Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Tawanna, I live in Antioch, California, and I've been a caregiver for about four years now. I became a caregiver because I started off providing care for my father who was a diabetic. I had to figure out a meal plan for him and care for him, and care for and amputate a portion of his foot. So I was responsible for his home care, meal plan, things of that nature, and it just became second nature to me and it became something that I knew that I could do and I could do effectively and I just stuck.
In my career as a caregiver, I provided services for the elderly, I've worked with patients with dementia, Alzheimer's things of that nature, special diets. I've also managed a group home for developmentally disabled youth I had six young men in my home. I took care of their meals, medication, took them out, managed six employees. And it was just really rewarding for me. The kids all loved me. I was their favorite, of course
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client that I will never forget his name was Mr. Zabi. He had dementia, and he was unbearable to deal with. Everybody would leave pulling their hair out. And I just figured there had to be a way, I'm going to get him somehow. And when I got him I got him with ice cream, and he was my favorite. He just gravitated to me, and everybody was saying "I don't know what you did to him." It wasn't me, it was 31 flavors.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
If I can give one piece of advice to a new caregiver, I would say just be patient, be meticulous. Take notes, take lots of notes, provide the best quality care possible and your reward will come in the end. What I think makes me a great caregiver is that I'm a hard worker, I take care of my patients, I'm bubbly, they enjoy me, and I enjoy doing for them. There's something very rewarding in taking care of others that can't provide care for themselves and that's all I'm looking to get out of it.
I would say that my proudest moment as a caregiver is working with a student I had named Samuel. When I got him he was totally dependent. I taught him to tie his shoes, he learned to feed himself, and he became more independent, and I can tell that it really did something for his self esteem and that was very rewarding for me.