Hi, my name is Tammy. I live in Bandera, TX. I have approximately 7 years experience in being a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my mother became very ill. I had worked in the legal profession for about 25 years, and I went into the healthcare field, being a caregiver for my mother at the time. And then I worked for Texas Home Health for many years in Corpus Cristi. I've taken care of almost every type of client, whether it be Alzheimer's, dementia, disability, elderly, hospice patient, etc.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to know the client well. Know their needs, understand their needs, follow through with each and every detail of the needs that they have. Keep a record also of all the things that you do while on your shift while you're caring for that particular client. I like to try to encourage them. I like to try to have activities with them to get them interested, enthusiastic, and also at the same time, do my job well. I usually keep notes of everything that's going on with the patient, whatever medical, whatever medication reminders, whatever their needs may be. If it's time to, say, just turn them, I keep record of those every two hours. And so my best advice, I really think, to a new caregiver is get to know your client, and learn how to encourage them as well as with food, encouragement, and with their proper needs for care.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is one that was a hospice patient. She was 103 years old. She was bed-ridden, and she was very, very depressed. She just kept saying she wanted to die, she wanted to die, every single day, all the time, and crying a lot. And that happens a lot with elderly people. But I just loved her because when I reached out to her and would hold her hands, or even brush her hair, or put lotion on her hands or something that-- paint her fingernails, whatever that made her feel a little more special would put a smile on her face.