Hi my name is Marin. I line in Costa Mesa, CA and I have three years of caregiving experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I am interested in occupational therapy. That is my ultimate goal, is one day to become an occupational therapist. I grew up and when I was younger my grandmother had a stroke, so I always thought that she had a personal caregiver who was also an occupational therapist, and it was always very interesting to me to see how her personal caregiver became not just a caregiver but part of our family. And she was also an occupational therapist so I saw how she used the goals in occupational therapy and was able to use those in caregiving and caring for my grandmother. I just wanted to find a way that I could help someone, that I could give back while I was going to school and so, I decided to go to school and get my CNA license, and then I've been working ever since.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, is to really love your job. It can be very difficult taking care of another person, especially someone that may be experiencing a difficult time in their life. Whether that they recently fell, or they are going through memory problems, dementia, Alzheimer's. But to really love your job and to really care for people means a lot. This is actually advice I have given to someone, is that there are going to be hard days, that's just the nature of working with people, there's going to be ups and downs but just know that it is always rewarding, that you are that person that they trust, that they can count on, that they see every single day, and they know is going to be there to take care of them, and really all of the rewards that you get out of it is worth the difficult time that you may experience and just know that you will get through the difficult times, just put yourself in their shoes but know that in the end it's rewarding and they do appreciate everything you do for them, even if they can't express it.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is my client Annie, she was just the sweetest person I have ever met. Even with Alzheimers, she was always smiling and always had a good heart. Sometimes she couldn't express exactly what was in her mind but I knew by the way that she looked at me that she recognized me or she was happy to see me, and that meant a lot to me. She was someone so special to me and I won't ever forget taking care of her, she would make me laugh and I could make her laugh, and it was really rewarding to me to be able to care for her at the end of her life and just do little things like put some makeup on or do her hair, I'll never forget her, she just had a light about her that even Alzheimers couldn't get rid of. So she will always be in my heart, she recently passed away but I'm just happy that I got to be a part of her life when I did.