Hi, my name is Briana. I live in Gilroy and I have been a caregiver for 2 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver through my family. My first experience was with my uncle who was a quadriplegic. Then I ended up helping a friend with his grandfather and taking care of him during his late stages. Then I also helped my father who has had Parkinson's for about 15 years and I've also taken care of my grandmother who has Alzheimer's and I also currently help my grandfather here and there who has dementia.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
Be very patient and try to be as understanding as possible, because they are doing the best with what they have. If it's a mental issue or them not knowing you are and they are panicking about it - you just have to be as patient and calming as you can to help them because they don't know what's going on sometimes. Sometimes they don't know who you are and it makes them uncomfortable. Just be as patient as you can and hopefully they will get used to you a little bit.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My friend's grandfather. He was just a really nice older man. He was on his final year, but he was still talkative and feisty. He didn't exactly know who I was all the time, and didn't always listen to me, but he was a very nice man. I will remember his spirit and the stories he told me about his life. He was very interesting and he will always have a place in my heart.