Hi! My name is Christina. I live in Riverside, CA, and I have been a caregiver for 10 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, ever since I was a little girl playing with my cousins or acting out on a role-play. I never wanted to be the momm, what I wanted to be was the nurse. That's been a passion of mine ever since I was little and it has grown into a great love up until this day, 20 years later.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, to make sure that you have a genuine love and passion for wanting to help people. Caregivers are there to be a support system, as well as helping in any way that we can. Sometimes it's very difficult for a client to ask for help or admit that they need the help, so sometimes the situations aren't always very pleasant. We have to make sure that we are very understanding to that, we're in tune with that, that we're able to pick up on that, and in return, I believe that with all of those qualities, it would make for a wonderful relationship. It would mold a wonderful caregiver. And I truly believe that those qualities would shine through.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget is my wonderful Jesse. This question was not hard for me at all to think about because, Jesse is always in my mind. And, I will never ever forget him. Just to give you a little background, without going into too much, Jesse is a mentally ill young man, who stopped taking his medications. And as a result, he started going downhill. I was referred out to him, because he was going through caregivers. It just wasn't working out for whatever reason. Sometimes, I am referred out to a little bit more difficult cases because, I have had great feedback with that. So I was sent to my Jesse. And, I instantly took on the case. And, we started our working relationship together. But to me, hopefully to him as well, it was more than just a working relationship. I really, really cared about Jesse. I still do. I stayed with him the first time, about six months. And unfortunately, during one of his episodes, he did let me go. I didn't hear from him for a few months. And then, his same social worker called me and told me something that I will never ever forget. She had asked me if I was willing to go back to Jesse because, again, he was going through other caregivers, and during a moment of clarity, he had told her, "What about Christina?" I'll never forget this. He said, "What about Christina? No one has ever taken care of me like she did.