Hi my name is Jamal and I currently live in San Gabriel, CA. I've been a caregiver for about two years now.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I wanted to help people. When I was 16, I lost my grandmother and she wasn't really able to keep her health up and we really didn't have any real experience in hiring a caregiver or having anyone there for companion care to help her get through those rough times. I just wanted to be that support for someone else. I wanted to help someone else become more healthier or just be that companion for them at the ending time and that was my main purpose for being a caregiver. I just always want to help people and just help make a change in someone's life. I was tired of being a negative person and being a caregiver has brought patience, gratitude and stability to my life and I'm really thankful for this position.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be just to be very open about everything. Make sure you're focused and you're listening about anything your supervisors or any coworkers may have to tell you that can possibly help you in the future and with dealing with clients, you have to have patience. You have to have patience and you have to have control over yourself and your emotions. Knowing that some clients may say things or do things to you that may be inappropriate or hurtful or harmful to you, you must step back, exit the room if needed and just calm down and relax. Understanding that you're here for a purpose, to help everyone.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
One client I would never forget is Jonathan. Jonathan was about 24 years old and I'm 23. He was about 6'2, about 180, close to about 190 in that weight and he was very rambunctious. He was very excited to see me. He was very animated. He was non-verbal but he was very animated, very animated and I'll never forget him because at that time, I was going through some personal issues and every time I would see Jonathan he would bring out this smile in me. The way he'll look, he would just look at me and he'll know something was wrong and he'll reach out to grab my hand and just over time spending time with Jonathan, I've learned so much about him as far as his communication. The way he communicates is pretty different than other people. He's just a client that taught me so much and I'm sure he doesn't know that but he's helped me in situations that I really didn't know how to get over just by coming to work. So, Jonathan is a client I'll never forget.