Right at Home’s Northeast Region Caregiver of the Year Elevates the Field
Most people don’t begin their careers on a path that feels like destiny. The lucky ones find their right path and embrace it wholeheartedly.
“I was working in a factory, but I knew it wasn’t for me,” Ines Andrade-Soares said. “I was taking care of my grandparents and going to school. I take care of people—it’s my whole world.”
More than five years ago and fresh out of school, Ines started as a caregiver for Right at Home Boston Southwest. She was a bit nervous and quiet, but all of that would change and culminate in her being honored as Right at Home’s 2021 Northeast Region Caregiver of the Year.
“She has grown into a very capable caregiver with great skills and is genuinely helpful when she works with new caregivers and clients,” said Jim and Sandy Pellegrine, owners of Right at Home Boston Southwest. “Ines has developed a confidence that she did not possess when she started. She has been very eager to learn, which has really elevated her abilities.”
Safety is always a priority for families and caregivers, and Ines is no exception.
“Safety is Ines’ primary concern and she is always looking out for her clients’ safety, especially when transferring or ambulating a client,” said Helen Dewey, an RN at Right at Home Boston Southwest. “Recently, she transferred a client four times during my visit. She can recognize when the client is having a bad day or is weaker and plans accordingly with safety measures.”
Ines has the innate ability to make clients and their families comfortable due to her sense of humor, combined with her confidence. Her clients and co-workers have always had very positive things to say about her and her abilities. One of Ines’ clients, Jason, appreciates her bright attitude and credits her care with allowing him to stay at home.
“Ines has made an amazing difference in my care,” Jason said. “Her thoughtfulness, dedication and ability to always brighten up the day no matter how I might be feeling are special talents and are not qualities all caregivers have. I am an extreme fall risk and she takes my safety very seriously, doing all transfers with great care. She has been a godsend in helping me to live my days at home to the fullest and avoid a nursing home. This allows my family to still participate in work and school.”
As a caregiver who worked with Ines, Alexandra Casado knows firsthand why she is so successful—hard work and her ability to build relationships.
“Ines is amazing—all of her clients love her!” Alexandra said. “We worked together for a long time, and she is a hard worker. Even though we don’t work together anymore, every month or so we talk on the phone to catch up.”
Tenacity Pays Off
Much of Ines’ success as a caregiver can also be attributed to tenacity. She worked with a client who had suffered a brain injury and was paralyzed from the waist down. For months, Ines persisted with her client, helping him complete his daily physical therapy exercises. She came up with ways to motivate him, and in conjunction with his physical therapist and wife, they got the work done day after day.
“Months were passing, and once in a while, Ines would call the office with a new accomplishment that her client had completed, and when the nurse went out to visit, she came back beaming at the progress they were making,” said Leigh Renfro, Client Care Coordinator at Right at Home Boston Southwest. “The client’s wife called one Monday morning—she was choked up, and I started anticipating terrible news. On the contrary, she blurted out, ‘Ed was able to walk my daughter down the aisle and dance the father-daughter dance at the reception this weekend! He did it! We all did it!’”
Elevating the Field
There is no doubt that great caregivers come from all different backgrounds, but kindness, a willingness to learn and resiliency have been common character traits among many standout caregivers.
“We have some good caregivers, some great caregivers, and every so often, you get a caregiver who just elevates the field to a whole new level,” Jim and Sandy said. “Ines is the latter, and we are honored to have her on our team.”
For Ines, it’s pretty simple. She tackles caregiving just like everything else.
“I see my clients as my family,” Ines said. “When I do things, I do them with all my heart.”
Ines isn’t one to seek glory. She admitted she had kept the award quiet from all but her husband for quite a while, and she is adamant that she shares this award.
“I am proud of our team,” Ines said. “We always work as a team. This award isn’t just for me—it’s for our team.”