Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Ashna and I've been a caregiver for 5 years. I'm currently residing in East Palo Alto. My experience comes from private care as well as agency care. The certifications that I have are CNA and CPR.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The first client that pops into my head is Mildred. She was a hospice patient that I took care of at Our Lady of Fatima. She was the most kind-hearted, cheerful, direct person that I've ever met. It went beyond me just taking care of her as a hospice patient, she actually became a part of my life. After I was done with the internship, we still kept in touch. Her daughter-in-law invited me to her 100th birthday. I got to see her and she looked very pretty, but unfortunately a month after that she passed away. Even though she was 100 years old, I wanted her to live for another 100 years.
What did you learn from your time caring for Mildred?
I learned how to be patient and have gratitude at the same time. She never talked to me like I was a caregiver. She always talked to me like I was a granddaughter. She taught me to never take anything for granted. She never let anything negative get a hold of who she was. And that's one thing she always told me: No matter what the situation is, whether it's the smallest thing that you can solve, or the biggest situation that can take years to solve, make sure you always put your best self forward.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
If I can give one piece of advice to a caregiver it would be to be open. No matter how many years experience you have; whether it's 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years, there's always something to learn with a client. Always be open-minded.