Hi, my name is Carleen. I live in Los Angeles, CA and I've been a caregiver for ten years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I always loved helping people, from when I was growing up and living in Belize. However, when I'm living in Belize, I could not afford to go to nursing school or go abroad to study. Therefore, when I migrated to the US, I decided to take the certified nursing course, Maxine Waters Adult Continuing School and from there I started my career in nursing. I love to help people, I love to be able to give families that satisfaction, knowing that when they're not there that their loved ones are well taken care of and I provide the best quality care for their loved ones while they're not around.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice for a new caregiver would be that you always need to listen to the needs for the family and of the patient. What you might do with one patient might not work with another patient, so every patient's needs are different, to respect their rights as caregiver and respect their rights and the wishes of the family and always be sensitive to a patient's needs. Remember not to take anything personal on the job because many of the times, the patients, they are not aware of what they are doing and going to a different stage in their life is very difficult, so you need to be very caring, understanding and just help them to realize that you're there to help them, you're there to make it better for them, you're there for them to continue to perform their daily living, just with your assistance and just to allow them to still keep some type of independence, never belittle them, never treat them like they're a child, always treat them like an adult and involve them in every decision that you're making and let them feel like they're the one in control and they're the one making the decisions.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client that I will never forget is Ann. Whenever I think about Ann I just remember her smiles, her bright, beautiful hazel eyes, how whenever she opens her eyes they would just shine bright while she's looking at you. She would always give you kisses and hugs. She was so loving. She was a sweet person even though she had Lewy body dementia. She was kind, she was funny, she was a really sweet person. She would call you funny names in terms of, "You silly girl, but I love you." She was one of the best.