Hi, my name is Nichole, and I live in Sacramento, CA and I have been a caregiver for about three years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998, and I was her sole provider in taking care of her from the time she was diagnosed, up until the time she was on hospice, and then unfortunately with her passing. And in doing that, I learned that I did have a caring heart and I was good at taking care of her. So after that, after she eventually passed, I also then took care of my father, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2005, and there, that is what prompted me to pursue the medical field and eventually becoming a certified nursing assistant as well as a medical assistant.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to always be aware of your surrounding when you're taking care of a client and to be aware what you're doing. If you're lifting or if you're assisting a client with something, you have to make sure that you're using proper body mechanics as well as making sure that you're not hurting the client. And another tip would be to always make sure that you listen and that you're aware the clients need as well as their privacy and just overall, their well-being.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Mary. When I first started working for her, she was really mean and really aggravated because of her situation. She was in a nursing home. She didn't want to be there. Her family had basically stopped coming to visit her, so she was really aggressive toward me as being her caregiver. The thing I will remember the most about Mary is, after working with her for about two or three months, one day I came in, and she actually smiled at me and greeted me, and she had never done that before.