Hi, my name is Paul. I live in Moreno Valley, CA and I've provided respite care for about four years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because of the student I was taking care of at the high school I was working for. His mom approached me and asked if I could come work within her home. And he inspired me. He has cerebral palsy. And the way he was able to complete his activities and daily living and the way he just tried to be a part of the general public really inspired me to continue working with him as I was in Northern California.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to have patience. Don't consider yourself above any task. And just really have a heart for the people that you're caring with. Take the time to get to know them and let them get to know you. Probably, most important would be to have integrity. And maybe be on time also. They need that.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is a high school student who had cerebral palsy and consistently demonstrated the ability to succeed within the general public to the point where students in the general population would do more than just attempt to be his friend, but actually want to be around him even though he was limited in his communication. And his personality, despite his limited communication, just shone through in all of his classes, the other students that wanted to be a part of his life, and the activities that he did. Today, I think he's gone to college. And he is participating in a program where he actually develops movies.