Hi! My name is Donald. I live in Lipan, TX, and I've been a caregiver for four years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, I took care of my mother for four years. I enjoyed doing that. So, then I went to work for an assisted living place and worked there for almost a year and got interested in home help and I've been doing that for the last three years. I also worked at assisted living outside of Weatherford, Texas, but I enjoy home help and I would like to do as much of that as possible.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, number one, you have to be very understanding and patient depending on the type of person that you're caring for. Whether it's dementia or Alzheimer's, you have to have a lot of patience, speak clearly, and it takes a great deal of patience with these people. So, you have to do that plus have an understanding of their needs and wants. And if you're not capable of doing this then this is not a job for you.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is a man named Earl. He was 85 years-old, most intelligent man I believe I've ever talked to. He used to be in the oil business, had COPD real bad, but he and I just clicked and became the best friends. When I first started caring for him, they said he wouldn't live over a month and I'd been there two weeks, had him up walking, going outside, and this went on for four months before he passed away. And it almost broke my heart when I lost him because we had become such great friends. He told me, "Don, I never met a man like you. I love you like a brother." And that was my most memorable client.