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CAREGiver of the Month 

At Home Instead®, our success revolves around our CAREGiversâ„  – and we know it! We celebrate and recognize CAREGivers each month with our CAREGiver of the Month Award.  These CAREGivers demonstrate each day their commitment to enhancing the lives of seniors in our community and we are forever grateful for their efforts.
CAREGiver providing in-home senior care services. Home Instead of Victoria, TX provides Elder Care to aging adults.

Our Caregivers

Our Caregivers of the Month

Lisa Palmer Victoria 781 April 2022 Photo

CAREGiver of the Month - Lisa

Someone posed the question to Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Month Lisa Palmer: When did you begin caregiving? Cue the pregnant pause: Lisa thought for a moment or two, and her mind wandered back to her teenage years. “I started caregiving as a teen. That’s when I helped care for my great-grandma,” Lisa said.

That caregiving episode in Lisa’s life wasn’t buried and forgotten. Something about assisting the elderly had touched Lisa’s heart forever. “At 29 years of age,” Lisa recalled, “I was working for individuals as a private-duty caregiver and have been doing that off and on for about 20 years.”

Caregiver of the Month Emma

CAREGiver of the Month - Emma

Vivid, warm and loving images of Emma Hill’s grandmother often come to mind when the CAREGiver of the Month is helping some of her Home Instead® clients and their families. “I was close to my grandmother because she helped my mother raise me, and I lived with Grandma sometimes,” Emma recalled, explaining she was in debt to her grandmother and felt she could have never fully repaid her for the kindness and love she felt.

When Emma’s grandmother passed away Dec. 27, 2019, at age 92, Emma said, “It took a whole world away from me. She brightened every day I was with her. I called Grandma ‘Momma.’ She loved her home, but when the aging process

Caregiver of the Month Teresa S

CAREGiver of the Month - Teresa

Teresa Sauceda had just gone through a challenging family caregiving experience – one she was grateful to face – before she joined the Home Instead team.

Teresa’s mother had been diagnosed with lymphoma about a year and a half ago. She is now cancer-free, but it took a lot of hard work, a fighting spirit and a devoted daughter. Looking back on helping her mother, Teresa said: “Mom’s cancer took its toll and deteriorated her body and health. Once she was allowed to be home, it was all hands on deck. My mother is the strongest woman I know, but at her worst, she could hardly do anything for herself.”

Teresa added: “After everything she’s done for me in my life, I was more than happy to help her when she needed it most. I found myself bathing her, helping feed her and giving her medications as scheduled. I took on a greater amount of responsibilities around the house.”

Lanetheia Nene Haynes Victoria 781 January 2022 Preferred Copy

CAREGiver of the Month - Nene

CAREGiver of the Month Lanetheia “Nene” Haynes wistfully remembers crisscrossing south-central Texas with a Home Instead® client before COVID-19 appeared two years ago. During a week, Nene and her client might visit as many as three cities.

“Prior to the pandemic, we would get her hair done on Wednesdays in Nordheim, get her nails done in Cuero, then eat at La Bella Tavola in Gonzales. It was a long day, but a fun day for sure,” Nene said with her trademark grin.

“The client would always say that the longest part was driving back to Yorktown. I had to smile, because I’m not sure she was ready to go home quite yet at the end of a shift. That is something I can understand, because what I like most about my job as a CAREGiver is the fact I can get them out of their houses to do activities other than going to medical appointments. As the pandemic stretches into its third year, getting out is a little easier with such things as vaccinations and lowering infection rates. We still take all the precautions that are needed.”

CAREGiver of the Month - Diolanda

CAREGiver of the Month - Diolanda

CAREGiver of the Month Diolanda Barrientes believes she has the privilege of taking care of very important people. Yes, they are Diolanda’s VIPs. “Seniors are among the most powerful people on Earth, in my opinion, because they are the wisest and most knowledgeable people, and they have a wonderful perspective on life,” Diolanda said.

Diolanda’s compassion and empathy for people are reflected in her name, which means “God is beautiful,” and nothing is more beautiful than God’s love for his people. Diolanda has that beautiful love for seniors. She said: “I have a big heart and passion for people, no matter the age.”

CAREGiver of the Month - Clarissa

CAREGiver of the Month - Clarissa

Clarissa Garza couldn’t have known at age 18 she’d be headed toward a successful senior-care career. Clarissa thought she’d be helping her aunt and grandmother, which seemed at the time as no big deal. Once she got going with the care, Clarissa remembers the experience this way: “I enjoyed every moment with them.” She added: “As a result of that family-caregiving assistance, I’ve been doing this kind of work for going on 15 years.” 

Clarissa also liked Home Instead’s focus because she has always felt the same way. “This type of work has been my passion. I knew I would enjoy the job because I love what I do. Throughout the years, I have learned so much about helping people,” Clarissa said. 

CAREGiver of the Month - Mallory

CAREGiver of the Month - Mallory

CAREGiver of the Month Mallory Jackson grins from ear to ear when she thinks about one of her Home Instead® clients. To say he’s a character would be putting it mildly. While he has had his ups and downs, he always has been attached to Mallory and her winsome smile, which could light a room at midnight.

Mallory explained: “I went to school to be a CNA, and I worked in post-acute care for six months. I also worked at a nursing home for a year and a half while handling CNA responsibilities. I am accustomed to this kind of work that I do on behalf of Home Instead. I was working as a private-duty caregiver and with Home Instead at the same time before I went to Home Instead only. The Home Instead energy and the atmosphere was a good positive vibe for me, and the office people worked with me on my schedule. My mother was always working and staying busy, so I figured Home Instead was a good company and would keep me busy.”
CAREGiver of the Month - Lakyralea

CAREGiver of the Month - Lakyralea

Like a sudden lightning bolt that streaks across the dark sky on a humid southern Texas evening, Lakyralea Capell hasn’t wasted time making an impact. In three weeks, Lakyralea has gone from being one of the newest CAREGivers at Home Instead® of Victoria to becoming her client’s daily blessing and then to the honored status as the franchise’s CAREGiver of Month.

Just in case Lakyralea were to ever forget, her client always reminds her with a heartfelt comment: “Lakyralea, you are a blessing.” Talk of being a blessing travels both ways, as far as Lakyralea is concerned. “My client always makes my day when she calls me ‘her blessing,’ ” said Lakyralea, who has had the same client since she joined Home Instead on July 22.

CAREGiver of the Month - Shirley

CAREGiver of the Month - Shirley

Shirley Turner admits she’s uncomfortable with her CAREGiver of the Month honor. Shirley, a humble sort, insists she doesn’t know what the big deal is.

Referring to family caregiving and benevolent caregiving work, Shirley explained: “I have taken care of other people who became part of my life like my family. I have reciprocated with care for my friends’ family members. For instance, my best friend took care of my grandmother. Professionally, I love doing the job, and there are a lot of seniors out there who are in need. I’m a very caring person.”

CAREGiver of the Month - Jackie

CAREGiver of the Month - Jackie

CAREGiver of the Month Jackie Gonzalez’s client was laboring to take her last breaths, and Jackie was holding her hand while trying to provide comfort. “I prayed and prayed with her, and I quietly told her, ‘It’s OK to go. Jesus is waiting for you at the end of the gate,’ ” Jackie somberly recalled with a sigh. Not even a moment or two after Jackie had spoken, the client was gone.

“She had fought so hard. It was so sad to see her go, but I believe it was her time. I have a soft heart, and I cried because I knew I would miss her. Losing a client to death is the hard part of the job. I care for my seniors as if they were my mom or dad.”

CAREGiver of the Month - Sarah

CAREGiver of the Month - Sarah

CAREGiver of the Month Sarah Price has had an almost supernatural impact on her Home Instead® clients and their family members.

“Sarah has truly been an angel to those who are in their darkest and scariest times of their lives. I couldn’t be prouder of how she’s handled each challenge, including the biggest ones. I’m confident in saying Sarah is the perfect example of a person who will try any challenge once and not just to try once but continues to try for as long as she can. Sarah truly gives it her all each day,”

CAREGiver of the Month - Nancy

CAREGiver of the Month - Nancy

Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Month Nancy Julin remembers serving sometimes as a family caregiver for her grandmother. “Helping my grandma started me off on the path into the medical field,” recalled Nancy, who became a CNA and began her professional career at a nursing home.

Whether it is professional or family care, the challenges are as varied as the people themselves. To this point, Nancy’s toughest caregiving “assignment” was helping her late husband. “He suffered from heart issues, diabetes and high blood pressure. While I was serving as my husband’s family caregiver, I also was trying to work full time and take care of my three teenage sons,” Nancy explained. Her husband, James Allen Julin, was in and out of hospitals. Sadly, he passed away Dec. 5, 2019, at age 43.

CAREGiver of the Month - Jeanna

CAREGiver of the Month - Jeanna

Jeanna Ennels’ first family caregiving experience did not involve an elderly loved one. The care recipient had not yet reached 30. She was Jeanna’s sister.

“She is 10 years older than I am. My sister started losing her eyesight when she was in her late 20s, so that’s where it all began – my first attempt at caregiving. I was her eyes for a little while. I accompanied my sister to all of her doctors’ appointments and eye surgeries. Yes, I was there, never missing one,” Jeanna recalled.

CAREGiver of the Month - Susan

CAREGiver of the Month - Susan

“I got laid off from my former job, where I had worked since 2015. Reflecting on what had been going on, I had gone through a lot of challenges and was working while my hours were getting cut,” Susan explained. “So, I saw Home Instead online and decided to apply. After filling out the application, they were ready to send me out.”

The Home Instead office staff knew that Susan would be an asset from the beginning. Susan’s senior-care experience also has included family caregiving. “My mom had Alzheimer’s disease. It was hard, but I took care of her when I visited her in Florida. I finally had to put her in a nursing home, and she passed away in 2007,” Susan said.

CAREGiver of the Month - Tina

CAREGiver of the Month - Tina

Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Month Tina Johnson loves and admires her 88-year-old client, who thinks of Tina as a second daughter. The client has a strong faith, and she’s not afraid to share it with Tina. On one occasion, the client told Tina, “Pray with me and talk with me.” Tina explained: “She says the rosary and prays to the Lord. If she’s not talking to me, she is praying.”

Tina also pointed out that she has lots of energy. “She amazes me and is wonderful. She makes me so happy. She loves to engage. I’ve had her as a client since October, shortly after I started with Home Instead, and I’ve been with her when she was in the hospital. I love working with her,” said Tina, who is in awe of the client’s knowledge of the Victoria area and her ability to guide Tina as she drives through areas of Victoria that Tina has never seen. “The client was born and raised in Victoria."

Jenny Hernandez Victoria 781 November 2020 Photo

CAREGiver of the Month -Jenny

In the late summer of 2020, Jenny Hernandez, a registered nurse with a number of medical specialty certifications, wanted to take a break from what she called “the tedious politics of hospital care.” Through a series of online connections, Jenny met Recruiting and Retention Coordinator Maegan Coldewey of the award-winning Home Instead® franchise in Victoria.

“There was something special about Maegan that made me want to help her. For one thing, she is so sweet. I might not have taken the CAREGiver job if it had been someone else other than Maegan doing the hiring. When I talked to Maegan, I thought to myself, ‘Let me try this kind of job.’ I thought I ought to get back to practicing care just like I did when I had started many years ago and had dedicated myself to helping others. I like dealing with people the most, not administrative chains,” recalled Jenny, a registered nurse with certifications in areas such as mechanical ventilation, critical care and medication technician. 

CAREGiver of the Month - Rosa

CAREGiver of the Month - Rosa

“Winter Wonderland,” a song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard Bernhard, obviously has a seasonal theme as a Christmas song. But for one of CAREGiver of the Month Rosa Garza’s clients, it is a song for all seasons. Since it continuously loops in the 83-year-old client’s mind, Rosa uses “Winter Wonderland” as a source of comfort and companionship.

Rosa explained: “The client responds to ‘Winter Wonderland’ for many prompts. When I start humming the song, she will hum along. She forgets something that’s objectionable to her if we are humming. To get her out of bed in the morning, I start humming the song. When I hum the song, she recognizes me. It is like a cue I’m here.”

CAREGiver of the Month - Meosha

CAREGiver of the Month - Meosha

CAREGiver of the Month Meosha Dumas and her Home Instead® clients savor the times when they can share a chuckle. Meosha found a new way to laugh with her clients after she joined Home Instead of Victoria. Meosha had never seen anyone dress up for breakfast in their own kitchen. At the prompting of a husband client, that’s what happened one morning when he tried to cheer up his wife.

“The husband still shows his wife affection, and I admire that. He asked his wife about a gown he thought she might want to wear. She told him, ‘I don’t want to wear that all day.’ When he asked why, she said, ‘Because it’s a night gown, not a dress.’ With his tongue in cheek, he said, ‘Do you plan on going somewhere with your boyfriend?’ The wife said, ‘Yes.’ He grabbed a dress, showed it to her and said, ‘Here I am, where do you want to go? How about to the kitchen for breakfast?’ She said, ‘Yes!’ and smiled. He laughed, and I smiled and got her into the dress. She’d been moving slower than most days, and he had managed to make her smile. When the day starts that way, it will indeed be a good one. The point is, I’m convinced this is where I belong, helping people such as these,” Meosha said.

CAREGiver of the Month - Linda

CAREGiver of the Month - Linda

Has a Home Instead® CAREGiver ever been an answer to prayer? An 89-year-old client said CAREGiver of the Month Linda Jaramillo was.

A week after Linda started working with the client, she said God had answered her prayers by sending Linda. The client said, "I would pray to the Lord to send me someone who would be full of faith and compassion. Linda, you are my angel." Ironically, at the same time the client was praying for a compassionate CAREGiver, Linda was praying for a compatible client because she had just lost one.

CAREGiver of the Month - Alesha

CAREGiver of the Month - Alesha

Twice-honored CAREGiver of the Month Alesha Barrio and her Home Instead Senior Care® client are on the same wavelength. When Alesha walked in the door Sept. 29, she and the client simultaneously asked each other the same question: "Did you hear that Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will return next year?"

Alesha always has been an Astros fan, and so has her client – for maybe 50 years longer. "The client and I have bonded during our six to seven months together. One of those bonds is the Astros. We watch their games together. He has an iPad and gets ESPN's notifications about Astros, so that's one way he keeps current. The client knows everything about the Astros," said Alesha, referring to the Major League Baseball team about 130 miles from Victoria that has been in existence since 1962. For their first three seasons, the Astros were known as the "Colt 45s," before they became the first pro sports team to play in a domed stadium (the Astrodome).

CAREGiver of the Month - Samantha

CAREGiver of the Month - Samantha

Samantha Salazar credits her mother and grandmother for her extraordinary success as CAREGiver. "I am comfortable with seniors as a result of being around my grandma since I was a baby. Observing my mother at her job showed me how you compassionately care for seniors," said Samantha, a CAREGiver of the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria.

Samantha's mother has been a resident assistant at several care communities since she was 20.

"Mom kept building on her experiences and does very well. Sometimes she'd take me with her on the job when I was young. While she was caring for the seniors, I'd meet some of the residents and interact with them. Mom is a role model, and now she is proud of me," said Samantha, who joined the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care franchise owned by Stephanie Niles on April 20.

CAREGiver of the Month - Shana

CAREGiver of the Month - Shana

A couple of weekends.

That's all it took for a son-in-law to decide CAREGiver of the Month Shana Garcia was "The One" for his mother-in-law. … every day of the week. Shana had just started with Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria on Valentine's Day this year. Her original plan was to work as a weekend on-call specialist for the award-winning franchise owned by Stephanie Niles.

Shana began assisting the client on weekends, but quickly added weeknight shifts from 5:30 to 9. Seven days a week? "Yes, but it's fine," said Shana, a Certified Medical Assistant who works full time on weekdays from 8 to 5 for a doctors' office in Victoria.

CAREGiver of the Month - Mikayla

CAREGiver of the Month - Mikayla

For CAREGiver of the Month Mikayla Bates, a Friday shift with her client had gone normally … until it was time to say goodbye. 

“When I got ready to leave for the weekend, my client told me she wanted to come along and spend the weekend with me because she was lonely,” said Mikayla, recalling the emotional moments. “I explained it couldn’t happen, and she said, ‘Fine, I guess. Monday will do.’ When I showed up Monday, what I saw tugged at my heart. She had made a poster and a card that said, ‘Welcome home! I missed you!’ It was a great way to start my Monday.” 

CAREGiver of the Month - Anita

CAREGiver of the Month - Anita

Years ago, Anita suffered fractured neck vertebrae, a broken pelvis and other injuries during a car accident.

"It was horrible. I wore a halo for my neck injury for 72 days. But God completely healed me," Anita explained. "I realized how humbling it is to depend on someone else. It was then when I really felt, 'This is what I want to do. I want to help those who need assistance.' That thought was reinforced during my recovery. As a result of my experience of being incapacitated, I am careful to never say the wrong thing and embarrass a client."

For about 20 years, Anita held a job in workman's compensation patient care and briefly worked at an assisted living facility. In August 2019, Anita joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria after an online search. In March 2020, Anita was honored as the franchise's CAREGiver of the Month.