Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Twa’nisha and I live in Richmond, CA. I’ve been a caregiver for 5 years. The person who inspired me to become a caregiver with my mother. I would go to work with her and volunteer, so I actually learned to be a caregiver as a young child.
Who is the first client that comes to your mind?
One client I will never forget is Ms. Walker. She was my favorite client out of everybody. She lived to be about 105, and we also had the same birthday. She would play the piano for me, sing for me, we would draw pictures together, I would help feed her, and we would do activities like volleyball and kickball. She will always be my favorite. I learned from Ms. Walker that patience is key. I started off working with her as a young child with my mother. So speaking to her, she was deaf and she did not know how to sign. The majority of the time she would read our lips. If I was talking too fast, I would get kind of upset because she didn’t pick up what I was saying and we would start all over again. After so many years of working with her I learned that patience is key, not only with her but with other clients as well.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment as a caregiver was after so many years of volunteering with my mom and not getting paid for it, after I finally graduated high school they offered me a job for two years. I had no problem volunteering and I loved going to work with her, but having a job of my own and making my own money at such a young age: that was one of my proudest moments ever.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
One piece of advice for a new caregiver would be to go in with welcome arms and also with patience, because every person is different. Some may be so nice and some people may be extremely rude or mean, but no matter what: If you have patience and welcoming arms it won’t be a problem. You grow to love them and you grow to build a relationship with them, and in the end the grumpy ones might not be so grumpy after all.