Hi! My name is Tonya. I live in Lakeway, TX. I have three years experience being a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver as a volunteer. I worked full-time in the medical field, and I wanted to do something to be of service to others. I am very good with people. And I wanted to become a caregiver to assist people who needed help in their daily activities. And so I started volunteering at a senior living facility, where I did a lot of the things that are requested for this particular position. I also have experience with dementia patients. I did have a CNA certification, at one time. But, because I didn't actually get a position in that field, the certification is expired. But I enjoy being of service to others. That's why I decided to do the volunteer work.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, to be kind. Everyone has their own way of living, their own thought process, the way they like things done. The best thing to do is to listen to the client, to make sure that you're meeting the needs and expectations that they have and just abide by what is being requested of you. Kind, friendly, loving service is what you're there to do to supply the client. So that would be my advice to the caregiver.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget was a gentleman that was in his early 80s. I sat with him at the request of his wife. They were both elderly, and he had early-stage dementia. They were a very sweet couple. She just needed me to come by for a few hours a couple of times a week so she could run their errands, go to the grocery store, things of that nature, and she did not want to leave him by himself. And she needed someone that was kind and friendly and gentle with him, because he was in the early stages of dementia. He was a very pleasant man. We would sit and have conversations. He actually said that I reminded him of someone that he knew when he was very young, and occasionally he would slip in and out of that particular time in his life, which was very sweet. He would call me by her name and we would have conversations as if he was actually in that conversation with her. And sometimes he would call me by her name. And what I would do is I could always tell when he was in that space because he would address me as her, or the conversation would change into something that really didn't make sense. So I would just go along with him and enjoy the conversation.