Hi, my name is Pearline, Chicopee, MA. I've been a caregiver for 10 years plus.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because growing up in a family of medical professionals, I surely thought that one day I would become a nurse. After watching my aunt take care and aid for the sick in her home, I knew I wanted to become more hands-on with patients. While still in high-school I became a candy striper for a local hospital, helping out with medical records and little jobs as needed around the hospital.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver: first, educate yourself. Know what diagnosis the elderly have, and what you're dealing with. Second is be gentle. Be yourself. Don't be judgmental. And maintain a regular routine the elderly could follow. But mainly, show empathy. Get them to their level, don't be judgmental.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My most memorable client I'll never forget is Thomas. He was always so cheerful. But what I love about him, because I used to work the overnight, even though it used to be at midnight to 8:00 p.m when I used to work, he would always wait up for me until I get there. He will tell the other caregiver before my shift not to give him the meds until I come, because he always wanted me to give him the meds so we could talk about sports. And I'm a big sports fan, Red Sox, and he's also Red Sox, and we'll share the game