Hi, my name is Glenda. I have been a caregiver for 20 years and I live in Dallas, TX.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my father was sick, and we always had to take care of him. My mom had to raise all of us by herself, and I noticed that my father needed so much care. We couldn't afford a caregiver. So I decided I wanted to be a nurse and take care of elderly people because I saw how much need there is for a one-on-one care, more so than putting them in a nursing home or a retirement home, and I enjoy taking care of elderly.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to make sure this is the kind of work that you enjoy doing because these people are totally dependent on you. There's some who are like children, so they depend on you to do everything for them. If this is not what you really like doing, then don't waste time working for them because you can't abuse them. You can't talk to them any kind of way. You can't mistreat them. You need to love them because they're looking for that. And dementia patients don't understand. Their mind is in short-term memory now, so all they depend on you. They're just like children, so you need to love them. And that's what they're looking for, family, love, and a good caregiver. So they can totally depend on you.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I would never forget is a lady. She had dementia, and she had a husband, and they lived together. And he needed help with her. She's totally dependent on us. And, in the beginning, her dementia wasn't bad. So, therefore, she knew my name, and she knew who I was, and I was with her until she's passed away. Sometimes I will walk into her bedroom to change her at night, and she would curse me out and call me out and call me by my name. It didn't even bother me because I knew she didn't know what she was doing. I just knew that I was there for her, and I would want somebody to treat me the same way or my parents. So I end up staying with her until she passed away, and I end up taking care of her husband until he passed away.