Hi, my name is Helen, and I live in Santa Rosa, CAand I have been a caregiver for 20 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I used to be really close to my grandma. When my mom and dad were at work, my grandma used to watch me, and she would also socialize with her elderly friends, so I had lots of experiences with being around them, and I think it's got something to do with the kind of work I do now. Also, I'm a person who likes to help people, and so I really like the job. I really like it. Also, I did take care of my aunt, and my dad had dementia, so that also.
What advice would you give to a new caregiver?
My advice to the new caregiver would be to be patient, to pay attention about people's habits. Everyone is different. Some people like this, other people like that. Always be respectful and you must like this kind of work because if you don't like this kind of work, and you go to work for a paycheck this job just won't work for you so make sure that you like being around seniors and make sure that you like to help. Also, that your little bit of experience with cooking, and you don't mind doing cleaning. Also, good thing to have is a car because you're going to need it in case you need to drive them to some appointment or some activities.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I will never forget, his name was Bill. He was 92 years old, and I worked for him for about four years. It was a private job, and we just got along. He taught me how to play pool. He was a pool champion. He had a sense of humor. He was very much like a gentleman. There was very much respect in between us. Also, I got really close to the family, and basically I really liked everyone, and I feel like they took me as a part of their family, which was so special because that way I felt like I wasn't really working like I was taking care of a relative or a friend. And the sad part was that he passed away after that. It was really hard for me to get a job because I got so attached that I went to apply for a new job and on the application, I started to cry there, but he was a special guy because he was really nice and the whole family was really, really nice and warm.