Hi, my name is Julie and I live in Aptos, CA. I have been a caregiver for eight years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because when I was in high school - my senior year - my grandmother suffered a stroke and I helped to care for her, helping her with personal care, preparing meals for her and helping her to transfer from her bed to her walker and to the bathroom and things of that nature. During that time, I realized that it was a great feeling to be able to contribute and help someone have the best possible quality of life that they can have. And this just feeling of wanting to help just grew, I ended up getting my degree in psychology from the University of Santa Cruz and have always enjoyed helping people in whatever capacity I can.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to work at developing a strong rapport with the person that you'll be caring for as well as the family. This helps to foster trust, and builds a strong and positive working relationship. And it also helps for you to learn the individual's perferences, and what things work for that individual so that you could provide the possible care for that individual tailored to their needs.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Dolly. Dolly is 83 years old and she has one of the best sense of humor of anyone I know. She also just loves to do her hair and makeup and I enjoy always helping her with those sort of things, and matching her clothes. And that's something that gives her a lot of joy and it's a fun thing for me to assist her with. But really, her sense of humor and she would always make me laugh and she loved music. We just shared really good times together.