Hi, my name is Melissa. I live in Sacramento, CA. I've been a caregiver for over 15 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I used to watch my mother who was a nurse, take care of the elderly in a dementia facility. I remember this from being 8 years old. My whole life has been revolved around working in the medical field. I've worked in long-term care with dementia patients. I've worked in memory care units. I've worked in acute care in a hospital setting. I've worked as a medical assistant as well as most recently as an ER tech. I have always been one to enjoy my job. I work caring for others and I now currently have a grandfather who as well is starting to show signs of dementia. So, in my blood, I feel that caregiving is something that I really truly do feel passion about.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be patient. Take your time to get to know whoever you're taking care of, whether it be a loved one, a relative of another loved one, a neighbor, anybody in that or a perfect stranger that you're starting to care for in any situation, hospital, acute care, long-term, any of those. Be patient, get to know your person, and listen to what they have to say, every day, go in with a smile, do your very best, listen to what they have to say, be very gentle and enjoy what you do.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is a patient that I took care of in an acute setting. This was a gentleman who had early stage of Alzheimer's. He was married. He was new to the US. He was a very sweet man. And my first memory of him was, when I was sitting down as a sitter for him, because he was confused and would get out of bed a lot, and he was a fall hazard. I enjoyed his company and I will never forget him.