Hi, my name is Donika. I live in Richmond, CA and I was a caregiver for about 2 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my dad, he's actually paralyzed from the waist down. And me and my sister, we would help him out a lot, as far as getting around, helping him run errands, helping him clean himself, or just helping him around the house because he's not able to really do so much. So I got the hang of it, and I thought it was a really great job to be a part of. And also, I love helping others. That's how I was brought up.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, just to be patient, listen to what your patient needs, and also when you're left with your patient alone, listen to what their family members, or their loved ones, or whatever, each need you to do for them. And also, just pay attention to how they react to certain things because you are new, and you are new to them. You don't want to rush in, mess up, or anything like that. Just be patient, take your time, and be caring, be comforting, be their person that they need when their family, or friend, or whoever usually takes care of them isn't there.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I will never forget is my dad because with me helping take care of him, we kind of bonded a lot. I learned a lot from him. I learned to be more patient with others, I learned that there's really people out there who really depend on caregivers, or people like me because the don't really have a lot of support, or they don't really have a lot of people trying to help them, or taking care of them, or anything like that. With my dad, yeah, I learned a lot, as far as taking them to and from places, and basically learning that people really depend on you more so than what you think people do.