Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
I'm Karla. I live in Gilroy. I've been a caregiver for eight to nine years. I became a caregiver by chance. My mom introduced me to-- she wanted to be a nurse, and she always tried to help me or guide me towards the nursing career, and she thought it would be a good idea for me to get a taste of what nursing would be like so she introduced me to these caregiver services.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
Out of all the people that I work with, there's one client that comes to mind, and she made a difference in my life as I did hers. I was with her from the beginning to end, and that's when I realized I wanted to continue in this path because I saw the difference that I made in her life every day. When she got diagnosed with lung cancer, I was with her and all throughout her treatment and battle, I was with her to the end. So she taught me a lot.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
One thing I've learned as a caregiver is patience. Patience. Why patience, you ask? Well, because when you have a patient that has Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, they ask questions every five, ten minutes or seconds or they will do things, and they need explanation. A lot of patients love, and you do learn that as you go, we are not naturally patient individuals, but we learn that. And it's not for everyone, but you do learn to be patient and explain things over and over and over and over again to reassure them that they're okay, that they're safe, that what day is it today, simple things like what time is it every five seconds, or I haven't seen you today wherein she already greeted you ten times.
I will provide the care that I expect - the same care if not better care - that I would expect for my loved one or myself because it is the care that I provide every time I go into a client's house. I have my mother in mind. I have myself in mind.