Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Claudia. I live here in San Francisco, California. I have had from newborns all the way to geriatrics, from psych ward all the way to acute care and convalescence, so I have been up and down the hospital settings. In all my home settings, cases I have had either through agencies or independent, you get to know the person. You get them to know their good side, their bad side, who they will trust more.
What it is most important is that there's chemistry. If there's chemistry between the client and myself, I will accept the case. If I don't feel any chemistry, then though the client might be in dire need or I might be, I will not accept it. It's not fair for a person to be struggling with no chemistry. You're going to be always disappointed or making the person disappointed for whatever reason.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
It's my client that passed away a year or so ago that-- I had her for five years or very close to five years. She used to be a flight attendant for Pan Am when we started, but all her travels within the world, she decided to become international. So she was always abroad, either in China or Japan or in London. So all her trips, we used to go to the conventions for the stewardess or the pilots' conventions or dinners or luncheons, so we were up and down, always doing some type of social events. What I admire about her-- or what I did admire about her, it was not just that she traveled because anyone could travel. It's just her independence. She by choice, like other of her friends and people I have met - I take care of them - chose not to marry or not to have kids, to have the complete independence of no one bugging them for whatever reason.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
I have learned living here and being brought here in San Francisco that it's not just the person, but the ethnicity of that person and how their culture develops them, that you could pick up and learn from them to make yourself a better person to interact with others.