Hi! My name is Shelby. I live in Santa Rosa, and I have about one year of caregiving experience, but many more years of volunteer caregiving.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I wasn't sure if I wanted to complete my nursing career or become a nutritionist, so I'm still in school. I had a big life change when I had a liver transplant in 2010, so now I understand what it's like to need help and how hard it is to ask for help, so I understand both sides of the caregiving.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to be very patient and to learn the likes and dislikes of the person you're caring for. And the more time you spend with them, the more you'll learn and the more confident you'll feel. Yes, plenty of patience, especially with yourself. It takes a while to learn what other people like and don't like, so patience with yourself is number one.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is somebody who was deaf and developmentally disabled. She had her own signs for the foods that she liked. So I had to learn her signs for a hamburger, coffee, soda, chocolate cake. And she showed me those every single day, so I think that was her way of communicating to me and that she's happy to see me.