2017 Caregiver of the Year | West Region

Olivia Michel

West Region

Van Nuys, CA Office

The clients’ family said it best. “You learn that caregivers are born, and they’re not made. Without a doubt, Olivia has that quality.” Olivia Michel’s compassionate, professional care have made it possible for one elderly couple to stay exactly where they want to be – home.

Nomination Letter

Written by Carol M., daughter of Olivia's clients

Olivia is one of a team of 4 caregivers that takes care of my parents, 24 hours per day. My father is 95 years old. He has prostate cancer, and suffered a fall with hip replacement last year. My mother is 84, is in good health but has some memory lapses. BrightStar homecare service began when my dad came home from the rehab center after his hip surgery approximately 10 months ago. My parents are able to live in their own home and function very well with the help of BrightStar — we are so grateful.

Olivia cross-trained at the rehab center and has been with my parents from the beginning. She is on the day shift, and is very active with both parents. My parents have been living independently for a very long time and are not used to having anyone in their home to assist While my dad generally accepts and appreciates the assistance and help of his caregivers (with reminders regarding his hip precautions, etc.), it was very difficult for Olivia to be "accepted" by my mom. Olivia has a very gentle manner, always suggesting where she can help, and is very good to include my mom in meal prep and other areas where my mom can contribute. Over time, Olivia has won my mom over, and she is now considered a key member of their household. We really appreciate Olivia's patience and persistence and calmness in working with both my parents. My mom is so happy with Olivia's assistance that Olivia has expanded her role to help Mom with her meds, help Mom with grocery list preparation and laundry, and other areas in support of my parent's home life.

Olivia is very professional. She calls my parents by their preferred names, always tells them what she is doing, asks permission to do things, asks my parents their preferences for food, how they want things done, etc. I think this is critical in being a successful caregiver she makes my parents feel they have control over as many things as they can. Also, Olivia dresses very professionally--she always wears a uniform. She conducts herself very professionally at all times; we admire her professional manner in the home and outside the home when dealing with other team members and medical staff she encounters. Olivia is super dependable and lets us know in advance when she has time off, etc.

As Olivia has been able to take on more roles with my parents, she has become a key advisor for me in my role in supporting my parents. I frequently text or phone Olivia to check on my parent's health status, confirm upcoming doctor visits, confirm shipments of key health or personal care items to the house, or advise of vendors that are scheduled to be at the house, etc. Olivia is always responsive and helpful. In addition, I schedule and accompany my parents to all their doctor appointments, and my husband and I visit my parents once a week. Olivia always accompanies me to my Dad's appointments, and takes care of him should he need anything on the trip. She also contributes to these appointments by answering the doctor's questions if they need to know something specific about my Dad's daily regimen or personal care. Having Olivia attend these visits is invaluable in helping to communicate the current state of my Dad's health and in maintaining his health. Also, Olivia is inquisitive and wants to know anything that will impact my parent's health and well-being.

Probably the best thing we appreciate about Olivia is her commitment to my parents, and how observant and pro-active she is. Olivia frequently makes suggestions on how we can improve my parent's situation. For example, Olivia suggested and purchased a support handle to use in helping Dad get in and out of the car to attend doctor appointments. This has greatly facilitated this process. Also, we had one situation occur where something happened to Dad on another shift and we had not been advised of the incident — Olivia notified us of the incident and advised us to contact the BrightStar team to get the 'details so we could work to prevent a recurrence in future. As a result, we have implemented monitors, call buttons, bed alarms, etc. to help my Dad be safe transferring in and out of bed --- Olivia has been very helpful in suggesting and assisting us to implement these items. We appreciate Olivia's pro-active suggestions and rely on her to help maintain my parent's optimal health and well-being. We feel very fortunate to have Olivia as my parent's caregiver and are happy to recommend her for Caregiver of the Year.