Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Linda. I live in Fairfield, California, and I've been a caregiver for 20 years. I became a caregiver by taking care of my father-in-law after he had a stroke and came to live with us.
What have you found to be important when working with Alzheimer's clients?
In my career I have worked with patients who have Alzheimer's. The important thing in their care is to always make them feel that they're not handicapped or impaired. Make them feel that they're still important to society and to themselves. If they talk about apples one minute, and then they start talking about a sports car, I talk about the sports car. Whatever conversation they have, the best thing to do is to go with the conversation.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My favorite client was an elderly lady who had a stroke that impaired her speech and left her wheelchair-bound. She felt like God had dealt her the wrong hand. I talked to her and let her know that it wasn't anything bad that she had done. I became her caregiver for five days a week after that. She became very relaxed with me, and she called me her daughter. I just loved her. I stayed with her until her passing.
Why do people say you are a good caregiver?
People tell me I'm a good caregiver simply because I listen to what they want -- their thoughts, their needs, what they like and don't like. Even down to the foods that they love. I listen and then that's what I prepare for them.