Hi I'm Ashley, I live in San Diego, CA. I've been a caregiver for four years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I started working as a babysitter when I was in high school, and babysat for a family continually with a six-year-old, a three-year-old, and an eight-month-old. I then became a caregiver for my own grandfather when he was sick with prostate cancer and end-stage renal failure. I then chose to get my certified nursing assistant certification after planning to go to physician assistant school and needing paid clinical experience.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be patient and to take the time to learn the way that the resident you're caring for or the loved one you're caring for likes to have things done and try to keep their daily routine as normal as possible. I also would say to take time for yourself. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed, to make sure that you go for a run or go to yoga like I like to do when I'm stressed out. And make sure that you can come into work every day and be able to give the right amount of care with compassion and love and feel good about giving to somebody else. I believe that you can't give anything that you're not willing to receive. If you don't love yourself, you can't give it to somebody else.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is when I was doing my clinical rotation in my CNA class. I was paired with one CNA at a facility every day, and she worked on the hospice level. I had one resident who would have good days and bad days but she was definitely at the end stages of her life. And she, every time I came in, would just reach for my hand and tell me that I was beautiful and that I have this amazing life to live, and she knows that we all go through the ups and downs of daily living. She was just the sweetest woman and made-- even though she was in the hardest thing in her life, and her children were going through horrible times, she just knew how to brighten up my day. I was so irrelevant in any other place in her life. So that would be my most memorable client.