Hi, my name is Destiny. I have lived in Whittier, CA, and I was a caregiver for two years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver due to the fact that my grandfather had cancer. I cared for him as he was in bed, and he would need help changing himself, changing the linens, getting out of bed, feeding, toileting, and I began to realize that it was coming to an end when he became stage four cancer. When he passed, I learned that caring for someone and nursing was natural to me. I then became a certified nursing assistant at the age of fifteen, and I loved to care for people. It came naturally, as I said, and I'm not uncomfortable with anything there is to do in a living environment for another human.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to have patience and be understanding. When a patient is violent, when a patient is just frustrated and at times you don't know what to do, you should stay calm, listen to them. If they're confused, don't get angered, don't get bothered. Sometimes they have no idea what's happening around them, and they need some guidance. So my advice to a new caregiver, because most clients that I was a caregiver for were very confused, and they needed someone to understand and be as patient as possible. Every client is different. They have their own needs, and we need to learn as caregivers to adapt.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Mr. JW. This client had dementia. He needed a lot of help remembering things. He was a very generous man. Visits to the market, anyone who would be right there at the front door asking for money, he would right away pull out his checkbook. And his phrase to say was, "How much do I need to give you to help?" He was one patient who meant a lot. He reminded me of my grandfather. He was a very helpful man. When he didn't have that disease of dementia, you can tell that he was a wonderful person.