Hi, my name is Jennifer. I live in Los Angeles, CA. I've been a caregiver through IHSS for 5 years with 10 years experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver at an early age, and went through IHSS in the year 2008. I am 28 years old, and have been taking care of people since I was about 14. I have several disabled family members and aging family friends whom I assist. I enjoy it very much and find it very fulfilling. I believe it is my life calling to be a caregiver. And I'm always willing to help anybody in need.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, be patient, be confident. Remember that not everybody is the same. Not everybody was raised the same. People have different beliefs, different values and not everybody has family to be there for them. So what you're doing is a tremendous service to those in need and those who lack these things in their life.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
I don't believe I could ever forget any of my clients. They are all very special and dear to my heart. I do believe one in particular however, would be, Carol. As a child, Carol, assisted in babysitting and general looking after of me while my parents were at work. Being a child, I was unaware that, Carol, actually had a mental disability as well as a physical disability. She is of no blood relation to me. However, she has been in my family for some time. My great grandmother gave her a place to live and looked after her when she had no family. She is my aunt. Maybe not by blood, but in my heart. Growing up, I didn't really recognize that she had any kind of disability. However as I grew older, and she grew older, I became to notice and realize. Now being an adult, and being able to take care of myself, I find it my responsibility and my debt owed to her for all the years she looked after me and cared for me. It is my job now to care for her and see that she has the best possible quality of life. I still currently care for her, and she does live with me. She has a heart of gold, and I am very grateful to have her in my life.