Hello, my name is Latrece. I've been taking care of people with disabilities for 17 years. I am bilingual. I currently live in South Pasadena, CA.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver at the age of 13, I was with my grandma. My grandmother was a traveling nurse and she took care of me then, and at the time, it wasn't exactly the model job for me, but I was a youngster so I had to go to work with my grandma. And it was something that I really ended up loving. And here I am 33 years old and I'm still doing it. I love doing what I do. I appreciate the people that I work for, and they appreciate me, and I'll continue to do it until I can't do it any more.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to treat them like they're your own parents that's because they are someone's parents, they're someone's brother, someone's sister, someone's mom. But you have to be a person before the uniform. Even though you put your suit on, you still have to treat them like a person. And they need your respect because they need our help. Some of them can't do simple things like getting a cup of water for themselves. So even something that's such a small task is very appreciated by them.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget by the name of Mr. Albert. I was with Mr. Albert for about five years straight. I worked with him through my old company, and he was one of the coolest people I ever worked for. He couldn't really have a sit down conversation, but every now and then he could say a few things. I started taking a couple of kids with me, which was my niece, my daughter, and one of their little friends, and I would pay them every week. We'd ask him what did he want, we'd bring some things and he'd point at it. And we celebrated his birthday with him.