Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi. My name's Kirk. I live in Sunnyvale, California, and I've been a caregiver for about eight, eight and a half years. The person that inspired me about being a caregiver would be my brother. I've been taking care of him for many years, dealing with diabetes, real bad diabetes, not being able to walk, passing out, dialysis.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I'll never forget was my recent client of five years. We became very, very close, going to activities together, going on walks, going to horse races. He used to work at Bay Meadows for years and years. He was 92, and we just became really close friends all the years I was with him. What I admire most about him was his strength, always trying to exercise as much as he could, always trying to get up and walk around, just to get exercises. If I was able to talk to other caregivers, I'd probably say, "Try to make sure they stay active and exercise." That's what I think.
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
What I think is making me a great caregiver is just being with my brother all those years, up to when I decided to start doing caregiving and gaining more experience, more and more and more as I worked as a caregiver.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
One piece of advice for a caregiver that I would mention would be stay honest. Be very, very patient, compassionate, and caring, and just keep the client happy and comfortable all through the day.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment as a caregiver was when my client ended up in the hospital for three months. I went to the hospital with him and stayed there with him even though I was not on the clock. And I had family members come over thanking me, and they're very happy that I was with their father all that time.