Hi, my name's Renee. I live in Santa Maria, CA and I've been a caregiver for over two years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver when my father got sick, he had cancer and had a hard time finding someone to take care of him properly, so I did it and then it continued on after he passed. I decided this is what I wanted to do, so I started working at an independent living facility and then went on to work through home health care and now I've completed my CNA license, so I am certified nurse's assistant and would like to continue caring for people who need care.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to always, always have patience and always treat the client with dignity. I feel that skills can be taught, things can be learned but patience is a virtue when it comes to caring for elderly, dementia. I've dealt with them all and patience is a big thing.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is a woman who has dementia. I've known her for five years now and I have seen the decline and she's very forgetful now but can recall my name if I help her, prompt her. I care for her. She's still a client of mine. Once in a while, I enjoy spending time with her. She does remember me at times and that to me is a light because she tells me how scary it is for her. She's scared because she doesn't remember things but she can recall things from her childhood so I love to sit and talk to her about when she was a kid, when she was married, stuff like that and she's just been a source of wisdom. I just enjoy spending time with her and helping her knowing that she does trust me and she tells me she loves me because she remembers me. I'm a familiar face to her where in a sea of faces that are constantly around her that she doesn't quite remember. I'm there kind of like a rock to her, so I enjoy spending time with her.