Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Caylan. I'm located in Oakland, California, and I've been a caregiver for three years. I became a caregiver because I have a caring heart. I love people. I feel like I can interact with anybody and everybody. I also had times where I was taking care of my mother and my uncle. Both were disabled, and my uncle is a stroke patient and he's not able to use his body as he wants to, so I would assist him.
Is there anyone specific that encouraged you to become a caregiver?
A couple of people in my life have made me want to become a caregiver. One is my grandmother. She is so warm-hearted. She's loving. She's caring. My mother is also. They're willing to care for people they might not know, as well as people they do know. Because I grew up around that, I feel like I'm able to relate to anybody. I'm able to love and care for people genuinely.
What do you love about being a caregiver?
You can help somebody by just being there. You can help them build their confidence back up, or you can help them by making them feel like they're still cared about.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment as a caregiver was to see one of my patients, who is a stroke patient, be able to use the side that was affected by their stroke. Just after me doing rehabilitation exercises with him, and then being able to see him use that side was kind of shocking to me. I was patient with him and when I saw him do that it kind of shocked me, but it put a smile on my face.
What advice would you give to a new caregiver?
If I could give one piece of advice to a new caregiver, it would have to be to be patient with your clients. I say that because you are working with different people, with different disorders or different mental health problems, and you have to be patient with them. You can't rush them through at the pace you want to go. They're already having a hard time. You should want them to feel comfortable. You have to listen to them while still being patient. You have to care for them. That's how you build a bond with someone. You're going to build a bond with your patients, and they're going to love you.