Hello. My name is Radiance Holly. I live in San Francisco, CA, and I've been a caregiver for a little over a year.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I had a grandmother who was diagnosed with dementia, and she didn't really trust anyone to take care of her. She didn't want to go to a home, so I took her into my apartment when I was about 19 years old. And I was a full-time student, and I ended up taking care of her full time. The hospital was giving her about three years to live, but she actually lived about six years. After that I really just fell in love with helping out others. I just love what I do, honestly. I really do.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a caregiver would be to be kind and patient. Get as much information on the client as possible, and also get to know the family. Get a good rapport with them because they're going to be the first people that you look to, and that look to you for answers, also. And go into the situation with an open mind and an open heart because this is a very delicate situation. It's hard enough for people to have someone in their home, and taking care of someone that they love, and they're not around. That's already difficult for them to do. So just reassure the family that you know what you're doing, and everything will be fine.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client that I won't forget is George. He was a very smart man before he came down with his illness. He had dementia. He actually assisted in one of the few first space launches that we had here in Florida. He used to love to talk about that, and then also he would give me quizzes on math, and we would do that together to kind of keep him as sharp as possible. And then he was just a really warm man, and I still keep in contact with their family. They actually wished me luck-- I recently got married, they wished me luck on my future. Just a great family all around and a really great client.