Hi! I'm Erica Piper. I live in Waxahachie, Texas. I've been a caregiver for nine years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I love helping people that need assistance. I've been doing it for nine years. I've been taking care of my grandmother, who recently passed away. I just love helping the elderly who need a lot of assistance, who really can't do for their self. As a young person it teaches us a lot about their lifestyle and how they grow older, and how to be humble. So I just love being a caregiver, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver is just to be patient. Sometimes it can be stressful, but to be patient, and you listen, and it'll make your day so much easier and better. If you could be there for someone, just to be there, listen to them, they confide, and make sure they have their rights. Keeping their rights is the most important. If they need to feel their independency or even if they can't do it, just ask them, "What would you like to wear today? How would you like your hair done?" The little bitty small question would help you go a long way in this field.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I would never forget was Miss Joyce. Miss Joyce was 80 years old, she had to leave school, just loved to just tell her history, things that she'd been through, and things she could do because she had a little dementia, Miss Joyce was very active. She takes care of her two little puppies, and she would always offer, "Baby, just sit down and let me take care of you for a change." She still had her motivation, and I loved Miss Joyce because no matter what, she would always try to keep up with me. At 80 years old she always told me, "Baby, you come on, because I'm moving faster than you." But I love Miss Joyce, and I still care for Miss Joyce from time to time when her daughter is gone out of town or something.