Like Mother, Like Daughter March 15, 2017
For Dolores and her mother, Hortensia, caregiving has played a major role in their lives. Hortensia loved her children deeply. Later in life, she was also a homecare worker for older adults. Dolores recalls a chance meeting with the granddaughter of one of the elder woman Hortensia cared for through her final days. The granddaughter remembers to this day how lovingly Hortensia provided care for her grandmother.
Today, Dolores works as a Consultant for Casa Latina. She has helped developed a homecare curriculum in Spanish, and has provided several homecare training’s to Latino immigrants. This training includes understanding the principles, duties and proper procedures for adult home care.
The life of family caregivers can present many challenges. When Hortensia needed care in her later years, there was never any doubt that Dolores and her three brothers would care for their mother the best they could. They wanted to assure she was healthy and safe in her home, while providing her the independence she desired. All four of Hortensia’s children had learned, through the Latino culture, respect for elders.
When Dolores desired to work towards a Masters Degree in Gerontology, she chose to study in Seattle, instead of taking educational opportunities elsewhere that would separate her from caregiving responsibilities. After graduation, she accepted positions in health education for the City of Seattle and Public Health – Seattle King County. Although she had other career opportunities, Dolores often needed to step away from employment in order to ensure her mother’s proper care. For Dolores, it was an easy choice as she fondly recalls making the decision to prioritize her work and family life. “My brothers and I were there to care for our Mamá, as she had lovingly cared for us all our lives”. It was our obligation and desire.” The family went above and beyond to provide in-home care for Hortensia because they did not want to place her in a nursing home.
“Our older adults deserve the best of care, until the very end of their lives, and, at the same time, our homecare workers deserve optimal working conditions and pay.” Dolores is now caring for her partner as he navigates age-related health conditions. Knowing well, the importance of qualified homecare workers, Dolores is concerned how other adult children are going to pay for their family’s care in later years. By sharing her story, Dolores desires to be part of the solution through the State of Washington’s States Milliman Report