Hi, my name is Patricia. I have been a caregiver for 24 years and I live Oakley, California.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I love helping my mom take care of my grandmother when I was young. Then in my 20s, I had Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer and just wanted to stay in the field to help people. In my 40s, I had breast cancer. I love my job.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to make sure that you're doing it for your heart and not necessarily for the paycheck. Also that you have to remember that you're taking care of someone else's loved ones and that you want to treat people the way that you would want someone to treat your loved ones.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I will never forget, her name was Lynn. She was a cancer patient. I remember my interview with her son. Her son was a doctor. One of her sons, she had three sons. They had been putting her wig on backward. During the interview, she was sitting there. She couldn't speak, but she could write and point to things that she needed. Sitting there, I was looking at her and I was like, "Something is wrong." I said, "Excuse me, do you mind?" I turned her wig around, and she just hugged me and cried. I think her sons, they didn't know.
Then when she passed, her sons were there and the grandchildren. I remember just being there with them and feeling a part of the family. They went to help me clean her up and get her dressed. She had this big garden in her backyard, and her sons made like this carrier. They put her in her favorite dress and they carried her through her garden before the coroner came to pick her up. It really touched my heart.