Hi. My name is Shelby. I live in Escondido, CA and I've been a caregiver for 11 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I like to help people. I originally started out in field nursing and then I moved to working with elderly and Alzheimer's and dementia and I did that for three years. But for the past eight years, I've been working with brain injuries. I like what I do because I see the difference that I make in people's lives. A lot of people don't see that and we hear people say all the time, "It takes a special person to do this type of job," and it really does. And that's why I like doing what I do because I change people's lives every day. And even with the small things that a lot of people think don't matter, they really do.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be treat these people like they're you're own. Something that my parents always taught me growing up, "Treat people the way you want to be treated." I can't say our job would be any different if your parents were in a home or needed help. How you would help them is how you want to help these, our clients and our patients. And I always think all the time because I have my father is in a home, because I can't take care of him by myself and work, and I always think to myself that I really hope the people that are working with him, the caregivers, are as amazing as I am.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is Anson. He was one of my most favorite clients and always will be til this point. I remember he loved karaoke and we would go into his room and sing to him and his wife all the time. And because I love to sing, I remember the smile that would come to his face every time we would get the mic and I would turn to him and sing a song that he requested. And it just really brightened his day. Music is an amazing therapy and for me to be able to do that and make him smile made all the difference. And this wasn't just a one-time thing. We would do this every single week. So it just, I don't know, he touched me in a way. The way he smiled, you know?