Hi, my name is Denise. I live in Oakland, CA and I've been a caregiver for about 12 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I had a cousin who is on dialysis and had no one to take care of him. And he asked me if he could live with me and I could take care of him. And he did come live with me and I did take care of him. I then became registered with In-Home Supportive Services and I took care of elderly people in their home so they can live independently and stay in their home. I also have been a case manager for the homeless. So I am a seasoned case manager and a seasoned caregiver for over 12 years and I enjoy taking care of people.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver is to be compassionate about what you do. Human service is something that you have to have an act of kindness and have to learn how to give and be patient with people because everyone's needs and concerns are different. A lot of people need help because they don't have family or they don't have anyone that cares about them. So you have to have it in your heart to care for people and see that they need help and want a good quality of life. Treat people as you want to be treated, that is my motto.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I'll never forget is an older man that's 89 years old and I call him Dad because he reminds me of my dad. He is very funny, very fragile, but he does have a good sense of humor and he loves sports. He is a very charismatic man and I enjoy taking care of him and I think he enjoys me taking care of him. We have great conversations about college football. I watch westerns with him. He's just a very, very simple man and I enjoy taking care of him.