Hi. My name is Deanna. I live in Antioch. I've been a caregiver for three years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I had to care for my grandmother when she got elderly and she got sick and she needed more attention than others could give her, so I decided to stay home and care for her and give her the attention that she needed.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be - have a lot of patience. Make sure you speak loud and clearly. Look at the people that you're caring for directly in the face. Make sure they can hear you. Make sure you are very attentive. Make sure you're always around. Make sure you give them a lot of love and affection and attention that you would want someone to give to one of your loved ones and just always be there and make them feel safe, make them feel like you are family.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget, her name was Cheri. The story is she fell off a horse. She was pretty young. She was in her early sixties. She fell off a horse. She wasn't wearing a helmet. She hit her head and so she had some brain injuries. So, she came to the place where I was working at, and she would always try to leave and escape because she wanted to get home. She knew she had a husband at home. She knew she had kids. But, obviously she couldn't go home, she had to stay where she was. We built a bond by me just making sure that she felt like she was in a home setting. She felt like someone was there with her and I just always had to make sure that she couldn't escape, she couldn't leave. So, I just tried to do whatever I could as far as showing pictures of her loved ones, making sure I sat down with her, play games, watch television. Just try to distract her from what she really wanted to do, which was leave.