Hi, my name is Shaquenda. I live in San Bernardino, CA and I've been a caregiver for one year but I took care of my mom for 14 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because while growing up my mom was very sick and it was me, my mom and my sister so it was us three. Mostly my whole childhood was the hospital, rehabs and dialysis centers and my sister ended up moving out and it was just me and my mom. So I took care of my mom all the way until she passed away which was two years ago and it just grew on me.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would honestly be to take the time to listen or take the time to listen to your client and make sure that you're meeting their needs and be that companion that they're looking for or even if it's just to bathe him, your bathing time, talk to him, get to know your client or even during meal time where you're feeding your client or you and your client are eating-- you have the meal together, get to know them, talk to them, have them open up to you because you're somebody new that's going to be coming into their life, into their home, into their space and they don't really know you like that. Just be loving, caring and compassionate. I say just go in there with an open heart.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My client that I will never forget and I actually still work for her, I love her to death and I would say walking into her house and she's always laughing. I could just look at her, she'll just bust up laughing at me. I'll ask her why she's laughing and she'll say, "I don't know." but my most memorable thing is when I was changing her and when I was done changing her, I gave her a bed bath and stuff, cleaned her up, gave her a little rubdown, put the lotion, a massage and she looked at me when I told her, "I'll see you later." and I turned the light off and she looked at me and she said, "Quenda." and I said, "Yes, mama?" and she said, "I love you." and I looked at her and I told her I loved her back because it's like I really do love her. Me and her are like-- she's like my baby and I just look forward to seeing her every time I go over there to sit, watch movies, take care of her and just be that companion she needs. I love it, I really do love it.