Hi, my name is Brett. I live in Clovis, CA and I have 4 years of caregiving experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because when I started college I wanted to give back and do something and help people, and so I got hired with Sunrise Senior Living and I was a caregiver there for two years before I became an instructional assistant for severely disabled adults. And then my mom, this year, has been going through chemotherapy, she has ovarian cancer, and that just re-sparked my love for hands-on care with people and wanting to make them smile when they're going through something hard. And so that's what made me want to go and get my certified nursing assistant certificate and continue on with this passion I have for caring for people.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to see each individual as an individual and get to know them for who they are and who they were, and that's how you should bring them joy and have a personal relationship with them. And I think that bringing only positivity into that setting is also crucial, because if you bring your own issues and you want to talk about your own issues, it'll just affect them and they don't need that in their lives. And so just to be a positive influence and be happy with them and talk to them about what their lives were and what they enjoy and just focus on making them happy and seeing them smile and bringing that joy, I think is the biggest thing that I've learned and that I would give advice to someone.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Mary. I worked with her for over a year and she had severe dementia where she didn't know her family and she didn't know where she was or who I was, but I loved who she was in that state. The only Mary I knew was this Mary, and so I just came in every day wanting to make her smile and getting to know who she is. And just the smiles that I would get from her, I remember laughing with her, dancing with her, and I was able to form a relationship with someone who doesn't even remember the relationships that she's had. And I became close with her family and I mourned a lot when she passed away. She was just such a positive person in my life, even though she didn't even know my name. It was one of my favorite relationships I've ever had with another person. And so that would definitely be my most memorable client.