Hi, my name is Denise. I live in Nice, CA. I also have extensive knowledge taking care of my own father for five years. He had Parkinson's Disease. So I believe I have between five and seven years of experience in caretaking. I also have a master's in Psychology. So I worked first response for 10 plus years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver, in the beginning, to care for a loved one. My father had Parkinson's Disease and had a slow decline. After that, I went back to work in the social work field. I've always loved helping others and helping other people's lives to get better if there's any way that I can possibly help that. I love the elderly and really enjoy the connectivity because I feel that I'm a very compassionate person.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to listen, to hear what the client needs, what they're asking for, and to be very respectful and kind. I would also say to be very attentive to all the surroundings and to have a lot of patience. Anybody that is needing caregiving is going through a lot, and it's very important for them to be heard, addressed, and their issues to be met. And all their needs to be met. I would also give them advice to have an outlet, somebody that they could speak to because caregiving can get very rough, and to have a backdrop for their stress release, and just to keep well educated on the newest procedures in the field.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I will never forget, of course, first and foremost, would be my father. We had many miracles happen during the time that I cared for him. There were very funny events. There were very sad events. And there were very releasing events, but that was because I was emotionally tied. The second one I would give, and I know you asked for one, but would be with the client in Lakeport, Irene. Irene gave me a path into my childhood by sharing about her Catholithism. And I was raised Catholic. And I had kind of grown away from being-- practicing my Catholic religion. In the process of taking care of Irene, she actually asked me to do the rosary with her and it reinstalled my values on the rosary. So it gave me a piece of mind. Grounding something from my childhood and something that she was very passionate about.