Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
I became a caregiver by taking care of both of my parents. My mother passed away in '92 of pancreatic cancer. My father passed in '03 from diabetes and I felt that it was my calling to be a caregiver for the elderly, and I've been doing it for 16 years, straight. Families often ask for me personally because I am efficient and I give them encouragement that this can be done - without any injury or hurting the client - it can be done.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
I once had a client. He was a psychiatrist by profession. He broke his hip. I took care of him and he was just an amazing, amazing person. Taught me so much just about life and caring, and I really thanked him for that.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
As a caregiver, skills I've learned working with Alzheimer's patients, they're not same every day, and you have to be patient with them. If they get aggressive, you back off and come back two or three minutes later, and then they're more cooperative. Or just be patient with them, and you'll get them to come around. But that's the most important thing I've learned, be patient with any client.