Hi, my name is Monique. I live in San Francisco, CA and I have three and a half years experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my mom has been a caregiver since I was about 3 years old. She, actually, to this day, is still a caregiver. She worked with a lot of people who had dementia and Alzheimer's, and we were around them like they were family. They came to barbecues, we went to their barbecues. So she worked with them for years. She had a patient for years, the same one. So we were around them, and I always loved them, just being able to help somebody, especially when they don't have any family to help them. And then when I got a little older I had to help take care of my grandma because she got real sick.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new care provider would be you just make sure you have patience because they are human too. Now, they just need help. And, a lot of them, they don't want help because they're used to doing it their self. So they don't not like you, but they're going through something right now because they're not used to not being able to do it their self. You got to have patience for them. They're not being mean just because they want. They're stressed because they have to have somebody come help them, clean them, wipe them, cook for them, and a lot of them are used to doing it their self. You have to have patience, talk to them, try to communicate. Let them know that you're there for them. It's okay.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget, her name is Georgia. That's when I worked in Mobile, Alabama, and she was so sweet. She was starting to get Alzheimer's, so she was starting to forget. But she used to pull my hair just out the blue and smile. And then I used to give her her medicine. She would drink, open her mouth. I thought she took it. I guess she was hiding it under her tongue and wait for me to look at her, and then she would spit it out and just laugh. She only did that for me, her husband said, so I'm always going to remember that. And she'd just laugh, and we'd give her her medicine again. And then she used to say, "You big, you big, but you pretty, though." So I can never forget her because it was just so sweet because she used to say this crazy stuff out the blue.