Hi! My name is Rachell. I currently live in Santa Rosa, California, and I have seven years of caregiving experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I grew up with a family that always helps each other and saw my mother be a caregiver to multiple family members going through various illnesses. That inspired me to later pursue a career in health and human services. I received my AA in medical assisting, however, my seven years of caregiving experience is with preschoolers, teenagers with severe emotional disturbances, in a level 14 care home, and also working with adults with disabilities at a nonprofit in Santa Rosa.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver. First start with the utmost patience and understanding of any situation you are in with the person you are providing care for. A second bit of advice would be to learn as much as possible about the needs and/or diagnosis of the person you're providing care for has. And third, just always remember to be mindful of your own self and how you're feeling in that situation, in order to make sure that you have the best, most responsible reaction to any event that could possibly occur.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is named James. He is an older Italian gentleman in his early 70s, paraplegic with a GI tube. I spent about two years in his company, and I am ever so thankful for it. He served as a great inspiration. Nothing ever got him down. He worked with other clients on the floor to advocate for themselves and advocate for their rights. He set out multiple informational resources. He traveled to Sacramento to speak about disability. He goes to the disability law center downtown, and he always had something funny to say or a story to share, and it was just always worth it to just sit there with him and listen to these things, or just other situations around us and comment on those things, and it just felt like I was there to help him, but he helped me in so many different occasions without even realizing that he was serving in that capacity.