Hi, my name is Norma. I live in Union City, CA and I've been providing in home care aid for the past two and a half years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver in July of 2014. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she was diagnosed, she was given eight to ten months to survive. Unfortunately she only survived three months while receiving chemo treatment. During that time I had taken a leave of absence from my office job to become my mother's full-time caregiver. It was after she passed away and I went back to work in the office that I felt in my heart that I would be more happier and just feel more at ease and just more rewarding to be able to go out and help others that are in need of home care need.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to always be patient, be compassionate, be loving and most of all, listen to the client and pay attention to their needs. A lot of times, they will instruct you what they're needing. I've noticed that the clients that I work with right now are just mostly needing a great deal of companionship. If they have doctor's appointments that they have scheduled, then you have to make sure that you are able to be well organized and prioritize what needs to be done. If they have medication that needs to be taken, be sure to be responsible, to remind them when their medication is needed. If you're going to cook for them, make sure that you cook the foods that they like. If they are diabetic and they have certain dietary needs, please be sure to follow them and again, just remember that you're there to care for the client and so you have to be able to take anything they say or do into consideration. At times, you have to realize that they may not be feeling well. They might be feeling a little sad or depressed. Just continue to give them positive feedback. Encourage them, pray for them if they need it, just remember to be there, and just give them the best kind of loving care that you possibly can.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client that I am most impressed with that I currently work with right now, her name is Tina. She is a retired registered nurse. I am just completely impressed with how much she has overcome in the last 20 years. She migrated from China here to the United States and in the time that she has been here, she's learned how to speak English fluently. As a charge nurse, she was devoted to providing the best treatments to her people that she took care of in the hospital. It's important that Tina was diagnosed with dementia three years ago and during this time she's had two brain surgeries. I started providing care services for her a few months ago and one of the things that she has to do that her doctor has recommended is to go out and try to walk around the block four times a week. Most recently, I took her to a local park where she was able to go out and walk two miles. Tina and I have a wonderful relationship. Not only am I her caregiver but we have become great friends. We have a wonderful time together. She is also diabetic so she has to eat certain meals and she enjoys fresh vegetables so I do prepare her meals for her and I prepare them according to her need. But also, we are able to encourage each other with prayers and through bible study. We enjoy our time together. We laugh, we talk, we even cry together and it's just wonderful to see that a lady that has gone through so much is continuing to be positive and she just perseveres in everything she does. So I would have to say that she is the most memorable client that I am working with.