Hi, my name is Telma, I live in East Palo Alto. I was a CNA for 15 years and have been a caregiver for 20 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
Since I was little I used to take care of grandma and then my mom got sick when I was 17 so I was the caregiver to my mother. She passed away when I was 17 and I was the one taking care of her. I stayed in the hospital 24hrs with my mom.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
They have to love what they do and it has to come from their hearts. It has to be like you are taking care of your mom and dad. Loving and caring, that is the most important thing.
Who was one of your most memorable clients?
I'll never forget a client that I used to work for in Hillsborough, CA it was around 1990, she had Alzheimer's and when I cared for her she didn't talk anymore - but, I talked to her and I'd just tell her how much I love her. I took care of her and whatever the family needs - I always did exactly what was asked to be done. I always talked to her, I danced, I fixed her hair, followed her meal plans; she never talked but I just did exactly what I needed to do. It was like I was taking care of my mom and it made me feel really, really, really happy.