Hi, my name is Celina. I live in the city of San Jose, CA and I've been a caregiver for 9 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver when my aunt came to me and told me a lot of the inspiring stories of how she cared for individuals. Her stories consisted of me learning about these different peoples and different backgrounds, and how her helping them put so many smiles to their faces. I went to my first job. It was a caregiving facility, Home First. I was hooked up with a patient that was called Mama. We called her by that name, and I ended up growing one of the strongest bonds with her that was everlasting up until her passing. And ever since then, I have continued to be in the field of caregiving.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to learn patience. A lot of times you deal with elderly people that are set in certain ways or that are used to a certain living style or doing things differently. A lot of times there can be frustration involved as far as getting them maybe active, whether it's something as simple as getting them into the shower. My advice to any caregiver is learn patience. Be patient with them. If you're tender, if you're a genuine person and you care for them, you will grow a strong bond. But learn the patience that comes with it.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget would be Professor. We call him Professor because he was a professor at Stanford State University. He was in the studies of economics and science. The reason why Professor is one of my most memorable clients is the bond that we share together. Now, although he couldn't speak due to a stroke, and he was immobilized and completely dependent on me to get him changed and moved around the bed and things like that. But even though in his state and condition, he couldn't talk and we were feeding him through a tube to his stomach, he always had such a delightful smile on his face. It was captivating to go to this man's home every day and just to see his face light up when you walked through the door. It brought so much joy to me as well. And even though we didn't communicate verbally, our physical communication was most memorable. The simple things of him smiling, responding to me when I told him a funny joke or when I read him the newspaper, those are the most memorable experiences I'll always keep with me from Professor.