How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Depends on if that pin has room for all of the angels who are busy cooking, cleaning, shopping and the occasional trip to Lubbock.
Sometimes you just need a helping hand, and professional caregivers are there to help. Proving that giving does not always just mean volunteer work, employees with Caring Angels LLC and other similar agencies dedicate their careers toward helping others. Non-medical home health care is a growing trend across the country, and Carlsbad is no exception.
Beth Jensen is the primary caregiver for Robert and Velma Brown. She visits the Brown home nearly every day and helps Velma in her wheelchair.
“Because, ultimately, any one of us can be in her shoes,” Jensen shared about Velma, noting that activities over the past three years have included exercise, doing hair and makeup, shopping at Bealls and even taking trips out of town. Robert teases her as if she is family, and Velma seems to love the extra companionship.
“There isn’t anything I don’t like about coming out here,” Jensen smiled.
“We’re looking for people who have a really kind heart and a heart for giving to other people,” explained Caring Angels owner Ashley Bock.
Day to day caregiving includes cooking, cleaning, dressing, bathing and helping customers get to doctor appointments. Training is provided to new employees.
Onetia Rios, a former caregiver who works out of Bock’s office, said she enjoys the career because it involves helping others.
“For some clients, they just need companionship,” she reflected. “You become like family to them and they become family to you.”
Even though Rios now works out of the office, she said she still enjoys visiting with clients and finding ways to improve on services provided.
While most of the clients are elderly, there are additionally a few younger clients on disability. Some clients may receive caregiving treatment for a few weeks following a surgery. Some caregivers employed by Caring Angels are actually assisting their own family members. The program is funded through a combination of Medicaid, long term insurance and private funding.
The hours a caregiver will spend helping a particular client are dependent on need and what Medicaid offers in a particular case. Bock said home care services have grown over the past decade. Caregivers can help with nearly anything, with the exception of providing medical assistance.
Many families, with aging parents, see home care as a way to bolster the level of support they can provide while also taking care of young children and meeting career obligations.
“People are really starting to see it as necessary, especially as baby boomers are aging,” Bock stated.
Bock said her company has been in business for four years under its current name, but came out of a previous company that had been open for a decade. Her administrator, Tammy Lowe, plays a critical role in managing the company.
Bock stays active as a volunteer as well, and serves on several boards through the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. She coordinated the Chamber’s recent Health Fair and is also part of the Carlsbad Department of Development through Bock Electric. She’s also on the board of directors of the Anti-Drug and Gang Coalition and volunteers through First United Methodist Church.
And she’s impressed daily by the compassion of her caregivers, who are always willing to go above and beyond simple employment responsibilities.
“I know of one caregiver who had a client who lived catfish, so she (the caregiver) and her kids caught a bunch of catfish and prepared them,” Bock recalled. “They are always doing extra things to help. They go way beyond.”
You might say that every time a caregiver helps someone out, an angel gets its wings.