Hi, my name is Angela. I live in Richmond, California. I have been a caregiver for the past 15 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because of a personal incident that happened with a family member. One being my father. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in early 2004. He passed away in 2005, unfortunately. And then, another event is that my mother-- a couple of years before my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, my mother had a major stroke that left her pretty much paralyzed on one side. So again, my sister and myself aided with my mother as far as caretaking. And then, the third incident why I really wanted to become a caregiver for the elderly is with my friend's grandmother. Again, I had to assist him with taking care of his grandmother during the time prior to her passing away.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My new advice for a caregiver would probably be to have a listening ear and pretty much compassion. Compassion is my main thing because I couldn't see myself letting my mother slip away into a skilled nursing facility where someone wouldn't care for her the way that I would care for her, which is why I have a whole lot of passion behind that I treat people pretty much the way that I would want my parents to be treated in their time of need.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I would never forget would have to be my father. With seeing him be the strong, dominant figure in your life, the one you looked up to, and then, to be diagnosed with cancer and his body deteriorates.