Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Leonida, and I live in San Jose. And I work as a caregiver for the past seven years. I started as a caregiver, caring for my husband when he fell from our bed. He had hip surgery, and one time he was supposed to take these exercises in order for him not to have blood clotting, and he refused. And I told him that if he doesn't want to walk, then he might die because of blood clotting. That started my work as a caregiver.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
I had this client who happens to be a professor. And he's, I think, 88 years old. And he's so temperamental. He doesn't want to be touched, and he just wanted to eat steamed food. Steamed vegetables, and that's it. I started as one of his several caregivers. And one time he made a poop, and he really doesn't want to be touched. But since he's getting older, I've been caring for him for two years. I just did what I had to do to clean him up. And since that time that we started, the time that I have to clean him, he allowed himself-- he trusted me to clean him and I was so happy.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
What I learned to be as a caregiver is patient, number one, compassionate, and to deal with the sick person, to give him comfort, and, if possible, to understand. You need understanding to care for patients who are sick.