Organization: Comfort Keepers
Why should this person be nominated? (What makes nominee unique; why should they be selected the winner of this category?
Compassionate family & professional interactive home care-giving artist
What is this nominee’s involvement in senior care or senior issues
Calm, Thoughtful Demeanor,
Sweet, Cheerful, DYNAMIC Disposition,
in Care & Giving…
for all with whom she comes in contact…seniors, team mates, family and friends.
Lorena Bartolata is the eldest of four (4) siblings. In 1990, when Lorena was 20 years of age, her youngest brother was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor with progressively-debilitating symptoms. Lorena helped her family care for her brother. In 1992, at the age of 22, Lorena fulfilled her life-long dream to become a registered nurse seeking to be more knowledgeable in providing care for others as well as provide her family with a better future. At 23 years of age, Lorena began caring for her elderly grandparents.
In 2009, Lorena’s mother passed away. Her father passed away the following year, in 2010; leaving Lorena as the eldest, in charge of her siblings. Lorena, now a wife and mother, had moved to the United States to try to secure better opportunities for her family.
In 2011, Lorena came to work with our agency, Comfort Keepers. Lorena struck our office team as someone possessing a rare degree of compassion, wisdom, experience and willingness. Lorena has been deployed to numerous clients and has covered many long hours of caregiving. Whatever has been asked of her, she most cheerfully accepts…”IF” she doesn’t let us know that she’s already realized the need and has met it! Her clients LOVE her and say that she is a member of their family. Consistently, Lorena has been a favorite of all her clients.
In addition to all of the descriptions above, Lorena is an INCREDIBLE listener. She listens intently with her heart of experience and wisdom. She very graciously provides her full attention to her clients, client family members and co-workers. She expresses great patience and thought. She very carefully and gently asks questions to verify that she understands what’s being communicated to her and to present other options. Lorena is bubbly and often she becomes animated when she speaks. Her twinkling eyes, lyrical voice, warm laugh and professional disposition put her clients immediately at ease. Lorena conveys her passion for her clients by discovering their interests, concerns, life experiences, and well-being to truly develop and give interactive care. She’s always looking for a great solution in the areas of efficiency, quality and creativity. Always a professional, Lorena’s focus is her client or coworker, rarely discussing herself. She doesn’t “shy-away” from any challenge; instead, Lorena dives in with her whole heart and mind. She makes certain that she understands the scope of the task, her available tools, then, quickly and efficiently develops an effective, logical and creative solution. Examples include engaging her client by singing their favorite worship songs together, reviewing recipes with a client, ensuring her client’s social interaction with friends at the V.A. or with employees of the local grocery store, taking the lead to inventory her client’s grocery needs for his family, optimizing use of laundry product for a client, keeping inventory for a facility-based client when the client’s limited supplies began mysteriously disappearing and communicating observations to her team and the client’s family, as well as continually observing and reporting changes in any client’s condition to her team and the client’s appropriate family members. Lorena’s energetic approach with which she tackles her work combined with her sweet, easy laughter make her a Comfort Keeper in enormous demand.
Focused on what’s best for others, Lorena cheerfully and compassionately has accommodated others needs with little-to-no notice, e.g., she’s changed her schedule for clients even going without work while her client went on vacation, covered shifts with difficult hours for coworkers on last-minute notice, brainstormed ideas and gently listened when falsely-accused by a long-standing client contact, all while faithfully working numerous hours and shifts from early morning to evening. Lorena is very easy-going; blending her bubbly and dynamic disposition with quiet and unobtrusive observation of her clients’ preferences, safety and needs. As appropriate, she gently discusses her thoughts and suggestions with her clients, client family and/or office staff.
As Lorena studies her clients’, she recommends creative ideas and solutions which enrich their mind, body, nutrition and safety. Lorena is so attuned to her clients' interests and needs. She is an Interactive Caregiving artist. Just one small example: upon meeting one of her clients and chatting with him, she discovered his German-family background and love of German foods. Lorena asked him if he would like her to try cooking some of his favorite German dishes; mind you, Lorena had never done German cooking. Her client was thrilled, he said he loved it! So, they found a German cookbook in his home and Lorena began learning German cooking. Her client and his family are completely thrilled with her for this and so many other creative and interactive solutions.
One of Lorena’s clients lives with Parkinson’s, macular degeneration, hearing loss, a history of falls and the loss of her spouse. The client’s contact summarized the client’s and his experience as follows:
“…All of the caregivers are good. But, we feel Lorena is by far the best! She and [the client] seemed to hit it off right away….”
Another client’s daughter described her family’s experience with the following comment:
“Dear Comfort Keepers: We have had the pleasure of having Lori as my father's care giver for over 2 years. I have had the pleasure of watching her interact with my dad and she is remarkable, I feel like I have another sister. I know when I am not with him, she is watching over him and I never have to worry when I am out of town. She is truly an asset to your company, her actions and mannerism are well developed and on a professional level, yet she lets in a little bit of family tenderness.
Peggy R Aguirre”
But wait there’s more…!
Lorena has managed an incredibly-demanding professional schedule all the while being very involved in her two teenage daughters’ lives, e.g., driving them safely to school each morning & evening; checking to make sure they are working diligently on their studies, coaching them on their household responsibilities, and, ensuring that as a family they attend church together weekly so they may continue to grow into beautiful and complete young ladies.
Yet,…maybe the most earth-shaking point is that Lorena has accomplished all of this while continuing to be the “parent” for her siblings most who are overseas…and being the primary care giver, guardian, counselor, and often, decision-maker for her youngest brother who SUCCESSFULLY underwent brain surgery along with other massive procedures in these past two years. The journey has been an emotional rollercoaster. The stress has been more than most could endure. Lorena has excelled through it all; facing her own deep fears for her brother, and wanting with all her heart to set the best example for her siblings and family, she has “stayed a bulwark of peace and love” through it all.
In June 2013, Lorena went home for the first time in two years to stand-in for her parents at her youngest sister’s wedding. Understandably, it was a very tender and monumental reunion with much rejoicing for Lorena and her siblings!
In summary, it has been our incredible privilege to know, observe, and serve alongside this amazing lady.
Please join us in celebrating Mrs. Lorena Bartolata as Senior Care Hero of 2013, Category: Compassionate Caregiver HomeCare.
Client Care Coordinator