Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
I'm Christine. I live in Atwater, California. I've been a caregiver for six years. Who inspired me to be a caregiver was a little boy named Yazir. I met his mom, and he was autism, and she wasn't aware of that. She was struggling, and I wanted to give her some help. So I just loved him, and I learned a lot about it. I'm happy that I did it, because when I seen him years later, he still remembered me. So it was awesome.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I would never forget is Betty and her mom, Ivy. I met them as a Bright client. I worked for Ivy first, and then I later worked for Betty after her mom passed away. I really enjoyed it, because she was an active elderly lady, so I took her to the senior centers. She was really involved. I really felt good to see that I was helping her to continue to live her life and be happy. I really appreciated what I learned from her and her experience in life. So I loved it. What I learned most from Betty is that she struggled being a single child, caring for her mom. Then when her mom left her, she was alone, and she just was so hurt. I felt good to not just be a companion with her, but she trusted me, so I did a lot of different things for her. Far as banking, caring for her, cooking for her, as well as doing her hair, helping her to bathe. She didn't want no one to help her. She was so private. She eventually broke down and let me help her. So it was a rewarding feeling, and I still keep in contact with Betty to this day.
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
What I think make me a great caregiver is that I love people, and I understand the importance of taking care of our youth as well as our elderly people. My heart goes out to them. I want to always be someone who they can trust and know that I love doing what I do. It's a reward for me, because one day I will be old, and I want someone to help me who really love doing it, opposed to looking at it as a check. I'm not doing this just for a check. I would do it for the love of helping others live in their comfort zone, whether you're young or old. Whatever your situation is, everyone needs someone they can trust and depend on, and I'm that person.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
One piece of advice for a new caregiver would be to not do a job that you're not comfortable with. You should always speak about it, because it's important that you're comfortable with whoever you work for. That is very important.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
The moments that make me proud as a caregiver is when I see them happy, and they welcome me each time, and they're smiling, and they talk to me as if I'm family opposed to just an employer.