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October 31, 2020

Minerva's Client "Is Like One of God's Angels"

Caregiver of the Quarter Minerva

CAREGiver of the Quarter Minerva hasn’t been on vacation in three years. Minerva cannot bear to be apart for long from her 97-year-old client for whom she serves each day of the week except Fridays. The feeling is mutual. “She misses me on Friday,” Minerva said.

“As for a vacation,  I don’t want to leave her because I don’t want her to be depressed. She lives by herself. I spend holidays with her if she needs me,” said Minerva, who has worked for nine years for the award-winning Home Instead® franchise, owned by Mechelle and David Minter, that serves central Houston.

The client is clearly special to Minerva, who said: “It’s like taking care of one of God’s angels. She is a joy and so friendly, a jewel. The client treats me as if I were her own daughter. I feel as if she is like a grandmother. We are like family. She has a son who lives in Connecticut. Even though I have Fridays off, I check in with her.”

Minerva formerly had 12-hour shifts with the client, but she now has morning hours with a routine that includes Wednesday visits to the beauty shop. Minerva is the client’s only CAREGiver. “She is in independent living and brings back meals from the dining room because they are in lockdown because of COVID-19,” Minerva explained.

“When I am not with the client, I try to stay to myself as much as possible so there is very little opportunity for infection. My client watches news channels, knows about COVID-19 and says, ‘We’ve got to be careful.’ I wipe down every surface in her apartment. Everything is sterile. I do a lot of hand washing, and I do all of the procedures that need to be followed.”

Minerva said companionship is essential for the client, especially since she has limited contact with others because of COVID-19. “We sit down and have conversations. We have girl talk. She is an interesting person,” Minerva said. “She and her husband owned a grocery store in a historically significant area where she’s been her whole life. She was married in 1945, and her husband died of leukemia in 2010. She talks to me about him. One day, as she was going through some of her belongings, she found a tie pin her husband wore in high school. I was mesmerized. She keeps those things.”

Minerva added: “She has all the love letters her husband wrote to her while he was serving in World War II. Her son compiled two books of her husband’s love letters for her. She has pictures from her dates with him. She is keeping him alive in her memories. I am keeping her alive by giving her someone with whom she can talk about her husband.”

Minerva added more spice to the client’s life this year when she showed the client how to use Home Instead’s home-care tablet. “She did not want the tablet at first, but now she does. It is remarkable she learned how to use a computer at age 97, but she is a remarkable person who is very sharp. One thing I showed her was how to view weather forecasts. She reads and browses through the tablet, and she is relaxed with it. She calls her family and friends,” Minerva said.

Minerva is comfortable with seniors. In fact, she took care of her grandmother for eight years before she passed away at age 102. “After my grandmother died, I applied at Home Instead Senior Care, and I started immediately. I love the hours, the clients and the attention to detail that makes them happy. I love helping someone who can’t help themselves,” Minerva said.

“I want to keep going as a CAREGiver. I love the office, and I love its flexibility. I will take fill-in shifts when I am able to help them. It’s a good group of people and a nice company.”

All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call {{Phone}} or apply online at https://www.homeinstead.com/582/home-care-jobs. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website at https://www.homeinstead.com/582. Our Home Instead office at 2656 South Loop West Suite 565 in Houston (77054) serves central Houston, including Bellaire, The Heights, Medical Center, River Oaks and West University.