Hi, my name is Marisol, I live in Santa Ana, CA. I've been a caregiver for two years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I've always been interested in working in the medical field and I've always been very caring of others. Now my first step was to become a CNA but I'm looking forward in the future to becoming an RN.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to always be patient, to have compassion and of course to always be understanding and although the work may look overwhelming or the resident is being a little overwhelmed as well with you being the new person, you just need to be patient and just try and not show that you don't know what you're doing or you're afraid of them because that makes them uncomfortable as much as it makes you.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Trudy. I had barely started working in the new facility and I had barely met Trudy maybe three days before, and I didn't really know her that well and she didn't really know me, we would just have conversations because since I was an orientee, I didn't have much to do and the one night, Trudy was in her bedroom and she came out and she called me into her room and she didn't want to see anybody else and she was telling me stories about when she was young and what she used to do and any little story that came into her mind because she suffered from Dementia and Alzheimers and so she would just tell me stuff like she doesn't like the light on. So that day, I said, "Okay Trudy, it's time for bed." and we turned off the light and she started screaming, she's like, "No, turn on the lights. Turn on the lights." I wasn't aware that she didn't like the lights, so we turn on the light and she didn't let me leave, I said, "Okay Trudy, good night, I'll see you tomorrow." and she didn't let me leave the room and I stayed there with her, and she said, "Please don't leave me," and I said, "I'm just going to go outside really quick." She said, "No, don't go," and she's like, "I don't like to be alone," and I said, "Okay Trudy but you're never alone," and then I referred to her stuffed animal I left on the side and she started smiling and she said, "Oh, can you sit in my bed and hold my hand?" Usually, that's not really allowed for any caregiver, we don't really do that but this time I sat with her and I was telling her a little bit about me and how I was looking forward to working with her. The next morning that I went in, she had already passed away. So I don't know what happened, she was full of life still and it's just really sad that I didn't really get to work with her because I was actually looking forward to it, she was really opening and welcoming me. So that really helps when you're a new caregiver in a new facility because you're always afraid that you're going to do something wrong or that they don't like you and no, she was very welcoming, very warming.