Hi! My name is Kari, and I live in Vacaville, California. And I have over 10 years of experience in caregiving.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I was raising six children and was looking for some supplemental income. And at the time, an elderly family member had a stroke. So I cared for him in his home for two years, doing all the basic meal preparation, medication administration, and personal care as he recovered from his stroke. I pursued other caregiving positions with companies on a more professional basis.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to study and to learn about the different personalities that people have. There are five core personalities that people generally fall under. And when you learn about these traits and learn how to work with them, it makes caregiving a lot more intimate, and I level because I can relate to each patient as an individual. I would also advise not to forget that being a caregiver is difficult. And one of the most important thing is to remember to care for yourself so you can be a good caregiver. Because we're caring for others, we need to take care our own basic needs so that we can be at our best.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Rick. Rick was a quadriplegic man in his 60s, and he'd suffered a spinal cord injury due to a swimming accident. Rick was a very strong, independent man, and he did not let his disabilities hinder him from doing anything. He was very godly, had many friends, and he was politically active and an advocate for other disabled people. As his caregiver, I learned perseverance, strength, and overcoming. I learned true gratefulness in that, he was unable to do anything for himself. He couldn't feed himself, or even use the bathroom. But, as his caregiver, I was able to be his arms and feet and help him through the work that was important to him. That was his passion. So, I will never forget Rick because he showed me the human strength and will to overcome and still be able to make your life valuable despite any disabilities or challenges. Rick taught me more than any client that I ever worked with.