This month’s Platinum Caregiver award goes to Maria Amezquita from our Seattle region. Regional Director, Trish McKinney, says about Maria, “It’s difficult to imagine our lives without her. She never says no to a shift, and nothing stands in her way of getting to work, including record-breaking snowfall. But more than that she approaches every task with an upbeat attitude and shows boundless compassion to her clients. She is a ray of sunshine that brightens every space she enters and her extraordinarily uplifting energy and huge smile have made her a beloved caregiver to many.”

Growing up in Mexico, Maria was exposed to the caregiver spirit and learned caregiving skills at a young age. When her grandmother was eighty she had a stroke and Maria began going to her home before and after school to help. Later, after her mother became ill with diabetes, suffered brain damage from a diabetic coma, and her father developed Alzheimer’s, Maria, at age twenty-three, became their caregiver, a task she shared with several of her siblings.

While caring for her parents, Maria also attended University and earned a graduate degree in Human Resources. She was the Director of HR in her family-owned shoe factory until economic hard times resulted in the loss of the factory. In August 2000, leaving behind the life she knew, she moved her family to Seattle where her sister had previously settled. Taking any job she could find, Maria worked at McDonald’s and cleaned houses. When one of the families for whom she cleaned asked her to work as their nanny, she agreed, and by doing so, began her return to the world of caregiving. Eventually, Maria earned her CNA license and applied to FRHC where her daughter was already working. She has been with the company for nearly 1½ years.

Today Maria works with two clients; one a fifty-two-year-old with MS and the other an elderly woman with dementia and chronic pain. The daughter of one client says, “Maria and my mom always have a laugh. Maria is also respectful and great at conveying any concerns she may have about my mom.” Another client shared that, “Maria is a professional, extremely positive and caring, and feels like a part of our family.” Clients love her and their families feel safe with their loved ones in her care.

Maria is a skilled and versatile caregiver who has cared for clients with MS, dementia, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, and hospice clients. She treats every client as she would a member of own family, with respect, professionalism, and compassion. In return, Maria is happy to be working for Family Resource Home Care. “It’s a beautiful place to work,” she says. “It is very professional, and the staff treats the caregivers with respect.”

“My passion is my job,” says Maria. “I am happy when I am helping others. It is the small things that matter most and when a client says thank-you and shows they are grateful for my help, that is all I need to feel good.”