Can you tell me a little about yourself and who inspired you to go into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Reginald.. I live in Dublin, California. I've been a caregiver for two years and a CNE for one year. So the person who inspired me to be a caregiver was my grandparents - I was raised by both of them. And at a certain time in my life when I was a grown man and I was just there looking after them. So, it was fine, it was something I enjoy doing. I have a lot of pride, and to keep smile on people's face, to be able to do something for someone that in need. So, it's more like where the love came from.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I'll never forget, his name is Desmond, was probably in his, I think, late '60s. I do help him out to lift a lot of stuff whenever he needs hands. He's always like, "Oh, young man, strong man." That's the nickname he always calls me. I'm like, "My name is Reggie," he said, "Young man." So, whenever he's down, he needs anything - even when I'm off - he calls me on the phone, he doesn't want to get off the phone, we talk, all sort of funny thing. It was a memorable moment after a while when he passed away because there was nobody calling my phone or anybody calling me to say, "Young man." I miss those moment because it's always good to put a smile on someone's face, and they enjoy being around you because they know they comfortable around you, and they would always seek joy in you being around them. So, here's something I would never forget, and I take pride in it.
Tell us about your most challenging client as a caregiver?
The most challenging, which I obviously overcome, was a client that was bipolar. It took a while for we to get comfortable with each other. After I know how to make them comfortable when they're down and I'll channel the energy from negative to positive. It was joy, it was fun after I went to be able to switch them away from the negative talk and being destructive.
What makes you a great caregiver?
What I think makes me a caregiver is I enjoy doing it. I enjoy putting a smile of people's face. I enjoy that fact that I can be there for someone. It gives me joy from within. I enjoy seeing people be able to achieve what they expect they couldn't with the fact that one could be able to assist a sudden need or sudden aid to put a smile on their face, on their family's face. For them to realize there's someone they could rely on even though they're no around. I take pride in that. I take joy in doing that because it both way - it's win win for me doing something I enjoy doing, and at the same time, put a smile on someone's face, on the family's face.
What advice do you have for a new caregiver?
One piece of advice for new a caregiver. I would say be patient. The patient'll be observant, but I think when you're patient, you observe and you learn quick. So the word patient takes a lot. When you're patient, let things work towards you. Don't force things. Say it's always good to have an open mind and have patience. Work things gradually. There is no rush in life because when you rush things, you end up regretting. So I feel patient is a key to any situation you are in life. And that's my own philosophy of how I believe things should be done. So for a new caregiver or someone starting anything in life, you need to have patience and believe in yourself, and you can always get result doing those two things.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
Probably moments that caregiver, I want to see the family accepted me as one of their own. Not uncomfortable around me, say anything. They accept me as family, not as a caregiver. It was a huge proud moment for me, being accepted not just as a worker, but as a family.