Hi, my name is Kristel. I live in Los Angeles, CA and I have been a caregiver for 5 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my mom, my dad, and everybody in my family started out as caregivers before they had entered medical school and became medical professionals. I took care of my grandma and my grandpa on both sides, and that's what I've been doing. Not just with my grandma and grandpa, but with other people, as well.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver is to be very patient and love your work. It's not all the time, that your patients are nice, but you'll get used to what you're doing. You'll love what you do, and patients take some time to adjust. When you're patient with them, it helps a lot and you have to love what you do too. You have to show dedication, and that you're not just there for the salary, that you're there to take good care of them, like you're taking care of your family.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Eli. He was going through Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. He was in a very late stage of Parkinson's disease. He had a hard time remembering, had trouble getting around, he really needed a lot of assisting and help. He had trouble keeping and maintaining a primary caregiver because nobody was able to communicate with him, and he was kind of tough to get along to, but as soon as I came in there, he clicked. He let me help him. I was joyful that every time I leave, I come back, he'd ask for me, and he would refer me as the little girl. "I want the little girl to take care of me. I want the little girl to help me.