Hi, I'm Melissa. I live in Canoga Park, CA and I have about 9 years of experience being a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I wanted to assist the elderly because it's important that we need people who actually care than just racking up the money and I actually took care of my grandparents before they left. They took care of me and of my parents. They were my saviors. I realized how important elderly people are. I just want to continue the work and stay on the field as long as possible and just dedicate my nice spirit and humbleness to the people that really need it. It makes me happy when I'm at work and I'm actually doing something for somebody that really needs it. It makes me happy to know that I made the patient happy and that I'm actually doing something for a good cause.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to remain calm. Remain humble. Never judge. And always remain open. Have good listening ears and give the patient undivided attention at all times. Just try to relax and learn the client as much as possible. Just relax and never get too comfortable or too close to a client or family. Never accept anything without going through your employer, letting them know. That would be my best advice, to just never get too close, never get too comfortable, always be observative, and remain humble, and always have open eyes and ears when you're dealing with clients.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The most memorable client that I can think about it is Erv, and I say this because me and this client actually developed a very good relationship to the point where he actually treated me as if I was his own daughter, vice versa. He was like a second father to me that I never had. It was funny, you know, when I started working for him. I'm not going to say he didn't like me. He just wasn't hip to the whole idea of having somebody there, and I was his first caregiver ever. This was both new for both of us. It just grew into a loving relationship, very respectful, because I had shown him something nobody else had shown him before when he had other people caring for him. Now again, this was the first time he actually had the 24-hour care, and he was not used to people being with him all day and telling him what to do. He just used to have people helping him, but as his dementia progressed, I always put my foot down and I let him know, "Yes, you are going to take a bath today. We are going to change you. We are going to eat." Just reinforcing rules that actually show the patient that I was actually there to work and I actually cared about what I was doing and who I was doing it, so that actually helped a lot. It made our relationship grow, and if I could, I would definitely take care of this person again.