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Liz Zuniga

 
Liz Zuniga

Position: Caregiver

Organization: Comfort Keepers

 

What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Liz is a caregiver with boundless energy and sincere compassion. She is constantly being complimented by her clients and their family members for her personal touch and dedication. She motivates her clients to live a full life and reach their optimal health. She goes above beyond visiting her clients on her own time when they are in the hospital or rehab facility. Her impact is undeniable. She is able to restore hope and inject happiness into her clients life.


Why should this person be nominated
Liz has a unique ability to work with our Veterans. Our veteran clients can be physically and mentally challenging. These are short shifts, 3 to 4 hours, but they are physically and emotionally draining. Liz has a special way of not only meeting their needs but changing their lives. One of her veteran clients living conditions were unspeakable. She not only cleaned the unliveable 10x12 one room studio, but fixed light fixtures, repaired furniture and hand rails, and found a few used pieces of furniture to make his life more manageable. This same veteran suffers from anxiety along with parkinsons. Liz worked with him with breathing exercises and head massages which substantially reduced his anxiety. This veteran is now in a facility and still asks if Liz can stop by to say hello. Just her presence brings sunshine into the lives of our veterans.
Liz has a passion for helping people-all people. Even though she was relatively new to care giving when she started with Comfort Keepers, we immediately saw that she was/is fearless and dives in with her whole heart to help her clients. One example of this fearless compassion is the day she and I met a new Veteran with Parkinson’s. We walked around the back of the house to find him sitting in a patio chair with no seat but using a cushion to keep him from falling through bottom of the dilapidated chair. Next to him was an old card table with a rusty fan and a torn umbrella. He was wearing running shorts, no shirt and shaking so violently I couldn’t shake his hand. We stepped inside to see his 10’x12’ room that held an old couch (as a bed), a fridge and a hot plate. Liz immediately began looking for cleaning supplies and piling dirty laundry into a bag to take to laundry mat. We smiled, scrubbed and cleaned out his fridge. She re arranged his furniture to make it easier for him to move about his space and plug in a small space heater for warmth. After 3 hours of hard work and good conversation with our Veteran, Liz and I said good bye and walked to our car. Without a word, we hugged each other and let the tears flow. She was full of emotion for the lack of family support this Vet receives and joy that she gets to help make his life better. Liz has been caring for him 6 months now; she takes him grocery shopping, to the laundry mat and for Thrifty ice cream. Six hours a week, he has a bright, bubbly, wonderful caregiver to help him. This kind of dedication, fun, motivation and care that Liz brings to her clients is something that cannot be taught…wish I could bottle it!