Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Teresia I live in Palo Alto. I have five years of experience as a caregiver, and four years as a CNA. What inspired me to be a caregiver is from my own grandma. My grandma lived to an age of 102. At the age of 96, 97 she developed high blood pressure. And from there, that's when I started taking care of her. Cleaning her up, taking her out for walks, cooking her meals, making sure her blood pressure level is up-to-date. And we were able to do that, I personally, for three to four years. And then from there, she passed away at an age of 102. And from there, a friend of mine approached me and asked me if I can help with her own mom the way I did to my grandma. And I told her, "No, I was just helping my grandma." And then she told me, "No, that is what you call caregiving job." So, she offered me the job, and I was about to take care of her mom. And that's when I developed the passion of being a caregiver. She had an issue with Parkinson's disease, and she wasn't able to-- when she's talking, her words could not come out fully. So, what amazed me is that I, as the caregiver, was able to know what she want.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The most memorable client I had is a client who had dementia, and the family realized that she had leukemia. So they needed someone to be with her. She was 95 years old, and she was independent. She lived all by herself for 40 years, by herself after her husband passed away.
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
What makes me to be a great caregiver is one thing: I don't put money first. I put my client first. My joy is when I come in the morning. My client is happy, and my client is doing well. And when I'm leaving the door in the evening, or the following morning, when the client says, "When are you coming back?" That is the joy of my heart. That is what makes me feel that I need to go there, I need to give them what I have.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
The advice I would give to new caregivers is to be themselves. In whatever they're doing, they have to trust themselves.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment as a caregiver is when I start with a client and I work with a client all the way up to the end, including the family, the company, and all this team who work together as a team to help the client up to the end.