November marks a tremendous season were we can join together and celebrate some amazing individuals who make LSS-SW proud.
Our Luminaria In Home Care program currently employs over 430 caregivers in ten counties, who dedicate their time and energy to helping older adults and individuals with disabilities have a better life.
This work is a vital part of our mission:
- Seniors are Arizona's fastest growing age group, and will make up one quarter of the population by 2020.
- Nursing homes in Arizona cost nearly $85,000 a year, however, Arizona's elderly live on an average income of $15,300 for single seniors, and $22,653 for couples - slightly above federal poverty level.
- LSS-SW is one of the only nonprofit in-home care service providers in Arizona.
- Caregivers provide services such as personal care, assistance with daily activities of living, housekeeping, transportation, companionship, and skill development.
- The comfort of familiar surroundings and social connections, along with supportive services, promotes better physical, emotional and mental health for our beloved seniors.
While the needs are clear, the compassion and dedication of these workers is easily overlooked. Below are stories of just a few of our caregivers. Please join us in uplifting all of our caregivers, and letting them know how much they are appreciated.
Special thanks to our Regional Directors Rebecca Johnston and Linda Manjarrez, and Care Coordinators for writing the stories for this issue: Bertha Arias, Jason Browne, Alicia Clark, Kathryn Coit, Nikki Commans, Maria Ibarra, Danielle Johnston, Sarah Rojas, and Shannon Romberger.
10 Years with LSS-SW
Amy sees six clients monthly while also caring for her 30 year old son, Trevor, six days a week. Trevor was born with spina bifida. He is completely paralyzed from the knees down and semi from the waist down. He has a cognitive delay and needs assistance with everyday living.
Amy is a very hard worker and is dedicated to going above and beyond for her clients. She treats all of her clients with respect and dignity.
2.5 Years with LSS-SW
When Anibal is sent to a home to provide services, the members request that he is never removed. He has a very positive attitude, and is very respectful. We are very proud to have him as a provider, especially given the fact that we do not have many male providers in this field. He warms the hearts of those he serves.
6.5 Years with LSS-SW
Bertha Robles is a hard worker and dedicated employee. Bertha not only works with our elderly clients, she also providesexceptional services to our clients with developmental disabilities. She has an easygoing personality and a big heart.
7 Years with LSS-SW
Cruz Cota has been with Luminaria Home Care since 2009 and has exceptionally served many of our clients in Cochise County. She always maintains a positive attitude and never forgets that her work day in and day out makes a difference to clients in our community.
2 Years with LSS-SW
Diana's clients love her and appreciate her hard work and flexibility in working with their schedules. She lovingly takes care of approximately 24 clients a month at this time. Diana is amazing! And I'm thrilled to have her as are her clients who have stated:
I like everything about her. I think the world of her. Don't ever replace her! - Pat H.
She is very friendly kind and a very nice person. - Rosemary W.
She is very constructive, satisfactory and helpful with problem solving concerns in my home. - Andrew C.
She's excellent!! You couldn't ask for a better person.- E.T
Jules V. Osher
1 year with LSS-SW
Caregiving is not all about who can clean house the best. It's not just about who can finish the job the fastest. It's not even about being a gourmet cook. It is about reliability, trustworthiness, dependability and - especially - about heart. This is where Jules shines. Client reviews often include the statement, "Jules is a jewel!"
Recently one of his clients called, in tears because she had been ill and had made a very unpleasant mess on the floor. Not only was this embarrassing for her, the odor in her home was unsanitary to say the least, and this was a fall risk for her. She had already received all her service hours for the month.
One phone call to Jules resolved it. "I don't live far from her at all," he said. "I'll be there in ten minutes and happy to assist."
This is Jules' constant attitude. "I continue to enjoy the opportunity to learn about, know and assist various interesting people," he said, "and the valuable experiences working with other caregivers at Luminaria." Jules also continues to learn and grow through computer and writing classes and happily shares what he is learning there with his clients.
Did I mention that Jules just turned 90 years old???
9.5 Years with LSS-SW
Jason Browne, Care Coordinator for Luminaria Homecare, remembers meeting Mrs. Gallego back in August of 2009. She came into the main office to inquire about a client and ran into me while I was receiving orientation. She asked, " You work here?!", surprisingly I responded ,"Yes I do, I'm new here-My name is Jason," to which Mrs. Gallego with her huge infectious smile, quickly replied, "What's up baby!?" Ever since then, we have had a great work relationship and I feel privileged to work with such a great inspirational spirit and one who is willing to impart such love and compassion to everyone she encounters. All the clients that Letty provides services for feel and have related the same sentiment:
Letty is very compassionate - Carolyn D
She has a heart of gold! -Cindy W
She takes excellent care of me!- MaryAnn S.
Maria Elisa Lopez
Santa Cruz County
6 Years with LSS-SW
Maria Elisa Lopez is a stunning care provider for Luminaria Home Care in Santa Cruz area. Elisa enjoys doing her job by always showing it with a smile. Elisa is always willing help out in any area, does her job with compassion, dedication and joy. She touches the life of every member she provides services for. Her clients enjoy her coming into their home and helping them out. Thank you, Elisa for always giving it your 100%-ALWAYS!
Maria L. Herrera
14.5 Years with LSS-SW
Maria is kind, caring, dependable and goes above and beyond to please and keep her clients happy. Here are just a few things her clients have to say about her:
"I look forward to seeing Maria each week, she makes me feel alive, and she is funny, full of energy, energy she transmits every time she is here."
"We would like to say thank you to all the Maria's out there. Without people like Maria, I would not have anything to look forward to each week."
"Home care services mean my independence and dignity to stay in my home in my final days, with my family and friends nearby. This means the world to me. Maria helps me in nearly every aspect of my daily life."
Thank you Maria for carrying out our mission, your work is greatly appreciated!
2 Years with LSS-SW
Nereida Castro is an outstanding family attendant caregiver. She has taken care of her son Mark, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, for his whole life, 46 years. The severity of Mark's cerebral palsy means that he cannot eat by himself, go to the restroom by himself, or many other things that most people take for granted. He is non-verbal, but can still communicate with people through his augmentative communication device and also by spelling words through a divided alphabet.
7 Months with LSS-SW
Rachel always does an excellent job with all of her clients. Mrs. Delpha Duffle is happy to have her in her life she is a part of her family. I am so proud to say that she is one of our caregivers. Thank you so much for your support in our elderly community and the love they receive from you every day.
A LSS-SW board member recently shadowed Rachel and said "Not only is our work very important and in great demand, but we seem to be among the best, if not, THE BEST at doing it. "
5 Months with LSS-SW
Robin was hired in June as a direct care worker because of her enthusiasm for caregiving and some unique personal health and family experiences that make her especially empathetic to our clients. She subsequently accepted the new position of Program Support Specialist for the Prescott Valley and Verde Valley area, which includes being a "floater" for clients throughout this region who are not currently assigned or whose caregiver calls in sick. Therefore, she meets and serves more clients than a routine caseload - and they all want her to be their regular worker!
Client comments such as, "My floors look even better than when I moved into the apartment," "She just jumps right in and takes care of whatever needs to be done," "I felt completely safe taking a shower for the first time in a long time," and "Why can't she just keep coming for me?" are common, Robin is always willing to adapt her schedule to meet even last-minute needs. Robin studied to be a physical therapy assistant. Also, she has an adult son with developmental disabilities; her knowledge in this area and her passion for advocacy are invaluable.