Recently, a prospective client was looking over an Honor brochure and frowning. He looked up and said, “The photos of these caregivers all look so cheerful and professional. They’re not the real Care Pros, right? These are actors and models!”
We always get great feedback about our Care Pros. But when we heard this, we realized we had a problem. The smiling faces you see in Honor marketing materials are all actual members of our Care Team. Nope. Not models, just model caregivers.
Our solution—the CARE PROfiles, an ongoing series of interviews with stars of the Honor Care Team.
Meet Viviana Muñoz, one of the first Honor Qualified Care Pros. So good she’s now a Care Assessor, Viviana has over 8 years of experience as a professional caregiver, a huge smile, and an infectious laugh. All of her clients love her—we love her too.
How did you get into being a caregiver?
A neighbor of mine had a six-year-old daughter with Cerebral Palsy. I started babysitting for her and discovered I really loved helping people. Then I moved to caring for elderly people. I was happy and really enjoyed being with older people. And the feeling is mutual—they really like me!
Is there anything about your family or background that makes you especially passionate about this work?
Yes! I come from a really big family so my family is very close. I still have my grandparents and my great-grand parents. My great grandma is my life—I visit her as much as I can. We’ve always had a really tight, special connection. I think that’s where my love of older people comes from—incredible grandparents.
Why did you choose Honor?
I started working with Honor because I felt undervalued and not respected by the agencies that I was working for. I came across Honor online, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s been amazing.
What are your greatest joys about being a professional caregiver?
I love the smile I see on my clients’ faces when they see me come through the door. A lot of times they live alone or they don’t have family that can be with them. Not only am I able to help my clients in their everyday life but I’m also able to be their companion and friend. I can talk to them and read books and do activities that they might not normally do every day.
I encourage them to get out, be more active, and live a happier life. Seeing that happen really makes me happy.
What is your greatest challenge in this work?
How attached I get. The people you work with become like your family, and you become so close. So when you’re not able to come back for any reason or if they’ve passed on it’s really hard to leave them. That’s definitely the hardest part of my job, saying goodbye to a client after getting really close.
What’s the secret ingredient in a great relationship between a Care Pro and client?
Trust. Many older people come from a generation where you don’t let just anyone come into your home. If they haven’t ever experienced a professional caregiver, they don’t know what to expect. Sometimes people are very guarded.
Also a good personality fit. Sometimes you have to alter your personality a bit to accommodate a client. They may like someone who is high-energy and cheerful—or they may want someone who is calm and quiet. That may not be you! So you have to be sensitive to what a client wants and how they want things done.
Can you describe a particularly rewarding moment as a Care Pro?
I don’t often cook for clients. But recently, I made a very simple dish of chicken and spinach for one of my clients. And he was so appreciative. He thanked me for feeding him a gourmet meal. It was nothing—I really enjoy cooking.
Any surprising moments as a Care Pro?
Sometimes I get clients who need memory support. Of course, they have good and bad days. One day, a client will just adore you and love you and not ever want you to leave. And then the next day—because of memory conditions—they can totally switch. Case by case, you just have to go with the flow.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My home life is very busy. I love cooking and entertaining. I’m very craft-y and like to do things like refinishing furniture. Family is a huge thing for me so there’s always a family event going on every weekend.
Anything else that you’d like to share?
Honor has been absolutely the most amazing company to work with, not just in the care industry but compared to other jobs that I’ve had in the past. When I talk about Honor to my family or to people who are potentially new Care Pros, it’s so easy to talk about Honor in a good light because everything has been amazing. I feel so appreciated—I’m constantly getting a thank you.