Hi, my name is Maria and I live in Watsonville, CA. I've been a caregiver for two years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I care for others other than myself and my family. I like to care for others. It gives me a satisfaction to know that I'm doing something for somebody else, making a change in their life for-- a good change in their life. And it matters to me because I want to be an RN and I am currently enrolled in school to be an RN.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to new caregivers would be to be yourself, to be your happy self. We're there to provide help and to give them, not only physically, but morally and emotionally, a better quality of life or the same quality of life as if there was nothing wrong with them, as if they had no obstacles. You're there to help them make their life better. Make their day better. Put a smile on their face. That is what really matters, to make their life easier.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I would never forget is Maria. She is an older woman who went through two heart surgeries back to back. An older woman, at her eighties, who basically was left without a grain of strength. And she came home after a few weeks at the hospital very sad all by herself, couldn't do much, couldn't even move by herself. She needed so much help. And more than that, she needed somebody who would put a smile on her face. Someone to talk to her, to help her forget her problems, even if it was for a few minutes. Throughout the course of time, she got so much better. She loved talking. She loved watching certain programs on her TV. And she would talk to me about them all the time. She would describe it in detail what had happened, who did this, who did that. And she loved her TV shows. And most of all, she liked having me there with her, somebody who not only would do her chores and her errands but somebody who would actually sit down and talk to her for a few minutes and listen to what she had to say and pay attention and understand, not only look at her with pity, but look at her as a really good friend and a person who has a lot of value. She really appreciated that and I loved working with her. She eventually did get better. She recovered. She's full on back on her feet. She's doing everything on her own. She's a very, very sweet lady.