In Conversation with a CDPAP Personal Assistant
This month we met Aurea Perez-Easton. We caught her at work in between zoom meetings.
Hi Aurea! Between full time care for your Mom and your work at a Senior Center, we are so grateful for your time today. What’s it like as a PA for your Mom and a Social Worker helping other seniors?
I feel like I’m such a big component of Elite. As a social worker at the Senior Center I help a lot of seniors get in touch with you guys for your CDPAP program, and I also do CDPAP hours myself for my mom through Elite.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s a long day! I start the evening before. First I prepare breakfast and lunch for Mom and plan her schedule for the next day. In the mornings, I leave for the senior center and focus on work. While I’m there, my sister looks in on Mom to make sure things are running well. After work I go home to take care of Mom and prepare everything I need to do the for the next day.
Wow. That is a lot. How do you manage it all?
She’s my mother, I love her and do what I can for her. She’s a good mom, I owe it to her.
When did you join the CDPAP program and when did you join the Elite Choice family?
It’s 3 years already since I joined Elite and the CDPAP program.
How did you hear about the CDPAP program?
Because I work at a senior center with senior citizens, I heard about CDPAP directly from Elite representatives. Adelphi and Yuri Mareshko came down and gave several great presentations about CDPAP. We talked, I asked questions for the residents, and I realized my mom could use this too!
What is your best part of the CDPAP program?
For me it’s the flexibility, it can fit around my schedule and at the same time, Mom’s cared for and I can still do what I love. My mom is post-stroke and needs full time care. I’m old school a little and I love the way the girls at Elite are always available anytime before 6 pm. They’re just fantastic women working there - always willing to go beyond what they need to do to help out. If they need some time, they’ll say, “I can’t do it now, can I get back to you about that?” I love that!
What is your most challenging responsibility?
Right now, my Mom’s care is hard because she’s basically bedridden. On the clock or not, I’ll be there for her, but it is challenging. She just got out of rehab 3 weeks ago and the balance is hard too. I give my all at work and at home.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of the day?
I’m running around all day, even the weekends. It’s good to know at the end of the day, everything got done as best as I could do it. Really for me to unwind it’s just relaxing. I like to sit and watch a good program.
What’s your Mom’s favorite food?
Shrimp! She likes to go to City Island.
What do you love to do together?
Mom likes to listen to old music. It brings her back to her days with Dad. She likes to talk about the past. We chit chat about good things and the old days when Dad was still alive.
As a dedicated caregiver, what kind of support do you have that keeps you going?
My husband. He’s based out of LA and travels back and forth. When he comes down, I do things with him. We challenge each other with new things and new ideas.
If there’s one thing you could tell others about CDPAP, what would you tell them?
It’s a great program. There’s flexibility with the hours and you’re able to take care of a loved one - family or friend. You can do things for them and still get paid and take care of what you need to do. It puts money in your pocket to support yourself and possibly the person you love.
Thank you, Aurea! We send you our best wishes as you care for your mom and your clients. Stay tuned for the next glimpse into the people of Elite Choice!
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.