Hi. My name is Theresa. I live in Los Angeles, CA and I've been a caregiver for over 20 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I went to school for CNA and home health aid over 20 years ago. At the time, I went back to school and took another program. One of my friends, her mom was an administrator at a hospice company. She told me to go down there and put an application there. That's what I did, and I got into doing hospice as a certified home health aid. I've been doing that hospice for over 18 years. I'm still doing it to this day, and it's a rewarding feeling to take care of a hospice patient and be there for their last days and make them comfortable.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice for a new caregiver would be to always be professional. You go out there, and you're representing the company when you have their name tag on. Always communicate with your team whatever is going on. Also, be professional when you're with the patient and the family. For me, I always treat my patients like they're my family. Don't just go in there and do what you need to do, but go in there and do it well.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
My client that I would most remember, it was a gentleman, and he lived at home. He was on hospice. He lived at home with his wife. I know his wife had told me how he was one of those people that were racist his whole life, pretty much. When I came to visit him to tell him that I would be his home health aid for a bath and all of that, he was set back a little bit at first. After a couple of visits, he got used to me. I came over one day for a visit, and his wife had given me this angel statue that he wanted her to give me. He called me his angel. It was touching. I'll never forget him.