CAREGiver of the Quarter Yvonne’s mother was a shining example of compassion and empathy. “My mother took care of the sick during her entire lifetime. She worked at a nursing home,” said Yvonne, who grew up in the Queens borough of New York.
When Yvonne was 15 or 16, she became one of her neighborhood’s babysitters. “Beyond babysitting, I did many other things to help neighbors, such as braiding hair,” Yvonne recalled. One of Yvonne’s first senior-care duties occurred when she helped her boyfriend’s mother. That eventually led to a 27-year home-care career with New York agencies.
In 2010, Yvonne moved to Houston, where two of her children live. During her first year as a Houston resident, Yvonne worked at a child-care center. That’s where she saw a Home Instead® flyer. “My daughter, who is a lawyer, notary and also works in tax preparation, helped me work up a resume, and we put it online,” Yvonne said. “One thing led to another, and I had a new job.”
Yvonne went to work for the Home Instead franchise owned by Mechelle and David Minter. Their award-winning office serves central Houston, including Bellaire, The Heights, Medical Center, River Oaks and West University. Yvonne has been with Home Instead for 10 years, and Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Kae Taylor recently announced Yvonne’s CAREGiver of the Quarter honor.
“I’ve been in this career field for 37 years total, and I love what I do. I have a love and compassion for the people whom I help. I look at them as people who have needs, not a number or simply an assignment. I worry about them and want the best for them,” Yvonne said.
“I give them their dignity and respect and allow independence as long as they are being safe or their efforts don’t seem to be too taxing. For example, I do feel I need to push a client around the house in her wheelchair because allowing her to try to do it does not seem right or prudent even if she wants to do it. You’ve got to get to know the clients’ capabilities. She doesn’t complain about her situation, but you’ve got to use common sense. A lot of this work is paying attention to detail. I figure out their routine. Seniors like to stay in routine.”
Yvonne has three primary clients, including the one who is wheelchair-bound. All of her clients love her special talent – Yvonne is known among them as “The Dancing CAREGiver.”
“I sing to my clients and dance. I love to dance,” said Yvonne, who knows there is an appropriate time for entertaining her clients and a time when she holds off. “I don’t sing and dance the minute I walk in the door because a lot of the time, the clients are just waking up. If they are cranky when they wake up, I like to give them time to get their bearings.”
For Yvonne, this is the bottom line: “I have a passion for those who need assistance. The clients are happy to see me, and that makes my heart feel good.”
All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (713) 403-2273 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.