Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Cristina.. I have been a caregiver for about three years. What inspired me to be a caregiver was my passion for helping people. I've always been the kind of character that people go to in their time of need or even just to clean their house. I've definitely enjoyed it all my life, and I feel like that's kind of my purpose in terms of how I approach situations, as well as my relationships with anybody I meet.
How I got started was by actually caring for children. I have a passion for teaching, so any time I was with a child or even just with a teenager, I just have the most fun getting to know them and how they learn, and then after that, really seeing how much attention they needed, and even just patience and understanding. And that eventually moved on to caregiving for elders and adults that needed it. I realized that we grow up with age in the way we look, but we still are the same people, and we're constantly creating ourselves. And I think that it's necessary to have a lot of that patience and understanding, even when you are an elder
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
Of all the people I've cared for, the first that comes to mind is this elder man that I was just helping him do simple tasks around the house at the beginning. And after a while, I think he just really liked to have the company around the house, and I loved to helped him. And so the more I was there, I really came to realize how beautiful it is to just build a relationship with just anybody, with strangers, with just someone that sometimes needs some listening to. And you learn a lot, as well as you're able to teach a lot of who you are and get a sense of what the world is like by doing that. And he comes to mind because after so much time working with him, we became really good friends. And even now that I don't see him anymore, he still sends me those holiday cards, and it's a different relationship. And it's fun to be able to have that relationship all over the state, all over the city that you go to where you're our doing this job. It's really cool. It's a great way to meet people and get a sense of who they are.
What I admire most about this gentleman was that he had such brutal honesty with everything that he did, every way that he approached everything, and it made me realize how important that is in relationships, in communication, and who you are as a person. Even being honest with yourself is a little hard sometimes. And after working with it for so long, integrity is one of the most important key factors to even just how you approach yourself and building your character by it because there's nothing more important than how you present yourself. Because people only know what they know to do, and you have to show them what you know to do.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
A piece of advice to a new caregiver would definitely be to have a lot of patience. Have a lot of patience, a lot of understanding, for anybody that you're meeting. A lot of people take things differently. They're not like you. They don't think like you, and you can't mind read, so you have to make sure that you have a lot of patience for yo