Hi, my name is April. I live in Emeryville, California, and I have 20 years experience as a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I care for ill and seniors. I've always been interested in their life and why they're alone and why no one else cared for them. It started young in age. I've always been attracted to my seniors and sick people. Basically just needed a little more care than they were given. And I know I'm sooner or later in my life I'm going to need and want someone to care for me as I do them. It comes natural. I'm great at it. I lighten their life, and they lighten mine.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be patient, put yourself in their shoes, ask questions. Understanding is a plus, so if you don't understand make sure you ask them to where you can understand it and be honest. And be honest with them.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I would never forget is Al. There was one time when he was having an episode where the dementia was kicking in, and he couldn't explain it to him, and he wasn't understanding. I put myself in his shoes. I asked him did he feel like he was in a box and he said yes. And then I said, "Kind of like a mime?" and he said yes again. So he's like you do understand, and we talked our way out of this box and this mime. And then every time after that when one of the episodes was about to occur, he would mention to me that I feel as if I'm going to get in that box, and we could actually talk ourselves out of it at least for a while. It was kind of cool.