Hi, my name is Tierra. I live in San Leandro, CA and I've been a caregiver for ten years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because while growing up I was always told that I loved to help people and make them feel better. I didn't want to become a nurse because I'm a little queasy about the blood but I did begin a job at a day program for developmentally disabled adults and I ended up going on to caregiving. I've been doing it for over ten years, dealing with different aspects of seniors and I love the job. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love all of the knowledge and the stories, mostly the pictures that all the seniors share with me. It's so fulfilling to be able to give back and help them live independently as much as possible.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be be patient, first of all. Everyone is different, no matter what illness or ailment that they have. Don't assume that everyone is the same. Come in with an open mind and a lot of compassion and you'll get pretty far.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I will never forget is Rose. She would love to go to the marina and feed the birds. We would go after picking her up to the store by her house where she would buy bread to feed to the seagulls and the goose, we would go to the marina and feed the birds. This one time, she wanted to go into the circle of birds, it was a lot of birds out there. I went in there with her but I was a little afraid, the birds didn't attack us but they almost pecked the bread right out of her hand, It was just incredible how calm she was and I was just terrified but it turned out to be great because we spent a lot of time just sitting and talking and just feeding the birds the bread and getting to know one another and just becoming a little bit more acquainted with what she liked to do and what we were capable of doing.