A Pueblo native is willing to go the distance to care for those in need. She travels from house to house, logging over 100 miles a week to be there for senior citizens.
For years Karla Romero did it without a car, using the city bus, her trusty bike or her own two feet.
Friends she met along her bus routes were inspired by her dedication and chipped in to buy her a car.
Now she saves 30 hours in travel a week and can spend even more time caring for her 10 clients.
For Romero, it’s doesn’t matter what the task is, whether cleaning or running errands, she does it with a smile.
"Sometimes I tell her 'can you do this for me?' And she says yes, she is not supposed to, but she does it,” said client Berlinda Hendrickson.
Romero has a passion for senior citizens like 86-year-old Hendrickson. She has served as a home caregiver for over a decade.
“I do it because I love what I do. Some people might do it for the money, but I do it for them. What they can't do for themselves,” said Romero.
Working six days a week, Romero visits 10 clients. Some she helps once a week, others, everyday.
“I have two clients I actually get out of bed every morning. I will help walk them to the shower and help them get in and bathe them. Then I help them get dressed and we have breakfast,” said Romero.
Romero cleans, does laundry and groceries, runs errands and even manages medication so clients like Hendrickson don’t have to live at an assisted living facility, but instead can stay at home.
“I’m very happy. I'm very happy that she is with me all the time,” said Hendrickson.
The Pueblo native was inspired by her grandmother. She cared for the woman she affectionately called “Nana” for over six years. She passed away at the age of 99.
Now, Romero spreads that same love to other seniors who need help or simply need a friend.
Romero says the best part is just “being there for them.” After or during her chores she makes sure to sit and talk with them whether to ask about their day or learn about their past. Romero says sometimes what they need most is companionship.
“They don't have anybody at all sometimes, just you. And they are so happy to see you and you wave to them and or they wave bye when you leave, that brings them joy,” said Romero.
Romero is a caregiver for InnovAge Home Care (formerly Seniors Inc), a leading nonprofit provider of home care and support services for people as they age.
Team members offer an extensive range of home services including: personal care assistance such as help dressing, bathing, grooming; assistance with incontinence needs; meal preparation; medication reminders; transportation and errands; chores and housekeeping; assistance at appointments; non-medical post-hospital care; as well as Medicare and Medicaid advice and enrollment assistance. InnovAge Home Care also offers care 24 hours a day, seven days a week if needed.
For more information visit www.MyInnovAge.org.