Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Eleanor, and I live in Tiburon. I had an interest in medicine and healing, and I became a caregiver as part of that interest. I had been working with families where there was life threatening illness, areas of healing where there was a lot of stress and a lot of fear. Part of the work that I was doing was related to attitude as part of the healing process that we could be facing death and be trusting in something greater than ourselves to be the guiding force. That's how I kind of made the transition between social work and helping families, helping patients, helping people going through a difficult period.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The person that really comes to mind is an 89 year old who didn't want a caregiver. The reason why she stands out is that she was very independent and really liked her independence, and I represented something that had to do with end of life for her. As we go to know each other, I realized that what she really was afraid of was facing the changes that she was seeing in her health. Once we got through that, she began to see me as someone who was her ally and someone who could be her companion and friend until the end.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
I think I would just say trust yourself. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with your clients.
My proudest moment as a caregiver came when my client said that she had had a lot of caregivers because she was so particular. She said that I was at the top of her list.