“As the youngest of the family, I watched my mom care for everybody else —five children, my dad, and now, all the grandchildren,” says Joanne Pesce, daughter of Aleta Pesce. “I will always remember when both of my mom’s parents received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and they moved into our home. Then my dad’s mother received the same diagnosis, and my mom took care of them all until they passed away.”
Aleta Pesce grew up in the household of a Baptist minister. She was raised to respect and take care of her elders — her grandparents, aunts and uncles. When her mother showed signs of dementia, she stepped in to help with her mother’s care.
Tending to her mother further fostered Aleta’s kind and empathetic nature, and she found her calling in advocating and caring for seniors who live with memory loss. Aleta joined Right at Home Orange County six years ago as a caregiver, supporting the elderly to age in place in her community.
Family Caregiver Pursuing a Career in Home Care
“Aleta is a gift from God,” says Vernon Atwood, owner of Right at Home Orange County. “She is one in a million, the ‘quintessential caregiver’ who is loving, concerned, collaborative and competent in the art of caregiving. Aleta sees the big picture of what’s going on with a client and their family dynamics. She places herself in their shoes and is able to think and provide care like a loving daughter would.”
Vernon’s testimonial of Aleta echoes that of her clients’ families, who consistently have described Aleta as respectful, kind, empathic, knowledgeable and thoughtful. “Aleta spends most of her time being with Mom because she really does love Mom and wants to brighten Mom’s day,” says Sarah**, daughter of a client.“To make Mom’s day more pleasant, Aleta would look at old photo albums with her and ask about the story of each person. We love Aleta!”
“The last couple of years have been hard for my grandma, but Aleta understands the balance between mental and physical health,” continues the client’s granddaughter. “Aleta takes care of my grandma as though my grandma were her own mother. Aleta is always doing kind things for my grandma— like taking her to the beauty salon before a special outing so she feels special and beautiful, helping her write and mail birthday cards, and picking out thoughtful gifts for her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Aleta has become a well-loved addition to our family.”
The Caring Family: Two Generations of Professional Caregivers
Aleta’s love for others is obvious while at work and outside of work. “One of my fondest memories of Aleta is when I first started working with her,” says Lisette Lira, Care Lead at Right at Home Orange County. “My mom passed away, and being the caring person Aleta is, she wrote me a beautiful ‘thinking of you’ card on Mother’s Day to tell me how proud my mom would be of me. Aleta’s thoughtfulness and heart of gold are what make her special. She is a friend who is always willing to go the extra mile for those around her.”
Aleta’s caring nature touches the people around her every day. In fact, her three daughters — Joanne Pesce, Victoria Dominick and Hannah Pesce — were inspired by their mother to pursue a career in caregiving.
When asked about her approach to care, Aleta said, “When I take care of my clients, I always think about how I would want my mother and father to be treated. I love being a caregiver of the elderly. I enjoy hearing their unique stories; they all have a story to tell. When I am with my client, I feel God matched us together, and in everything I do I need to please God by caring and loving for each client as the Lord would want me to.”
** The names of the client and family have been changed to protect the client’s privacy.