Hello, my name is Kristina, I live in Hayward, CA and I have been a caregiver for the past 10 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
When I was 15-years-old, I became a caregiver because a close family friend could not take care of her elderly mother, I loved her mother as if she was my own grandmother so I had no problem taking care of her. At such a young age, it all came so natural to me to take care of someone with higher need. I love being needed and appreciated for the love and care that I gave.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to understand that this is not a regular job. This is a calling of your soul, you have to know from deep within inside your heart that you are meant to be selfless enough to care, love and protect a stranger in need. Being a caregiver also means being gentle, understanding and patient. This job itself is more rewarding than a paycheck you receive, every end of the week. In my eyes, this is what it means to be a caregiver.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My most memorable client would have to be my first client ever, the woman who made me the caregiver I am today, Miss Julia. I love Julia as if she was my own grandmother, I took care of her until she passed away. I never thought I could feel such heartbreak from a person who was not my blood but I also never knew someone could love me so much without me being their blood. She taught me about life at such a young age, I dedicate me being a caregiver because of her, she taught me how to love other than myself.