My name is Anahi. I live in Long Beach and I have three years of experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because when I was 16 I started helping my Mom watch my Grandmom - she had Alzheimer's - and ever since that, I applied on my first job in Bellflower and it was such a wonderful experience. You know, seeing how you can make another person's day and how you can help. And ever since that, that's all I've been looking forward to - just continuing to work as a caregiver.
What advice would you give to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, please come with an open heart and open mind. And have patience because if this is your first job-- well it will be, but you will see things you've never seen. You will experience different things. And most definitely you have to have patience. That is number one. Have patience.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Omar. Ever since I started working at my first job in Bellflower-- I was working the night shift. So he couldn't see-- a little bit, barely, but he couldn't talk, he couldn't move, but he can hear, and so every time I would come into work I would always walk in, in everybody's room. Greet them, see how they're doing, if they're awake, they're sleeping, all that. And I would always talk to him, always, because I always had to get him up in the morning. So I would always talk to him. So from there, he got comfortable with me, because it was just-- I would talk to him like a baby, comfort him. And from then, every time I would come into work, I would always walk in and he would always wait up for me. Always. And the minute I go in, talk to him, grab his hand, see how he's doing, he would always get this big smile on his face. And you can hear him chuckle. And it was just so heartwarming, until I switched to the morning shifts. So my last night there, my last graveyard shift, I actually went in there to talk to him and to tell him, "I'm moving to a different house, which is next door, and I'm working the morning shift." But I made sure to let him know, instead of every night at 11, I was going to visit him in the mornings before he went to school. So he actually teared up, and this was the first time I've ever seen him tear up. I didn't even think tears could come out his eyes, and it truly broke my heart. And ever since then, I still will visit him, but it's so heartwarming just to know that you make somebody's day. He would look forward to it, because he wouldn't laugh or smile with everybody. So just knowing that you make somebody else's day and how you make a difference is such a good feeling, and that's another reason why I am still here. I'm still wanting to be caregiver. And before I left that job, they had transferred him. They moved him to a different company, and it broke my heart because two months later, they actually told us he passed away. So that's a story I will never forget.