Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Cynthia. I live in Vacaville and I’ve been a caregiver for over 24 years. The person who inspired me to become a caregiver was my mother. She is a retired nurse of 24 years. I almost lost my mother about 3 years ago, due to stroke and a heart attack. That led to her no longer be able to take care of her daily needs. I took care of her for multiple years in her home. This has inspired me to want to continue to move forward in this field as a caregiver, as a CNA, to be able to do the work that I desire and that she’s unable to do, and I can see her being really happy about that.
Who is the first client that comes to your mind?
Mrs. Shakir. She was a very special lady to me. She was from Norway, and I learned a lot from her. I loved her very dearly. We developed a very close relationship. I cared for her in her home for approximately 6 years until she became very ill and had to go into a long-term care facility where she recently passed away back in October. I miss her dearly, she meant a lot to me. Not just as a client, but she became more like family to me. I was very, very close with her. Mrs. Shakir had this spirit, outside of her just loving everyone she was very funny. She’d always make you laugh, tell you stories, and I loved her accent. Even if you went into work and the weather was bad outside and it was gloomy, she always had a way to make you happy. She had a smile about her, and she had a lot of love inside. So much to give, so much to offer, and you couldn’t help but love her back.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
If I could one piece of advice to a new caregiver it would be that it has to come from your heart. No matter what your title is. Whether you’re just a caregiver, a CNA, or a licensed nurse, it starts with your heart. It has to be inside of you to know that this is what you really want. You have to be patient and understanding for people that are disabled, of any age. You need to have a lot of love inside of you and be willing to give as much as you can to make them happy. That’s what I would suggest to a new caregiver.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment as a caregiver is knowing that at the end of the day, or at the end of the night, at the end of the shift: I have satisfied my client. If I have made them happy and comfortable, I have done my job well.