Hi, my name's Shaheen. I live in Moreno Valley, CA and I've been a caregiver for 11 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, since I was about six to seven years old, I was always helping my mother, helping my brothers and sisters, helping my parents take care of my brothers and sisters. My mom and my dad are deaf, so I was always translating, filling out paperwork, and going to school, and translate for my mom and my dad. And going to the doctors and caring for my brothers and sisters when they're sick. And I've realized that I have a heart to care for others and help people when they're in need.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be don't become a caregiver for the money or because you need the money. If you're not in it with your heart to help others, then it's not a good job, a position for you. To become a caregiver, you already have to be born with a passion of caring and loving to help others, which takes a lot of patience and courage to do. And have patience with clients because some of them are disabled, or don't understand, or have dimensia, or have more special needs, and they need someone to really, actually care and really love what they're doing, but not for the money. So if you want to become a caregiver or if you're going to be a caregiver, do it because it's your passion to love helping others.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I'll never forget is Miss Michelle. I would always come in the same time, around 10:30. I would be early because my shift would start at 11:00. And I would come and Michelle was my first patient, and I went to ask her daughter - when I went in her room, she wasn't there - and I went to ask the daughter, "Where's Michelle at?" And she was like, "I don't know. I just seen her." And I would go and look for her and find her in the backyard with a roll of toilet paper in her hand. And she always had the toilet paper. She was obsessed with toilet paper, and I would always find her in the backyard.