Hi! My name is Reginald. I live in Austin, TX, and I have pretty much been working as a caregiver for 10 years now.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, of the compassion and the love I have for rendering care for people. And then the second count, that takes me back when I lost my dad in 2003. I had to be by his bedside rendering care for him until he died. Rendering care is something that has been part of my life from the time I've known myself as a young man. The one thing that motivates me each and every day, is the fact that I see accomplishment, being able to help, someone recognize they have someone there for them. And also, to enable that person to discover their wholeness and make them know that they are a part of the society, irrespective to whatever ailing condition they are experiencing. Last but not least, it makes me feel something within myself that person can achieve the highest possible standard of living.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, compassion first. First and foremost, your patient should be your primary focus. There are a lot of people that I have worked with from different walks of life. But, when you put compassion above all else in caregiving, it makes you never and ever discriminate anyone in respect of their ethnicity, their religion, their race, nor sexual orientation. And in so doing, that person who gets to know you as a caregiver, what you stand for. And just be yourself, people go into this field because of the lucrative salary it does have. But it's not just all to that. You have to love the profession, love what you do, because there are times you encounter a situation of different kind. Situations where you see family members tell you some horrible things that you wouldn't expect. But, with the love and care that you know in yourself you have for that person you are caring for. You should know definitely, it's rather not the person who is telling you whatever things they are, but it's the illness or ill condition that's bothering them.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is a man in his early 80's by the name of John, who I consider as a mentor. He had a very good sense of humor. And, in addition to rendering care for him, he was always concerned about me, wanting to know where I came from. And through discussions on many occasions, he was able to tell me that he once, he visited my country where I came from. So, that made me to have this kind of connection with him. In addition to helping him or rendering care, he was also concerned about me.