Hi. My name is Senait. I live in Berkeley CA, and I've been taking care of my mother for five-plus years. In particular, the last three years, she lives with me, and I'm her caretaker.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became her caretaker because my mother needs help, and I realized in the last three years that she's had difficulty walking and taking care of herself, and it couldn't be a better reason for me to care for my own mother.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be lots of patience and understanding. If we're not willing to understand and to care and not have enough patience, it will not work out. Always patience, patience, patience.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My client, my own mother, the most memorable time is when I asked her to recite poetry. Willanesh used to have an extensive memory. She could remember relatives up to 13 generation and everybody's birthday and names. And lately, she realized she couldn't do that anymore. And so once I asked her, I started a poetry for her, and I said, "Could you help me finish it?" She said, "Yes." and she started. Halfway, she couldn't continue, and I said, "It's alright. Keep trying." She tried again. Halfway, she couldn't continue. Third time, I said, "You will remember. It's okay. Keep trying." Third time, she was able to recite the whole poetry, and my goodness, to see the happiness, the smile, that she hasn't lost her memory. It was a beautiful moment.