Hi! My name is Ashley. I live in Austin, TX and I've been a caregiver for the past 10 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, my godfather had been diagnosed with dementia and he also had a heart problem, specifically with one of his arteries in his heart. And, so I took it upon myself to take care of him and even though-- even after his death. And so I have a lot of experience in caring for older people: bathing, get exercises, cooking for them, housekeeping, and other things of that sort.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, don't look at it as a job. Look at it as an experience. Because when you become a caregiver, you get to learn so many things about the person that you're caring for. Their life story, their experiences. You get to see their life through their eyes by connecting with them in such an affectionate way, by taking care of them and being there and being their supporter. So don't look at it as a job. Look at it as an experience that it can help you grow as a person.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is my godfather. When I was caring for him once, he told me to bring him some aftershave. I had just finished shaving him, and me being his caregiver at the time, I did things like this for him, his grooming. And I accidentally knocked the bottle over and Old Spice shaving oil was all over the carpet. And as soon as I went to go wipe it, he said, "No, leave it alone. It made my house smell more manly." I guess that was a memorable moment that I had with him.