Hello, my name is Maletina. I live in Palo Alto, CA and I have been a caregiver for a little over 5 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I was exposed to caregiving at a young age. My mother was a caregiver when I was growing up and also I became a primary caregiver for my elderly mother and also for my brother when he felt ill. It's been a very rewarding experience knowing that you're making a difference in other people's lives.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be make sure that you have compassion for others and caring and other clients or any elder or disabled person that you care for, that you treat them with dignity and respect. If you talk to any family members or any previous clients that I took care of, they would always have something to say about positive things to share about my experience with their loved ones simply because I cared for them as like my own family.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client that I'll never forget was Franco. Franco suffered from Dementia. He worked as an accountant for a major corporation all his life and when I came to be his caregiver, I was given the horror story about how abusive he was because of his dementia. Many, I believe, the number was they went through at least 55 caregivers and none of them seemed to work out. He was never happy with any of them and there's always a problem that he always tried to tell all the caregivers that came there. So, my first day working with Franco, I've already had the bad feedback from all the caregivers. Many caregivers told me, "Please don't go there because Franco is this, this, and that." That's his first name, by the way. But when I came, Franco tested out the water with me because when I first came, he started off trying to be mean to me. So what I did was I asked Franco, "Okay Mr. Franco, now that I'm going to be your caregiver let's try to have some understanding. I will care for you and I promise to take good care of you with respect and dignity and I expect you treat me with respect as well. So, nevertheless, after the little conversation that we had, from that day forward, my relationship with Franco was different. He respected me, he was kind and he was very courteous with me.