Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
I am Maria . I'm a widow. And everybody can call me either Christina or Tina, whichever they prefer. I live in South San Francisco, and I've been a caregiver since 1994. I started becoming a caregiver when my father became terminally ill in 1994. And then when he passed on, a cousin recommended me to a lady with Alzheimer's, and I was hired by the husband to take care of her for two years. And then from then on, after she passed, from then on I continued with the job.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The one that stood out was my first client, Emile Farger from Santa Clara. I took care of her. She was an Alzheimer's client, and the whole family became friends with me, too. And even to this date we still contact each other, and they treated me like a member of their family.
What qualities do you admire in your clients as a caregiver?
A quality that I really admire in my clients is their intelligence. Even though they are already in different stages of dementia, you would still notice or find out that they're-- you'll be aware that they're really intelligent and their sense of humor. And the reason why I admire intelligence in my clients is because we can discuss things. I learn from them, too.
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
Mostly, I've tried to humor the client so that they will be easier to take care of. I try to see their wants and to - as long as it's safe - then I try to cater to their needs and their wants.