Caregiver of the Year 2016 Finalist

Elsa Salguero

Midwest Region

Wheaton, IL Office

Elsa’s feature video:

Nomination letter from the client:

My late husband suffered a severe stroke in May of 2015. In September, I contacted BrightStar about a caregiver when he returned home in October. Elsa Salguero was one of the caregivers that came to the nursing home to learn about his needs. She quickly became his favorite caregiver. His stroke left him unable to speak, but he and Elsa became fast friends and developed their own communication system. When she arrived at our home each day, he beamed. We both looked forward to her arrival each day. She was always cheerful and intuitively knew what he needed. Having him at home presented many challenges that would have been unsurmountable without having Elsa as a caregiver. She faithfully followed his care plan, and often offered helpful suggestions on ways to improve his care. She often went over and above what was expected, such as taking him for long walks in his wheel chair, playing games with him, reading him the paper, and making his exercises stimulating and fun. Because of the level of care that was needed, I was concerned about leaving him. Only when Elsa was there, did I feel that I could run my errands or take a personal break to spend needed time with friends and family. When Elsa became available to work full time, I jumped on the opportunity to hire her. Taking care of a stroke victim can be difficult especially when they are unable to communicate well. Elsa never got frustrated and stayed calm and cool. While he was home, he had several health issues that did not phase Elsa. He had pulled out his feeding tube, and had pneumonia. When he was hospitalized she visited him, and because of her excellent care, he was able to come home. Last week he took a turn for the worse and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Elsa came there to help attend to him. She was there to support the family in the end of life process. Even though my husband is no longer with us, she is providing help and companionship to me for a few days during this difficult time. Without her there, this sad time would have been so much worse. Because of her care and devotion it is easy to say we consider Elsa a member of our family. Elsa is currently enrolled in nursing school at College of DuPage, and will be an excellent nurse. Her devotion to her patients unequaled. I know the next family lucky enough to have Elsa care for them will be as blessed and thankful as we are. I cannot image a more deserving person for this Scholarship and I know she will continue to do great and wonderful things in the healthcare field.