a bonding commonality they can share, Rianne pointed out: “Kelly is attentive to her clients and devoted to her work. Kelly is well-loved by her clients and our staff. She is even well-loved by the care-community staff members, which is not an easy feat.”

Kelly is among more than 100,000 CAREGivers worldwide, and she has helped add to those numbers because of her strong belief in Home Instead’s purpose. It isn’t hard to see Kelly lives the Home Instead principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” 

 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.