Hi, my name is Brenda. I'm from Long Beach, CA. I have been a caregiver for the last 30-some years. And I just recently finished nursing school. And I got my certificate in CNA and my certificate in Home Health Care Aide.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver after taking care of so many members in my family that had came down with dementia and Alzheimer's. I just had a gift for it, and I enjoyed it so much. I was basically their 24-hour caregiver and especially with my mom that had came down with dementia and I just enjoyed it tremendously. I really did. And that kind of prompted me to want to get into the nursing field to assist elderly people and just to make them feel that they're loved and stuff. So that's what prompted me to really get into the caregiver industry.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be-- number one is that you have to have a lot of patience. Patience is a virtue, and if you don't have patience with the elderly people or just patience period, you're just really in the wrong field. You have to have a strong sense of humor too. You don't want to take anything personal when you're assisting elderly people because they may say something to you a little bit out of line. It may upset you, but you have to understand they are sick. And a lot of times they're sick and they're mad. And I think that's for everyone. They pretty much lost all of their independency, being independent and having someone to just do normal, simple things with them throughout the day. It's hard for them to adjust to that. You have to have a lot of patience, and you really have to love what you do. If you're not loving what you do in helping someone, whether they're old or young, you're really in the wrong business. It's not about the money. You have to do this from your heart, totally from your heart.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The most memorable one that I had was with my Aunt Pat. She passed away this past May. She was 101, believe it or not, and was still in her right mind and stuff. But I would just always go visit and help take care of her and things like that. It was just some of the great stories that she would tell me. She had so much wisdom. She just lived through so much at 101. And just the stories that she would tell me were just unbelievable. I just loved to listen to her talk.