Hi, my name's Anita. I live in Petaluma, CA and I have been a caregiver for 10 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because a good friend of mine had asked me to help her out with her mom who had Alzheimer's. From there, I went to work for a friend of mine, who is a professional fiduciary, taking care of her client - two disabled vets at that time - and it just went from there. I've had the honor of being my mom's caregiver. I have also had experience with fully-disabled adults. It's a labor of love. It's not just a job for me. I really enjoy being able to be with folks in their own homes and give them a nice quality of life that they may not otherwise have.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to really engage and connect with the folks that you're caring for. Ask a lot of questions. Learn about them. We have the opportunity to really customize our care to their specific needs, their likes, their interests. We have the opportunity to make somebody feel really special and cared about. That's my best advice.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Conrad who was very shy and struggled with some issues. After a while, working with him, I was able to find a place to volunteer. What he was passionate about is working with animals, and so, therefore, he walked through the process and got himself a volunteer position at the wildlife refuge. That was pretty cool.