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October 31, 2020

Ally Wins Over Challenging Client

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Ally

Ally Wins Over Challenging Client


It was no small matter when Ally Arnaiz made a favorable impression on a fastidious new client. A care coordinator at Home Instead Senior Care® immediately notified Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews, who advocated for Ally's October CAREGiver of the Month honor.

Rianne shared the client's quality-assurance feedback with the rest of her Home Instead team: "Ally Arnaiz has won the respect of one client. Before trying Home Instead, the client had used multiple agencies. The client came to us very picky about her care, schedule and CAREGivers. In the client's words, 'Ally is very bright, and she is just a joy to work with. If we ever want to change anything we just "make a plan." She is very positive, even-tempered and kind. She just knows what has to be done. I think you should give her a raise because most people I have had in my home sit there like a post and do nothing. I am very happy with your company so far. Moreover, you are the first one to call me to check in to see how things are going.' "

Rianne added: "Ally has made this impression with a different client and his family too. She truly 'sets the bar' for CAREGivers and reaches out to us in a very gentle and kind manner if things don't look right to her in regard to the entire CAREGiver team performing as the family might like them to."

Ally was honored eight months after she joined owner Michael Lammers' award-winning Home Instead Senior Care franchise of Boulder and Broomfield Counties in February 2020. "I returned to Colorado after traveling to see family on the East Coast for three months. I was having a hard time finding a job as a restaurant server during the holidays," Ally recalled.

"During my travels, I had spent a month taking care of my grandmother, so I figured I'd open up my options. Home Instead was the first job listing that came up, and I was on the phone with the office just an hour after I applied online. To restate for emphasis, my only caregiving background had been with my grandmother." Ally studied environmental science at New York City's Pace University in Manhattan for two years and later took creative writing classes for a year at Nassau Community College on Long Island.

When working with a client who is very particular, Ally explained, she first steps back and realizes how disempowering and frustrating it is for a senior who cannot function as he or she once did. Ally added: "This is true from the way they arranged their homes to errands and meals. So many people don't have the energy or capacity to do things for themselves any longer. Even if they have us there to help, it's still hard to relinquish total control."

Senior-care skills are important when helping clients, but Ally pointed out: "Compassion is the cure to any difficult situation. It is the key to making someone feel seen and cared for, and getting the job done in just the right way. We are only human, so we will make mistakes when caring for people. The best thing to do is acknowledge a mistake, apologize and make sure we try our best to do things differently next time."

Establishing relationships and becoming like family are important CAREGiver qualities, too. "Getting to know what is important to the client in general and figuring out their day-to-day routine, I feel, makes them pleased to work with you. Sooner or later, your days together can be seamless. But you must remember every shift can't be perfect. What I love most about caregiving is knowing the amount of stress I take off my clients' families," Ally said.

Ally described her favorite memory: "My client began singing the original Chiquita banana television commercial song to me while she ate her cornflakes and sliced bananas. This client has so many songs, jokes and riddles, but that one really brightened my day."

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of in-home services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call 720-432-4956. For further information, visit www.homeinstead.com/397/home-instead-senior-care