Hi, my name is Brechelle Arlon. I live in Carson, CA, and I've been a caregiver for 15 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my grandmother got real sick at 50. It used to be where 50 was an old age, but 50 is very young these days. She had a massive stroke at only 50 years old, and I was about 19 or 20. I was her caregiver, and I just really do love helping people. I did kind of help her do a massive turn around with straightening up her limbs. She was eating again, her blood pressure,sugar levels and blood levels were back to normal. I really liked helping her by giving her help and encouragement . So that's what really motivated me to become a caregiver with the young and old.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver, or fellow caregiver, would be just to kind of, if you can, put yourself in their shoes. And know that, again, there is hope. With good caregiving, and good nutritioning, and humbleness, and good care and nurturing, you can always take care of the young and old. So I guess my tip would be just, hey, do your job, do it well, and do it with all humbleness. The main thing is to be patient. You have to be patient, because when people are sick, or not feeling themselves, they kind of get a little out of themselves, or in a certain mood. You have to just learn to be humble and patient. To me, humble and patience is the key when you're caregiving.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is James. He was a good guy who had also had a stroke. He was bed-bound, and I took care of him for a year. He kind of rented a room from one of my neighbors, so he wanted me to be his caregiver. \I helped him recover from a stroke, and he kind of came around, but he was just so nice. He said, "Wow, you are so patient with me and just so helpful. Even if I never walk again I will always remember you." He didn't really walk again, but he did sit up by himself. He was able to use his right hand and kind of feed himself, which he wasn't able to do before.