Hi, my name is Debbie, and I live in Folsom, CA. And I have been a caregiver off and on for about 12 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver about 17 years ago. I was working as a house cleaner for an elderly couple in the Santa Cruz area. And the woman came down with early onset Alzheimer's. So my job evolved into about three days a week working for them doing house cleaning, cooking, taking them on errands, as well as taking her for walks around the neighborhood, and just basic companionship. I moved to Folsom in 2005, and was referred to a woman who had multiple disabilities.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver to be would just be very patient. A lot of these elderly ones feel vulnerable. And just be patient. Take your time and that would be my number one advice.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is my first one. Her name is Caroline and she developed early onset Alzheimer's. And I just became very attached to her. I just saw her disease kind of progress but we were friends through it all. And, I really just kind of cherished the memories of taking her on walks, sitting with her and talking, listening to her stories. And she passed away in 2008, but I look back on our time together. I left being with her in 2005, and I think of her from time to time. She was very special.