Hi, my name is Alia. I live in San Leandro, CA and I've been a caregiver for 1 year.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my grandmother needed help taking care of my great grandmother. I was staying with my grandmother at the time and their home care nurse to come and take care of my great grandmother while she also helped. I just wanted to help and just give back to my great grandmother for the knowledge and all the wisdom that she gave me. And after doing that, it just transpired into what I wanted to do.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be open to new ways of doing things, and also just listening to your patient. Always come in with a smile on your face, because people, they really go off to your facial expressions, your vibe that you give off. So when you come in to working with a new patient, just make sure that you're happy.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I can never forget is Miss Rose. She was always so happy and she always talked about her sisters. She would be like "Aliyah, just sit down and talk. Can I talk to you for a while?" I'll say "Okay, Miss Rose." I'd sit down, she'll tell me stories about her husband and having that. And she'd just be like, "Oh, I hope you find love like this. It's hard to find, baby, but I hope you find it" and I would always just listen. And she was always just really like, "You suit this tie. You always come in here with a smile on your face." And I'll say "Yes, Miss Rose. You know I will."
One night, she says this "Aliyah, I want you to sit down and talk to me again. I got another story for you." And at the time, I would just tell her about real situations I was going through in my current life. She was just telling me "It's okay, baby. It'll get better. It'll get better." And she'll tell me she was always praying for me. And so then I sat down and we talked, and we talked, and we talked. And I was late doing my rounds that night and I just felt like I had to finish talking to her - and she talked to me. And the next day when I came in to go check on her, do my rounds, she said she wanted to talk again, I sat down and she was just like "You know, you're the best caregiver here." She was like, "You just do so well. You always come in here with a smile and you listen, and you always check to see if I need anything." I said, "Yeah, Miss Rose, you know I love you." And she's like "I love you too, baby. I love you too." And the last thing she told me was "I should love me," and right after that she had a heart attack and she died holding my hand.