Hi, my name is Laphia. I live in Long Beach, CA and I have been a caregiver off and on for three years for my grandmother.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my grandmothers on my mother's side as well as my father's side needed help with someone to come over and take them grocery shopping, run different errands. I also help with light cooking and dressing, and anything they pretty much needed. And I just really enjoyed being able to be of assistance to them. It's just extremely rewarding, and I got a chance to spend a lot of time with them before they both passed away.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be patient and understand and just find the joy out of being around someone who needs your help or someone who needs your assistance with doing light housekeeping or running errands. I think if you enjoy your work and you enjoy helping others, it will be beneficial for you. So that would be my advice, to just be patient, understand, and also be calm and just be considerate of their feelings and the way that you respond to things that may happen.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget would be my grandmother. My grandmother Jean-- she suffered from dementia, and she was also a diabetic, and I helped with her. The last year or two of her life was just light housekeeping and cooking and also showering. And I Just remember it being difficult to get her to eat at times, and so we would make funny faces and joke around and talk about different things. And then soon enough she would forget that she didn't want to eat something, and then she-- she would just give in after a while and then she'd be like, "Hey, this is really good." But just taking in every minute and just enjoying it because those were times where she sometimes didn't feel like herself. And so when she would laugh or she would smile while I was trying to feed her, I would just appreciate every moment of it, and just embrace it, and just cater to her needs, and do whatever I could to make her smile.