Caregiver Spotlight: Marcos Galvan
Meet Marcos Galvan, Executive Care Manager at Helping Hands Group! Marcos’ attention to detail and aptitude for healthcare greatly contribute to his excellence as a caregiver. Moreover, his willingness to commit one hundred percent to his client’s care is exemplary. He considers himself part of his client’s family, and affirms, “As a caregiver, you learn to appreciate family. You become a part of that.”
Marcos works full time providing care and managing the care team for one of our 24-hour clients, and has been with the company for three years. Marcos joined Helping Hands after a 25-year career working offshore on the oil platforms. He began working as a caregiver when his wife Blanca, who is also part of the Helping Hands team, began her studies in law school and needed more caregivers to help with her client Gina. After covering a few shifts, and finding that he was a good fit at Gina’s, Marcos became part of the permanent care team there. Marcos is extremely grateful to his wife for showing him the ropes of caregiving and always supporting him.
Marcos’ most memorable moments as a caregiver have been his adventures with Gina. She loves going for picnics and on drives to look at houses around Santa Barbara. On one drive up on the Riviera, Marcos and Gina discovered the “frog shrine” there—a section of a wall covered with hundreds of frog figurines, toys, and decorations. They were so taken with the shrine that they decided to add a frog of their own, with their names on it.
Marcos and Gina have also gone up to the cross on the hill in Ventura, driven by Michael Jordan’s house, gone to see horses in their stables at an open house on Padaro Lane, and even sneaked into the gated community of Ennisbrook to check out the ultra-fancy homes there. Marcos recalls that on that day, “Gina was all dressed up in a scarf, glasses and a nice sweater. We had just come from the doctor’s. She said, ‘We’ll never get in.’” But Marcos had a plan and was able to talk his way past the gatekeeper, and he and Gina drove all around exploring the neighborhood. “Those are the things you’ll never forget,” Marcos says.
There are also significant challenges in Marcos’ career, such as training new caregivers and learning from mistakes. But perhaps the biggest challenge came when Gina was bedridden after a hospital stay, and her family decided that if she didn’t start walking, they would move her to a facility. Helping Hands owner Rick challenged Marcos to get her walking within a week, and Marcos had her walking in three days.
Another important factor of Marcos’ job is working with a client who has dementia. “The challenge is learning how to evolve with the dementia,” he explains. In the beginning, Gina was just a bit forgetful. “She would help me with my homework,” Marcos notes. (He takes classes at SBCC’s Center for Lifelong Education.) As the dementia progresses, things are changing. For a while, Marcos says, “she always thought I was her husband Peter—she would tell people, ‘that’s my husband back there.’” Marcos continues to adapt his care techniques as Gina’s needs change.
Outside of caregiving, Marcos enjoys hiking, mountain biking, going to the gym, and—most importantly—being with his wife and being part of the community and making people happy. He especially loves to cook and barbecue—he even took on a project at his daughter’s school, revamping the barbecue pits. Marcos has a broad definition of what family means, and affirms, “I love being family. Family is the number one thing.”
Please help us in congratulating Marcos on his phenomenal work and willingness to go above and beyond every day! We are so grateful that he is a part of the Helping Hands family.