Hi. My name is Dounia. I live in Berkeley, CA and I have 5 years experience as a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because when I got to Berkeley, I knew I wanted to get involved in the community but I didn't know how. So just out of curiosity I applied. It turns out that I met a true friend that was disabled and in a wheelchair, and she became my best friend. And she just passed away recently. And I finally found the courage to get back to caregiving because I realize now how important it is in my life.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver to treat that person as if you were treating yourself because it's a journey of self-love in some sense. Because when you care about the other the way you care about yourself, then it's a whole growth a chance to be able to realize how nurturing love is for oneself and toward someone else. So I think that's what makes caregiving such a special experience.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Tu. I remember coming home to see Tu one day and she announced, "Danielle, when I win the lottery, then I'm going to buy you a house right next to my house so you can be my caregiver forever." And I was so touched because I think there's something so beautiful and getting feedback and appreciation for my dedication. So I think that that's definitely a very rewarding experience.