Hi, my name is Chanele. I've been a caregiver for over eight years, and I live in the city of Oakland, CA.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I just enjoy making sure that the elderly are well taken care of, and that they are in safe hands. Safe environment. I wanted to do it because a lady at my church, she was seeking for one, and she had about four or five caregivers, and it didn't work. So, she asked me if I wanted to become her caregiver, and I told her, "Yes. I can give it a try." And I've been with her for eight years total now.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, don't go in with the attitude that you know it all, in reference to trying to care for someone you're just getting to learn. Get to learn the patients or get to learn the patient's body language. Get to learn their tone when they're speaking, so you don't become offended. Get to know their route on how they do things, and try to work patiently with them as you get to know them as an individual.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Carrie. I'm still working with her presently. When I first started working for her, she thought that I was way young. When someone referred me to her, she thought that I was way young. She felt like I didn't know how to clean; I didn't know how to cook; I didn't know how to do grocery shopping. She felt that I was just this gorgeous lady that just looked good but had no domestic skills. So, once I started working for her, she tried to give me the blues, but I kept at it. I didn't say much. She didn't want me to wash her clothes because she felt like, "You look very, very young, and there's no way possible that you can get my white clothes as white as I like them." So one day, she was feeling under the weather, and she could not wash her clothes, and I offered to do it.