Hello, my name is Melissa. I'm from La Habra, CA. I have been working professionally as a caregiver for five years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, as a young kid, I had to take care of my grandfather. He had heart problems. He was suffering from dementia. And since I was really involved with him, I felt is a role that I needed to take over. And I took care of him. I took care of him until he had passed away.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be compassionate, to be understanding, to be patient. I would say, get to know your client. Get to know your patient. Get to know the things that made them happy once, the things that bring joy to them, and apply that, you know, through your daily activities. If it's music, if it's dance, if it's drawing, whatever the case might be, apply that throughout the daily activities. I think it works really well, and it's a good feeling for them, and it's something that makes them happy.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is one of my first clients that I had to take care of at a convalescent hospital. I had just started working there and I remember they had assigned me to her, and they told me that she was pretty difficult to work with and she had been for so many years, since she started staying there. So, in the beginning, I would say she was a little difficult with me. She was suffering from dementia and she would be very frustrated and agitated, upset at the world. And in the beginning, she was a little upset. You know, she would give me a hard time. I was just very patient with her and very calm. Every single time I walked in there, I made sure I was calm and I would talk to her in a very respectful manner. So after a while, little by little, she would just start allowing me to get her dressed. She would start allowing me to walk her, to assist her to the restroom. And it got to the point where I was able to take her out for lunch and dinner so she can have lunch and dinner with the rest of the clients that were in the convalescent hospital. And a lot of the nurses, they were pretty amazed. They even acknowledged it and they congratulated me, and they said that I had been doing a great job because no one had ever been able to manage to get her out of that room to even had lunch with anybody else.