Hi, my name is Leslie, I live in Citrus Heights, CA. I have been a caregiver for 30 plus years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver simply because I truly, truly love blessing people with the proper care that they deserve. I feel like being a caregiver is a gift and one of God's beautiful blessings that we can be for other people. I feel we're angels on earth because we get to go in there and help people feel happy, give them the care that they deserve and make them laugh and take good care of them. I feel like it's just an honor to be a caregiver and I'm very blessed that I have been doing this for many, many years and I truly love it.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice for the new caregivers would be, "Do not take the job personal when it comes to working for a patient that has dementia or Alzheimer's." I feel like with those types of patients they need love, they need support and they need someone strong enough to handle them. Don't get mad when they say things that may offend you. Just be there for them. Give them the love and support that they need. Walking out on the patient that has that type of disease is just not good. Just be there for them.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget would be a client named Charles that I had taken care of. He had dementia and I worked for him for about eight years. He's been through a lot. He's had family, friends, church members, even doctors and nurses walk out from him or disregard their care towards him and it was a very sad story, but despite everybody walking out I never left his side. As time grew, he remembered that.
He had held my hand and he told me, "You know, Leslie, for many, many years I have done wrong towards people. I've yelled at people, I've even said some things that I didn't even mean and to have you here taking care of me is a blessing. You fulfilled my prayer and you fulfilled God's will. You knew that I needed someone here and God knew that you would be the right person to do that for me and I will forever be thankful for you and I'm truly blessed to have you in my life and I thank you for never walking out on me no matter how difficult it was."