Employee Spotlight is a Homewatch CareGivers of Crystal Lakeblog seriesmeant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our local caregiving service. From office workers and owners to the actual caregivers in the field, you’ll get to hear stories from our team so you can get to know the people who makes us who we are.
Ofelia has worked as a caregiver for Homewatch CareGivers (HWCG) of Crystal Lake since May of 2015. Before starting her position at HWCG, Ofelia spent about 13 years working as a receptionist at a local hospital. She was initially drawn to caregiving because of the flexible hours and how it allowed her to still be home with her family when she wanted. However, once she started working as a caregiver, she was delighted by the relationships she made with her clients.
One example of the types of relationships Ofelia has grown to value so much was with her client “Tom”. Ofelia worked with Tom for over three years and in that time her relationship with him and his family grew from a strictly professional relationship, to a genuine friendship with trust and ease. This friendship meant that Tom and Ofelia would even chat on the phone when she wasn’t at work, and she even visited him in the hospital when his health began to deteriorate. Beyond her friendship with Tom, Ofelia said that she loved to see how her role in Tom’s life allowed him to remain living independently in his own home until his passing at age 96.
For the past year or so Ofelia has been caring for a woman living with dementia, “Mary”. She explained how each day when she visits Mary there is a routine of introducing herself and finding ways to make Mary feel safe and to nurture emotional connection. She said that she also is able to work with Mary’s family to help them better connect with her through no-verbal communication such as eye contact and touch. Not only does this help Mary and her family, but Ofelia said it has also helped her to develop greater patience and compassion in her life.
When Ofelia is not at work, she enjoys painting and gardening and has reenrolled in college during COVID and is currently working toward and associate degree. She also loves to experiment with cooking many types of food from Mexican to Asian to American. In addition to giving herself joy, Ofelia’s love of cooking is also a fun way that she likes to connect with her clients who always enjoy her creations. Ofelia has two adult children, a daughter who works in Chicago and a son who is currently at student at the University of Illinois.
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