Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Baresa. I live in Oakland, California. I've been a caregiver for over 20 years. The person that inspired me to be a caregiver is my mom. She was a nurse, and after she got a little older, she had a stroke, and I was a caregiver for her.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I would never forget is a lady that I used to work with that used to try to match-make everyone in the facility. So one day the security guard walked through, and she stopped him and asked him, "Hey, how do you?" He told her. Then she asked him, "Are you married?" He said, "No." She said, "Well there's a lot of young ladies around here." He said, "Oh yeah?" She said, "Yeah. Just look around. Just look around." He looked at her and he say, "Well how old are you?" She said, "I'm old enough to be married and have children." That was the end. It was so funny. We laughed after that, and we didn't ask her anything else.
Tell us about your most challenging client.
The most challenging client I had was a man that was so used to doing things on his own. I can understand that, because I experienced it. I had to, because I had no one else to call to say, "Come and help me."
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
One piece of advice to a new caregiver from me would tell them to have compassion. To be very compassionate to your patient or whoever you're taking care of, and let them know that you're there to take care of them. Be sure that you watch your facial expressions, because they read your face. Just compassion, period. Because if you're doing this, you have to have compassion for it. You have to.
What are your strenths as a caregiver?
What I think makes me a great caregiver is because I'm a fun person. I'm a happy person. I love people, and I have a big heart.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment as a caregiver was when a lady, she fell and she hit her head on the corner of her dresser. I raised her head up and I rolled a towel up, and I put it on the back of her head where it was bleeding. We called the paramedics, and when the paramedics came, they asked, they say, "Who put this behind her head?" I said, "I did." He looked at me, he said, "You saved her life." That made me feel so good [chuckles].