Hi, my name is Carol. I live in Los Angeles, CA and I have been a caregiver for over 10 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver after seeing many years of how my family takes care of the elders that get sick in our family, and I knew at a young age that it was my duty. That I was destined to become a nurse, so I did.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to any caregiver and student, or person's wanting to become a nurse, is that they have patience, that they are very respectful, that they are honest in everything that they do, and just learning. A lot of reading, a lot of learning every day, there are new technologies, there are new remedies, just new ways of doing things that are different from when these now elders were elders were younger in their time, just to be knowledgeable, and to pay attention. That's a very important key, especially taken care of someone older. That's how you become familiar with the things that they like, the things that they love, the people in their life that they have loved and have friended.When you've learned these things, you find yourself being more communicative with the person. You find yourself being more, just. more in tune with that person as a person instead of as a patient or as a consumer. I think that if you befriend a client or patient and still keep that professionalism, that it makes your job easier, and it makes the elder more comfortable while you're taking care of him.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget is, Elloveve. Although, we called her Miss Ello for short. She was very sassy. In the beginning, when I met her she was what I thought to be very moody, just kind of mean. But due to her condition of having dementia and Alzheimer's made it hard for her to get along with some people when they didn't understand, because basically, she didn't understand for herself. I had worked for her and her family for over six years, and she eventually became a part of my family. She was the type of person that was very independent, which is what her daughter told me, giving me the information about her. And basically, the way I got to learn her was sit back and actually watch, and pay attention, and ask questions when she would answer, and just make her feel comfortable with me being there. After the first one or two weeks, I think we became very, very close. I watched how she did things. I kept up with the times that she did things. I made everything repetitive for her, that it would kind of give her some sort of remembrance. It wasn't until things got worse and it was to harder to do so, but still giving her the option of being in charge of her life. As soon as she became comfortable, it was very easy to care for her, to help her care for herself. She is definitely one that I will never forget. Unfortunately, she has passed, but I will always remember her, my family. I will always remember her.