Hi, my name is Paige. I'm currently living in San Jose, CA and I have 2 years of experience in caregiving.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I want to pursue a master's degree in occupational therapy. And in order to get more experience in the field, I took a caregiving position with an individual with Autism. I worked in his home under the supervision of his mother, who was a occupational therapist. So she really is the one who inspired me to continue to give care and to continue to pursue my master's degree.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to fully understand the personal needs and wants of the individual you are providing care to. The most important part of your job is to be sure that the individual you're giving care to is comfortable, is satisfied, is happy with your services. And in order to do that, you need to understand their wants, needs, likes, and dislikes.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Daniel. When I first started working with Daniel, I had a hard time understanding his wants and needs because Daniel is non-verbal. Daniel would need something and I was not able to give it to him. And when I was not able to give him what he needed he often got violent with me. After months of work with him, Daniel and I worked-- sat on a table beside each other, we worked right in each other's faces. We worked on verbal skills. We worked on personal hygiene. We worked on exercising. And after almost two whole years of working with Daniel, I developed a very deep bond with him. It did not take me long to understand how to read him, how to understand his wants, how to understand what he needed without being able to communicate with him through words. Daniel and I found other ways to communicate with each other, with sign language, we used certain tools to express he wants food, he would hold up a fork, things like that. I enjoyed working with Daniel so much. And on the last day working with him, Daniel actually got up and gave me a hug and I had only seen him hug his mother up until that point. So that was probably my best day at work, was my last day of work.