Hi, my name is Joanna, and I live in Anaheim, CA. I have six years experience in a facility.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because one of my neighbors, she didn't have her daughters around and she told me if I could spend time with her, taking her to her appointments, remind her of her medication she had to take, help her dress, bathe, also prepare her food. And I liked it since then, and I got started in 2009 by a friend. She told me that she was doing that thing and I was like, "Well, I want to do it in a professional way." So I did, and since then, I just love sharing my love and caring for other people that can't care for themselves at the moment.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, have a lot of patience, acknowledge them, let them know they are important. Teach them new things or things that they might have learned already, but some people forget. Do activities. Make them smile. Ask them what they want to do. Always be there for them, and just lots and lots of patience. Because some of our clients, they might have dementia or Alzheimer's, and sometimes they can get mad, and don't even remember they did. That's what I would tell a new caregiver.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Phillip. Phillip was 55. He was just very funny. He could not speak but he could make some sounds, and I was learning sign language with him. But, I just loved the fact that he would always want to go to basketball games. And he would tell me that he would take me to basketball games. He loved music. He had a CD that one of his parents gave him, and he would play it. He would tell me to listen to him. I know that some deaf people, they could feel the vibration of the music if it was really loud.