Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
My name is Vangana and I live in San Bruno. I have been a caregiver for over 20 years. The person who inspired me to be a caregiver was my grandmother. She had no one to stay with her and take care of her, so during her last five years I took care of her. She had dementia, kidney problems, and she had a stroke two days before she passed. I was very happy to be there for her, and ever since then I've just enjoyed working for other people.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
Of all the people that I worked for, the first person that comes to mind is a client named Joe. I was with him for six years. The last two years I was there 24 hours a day, and we built a relationship to where he really trusted me. I bathed him, fed him, put him to bed, woke him up, dressed him. His kids were very caring for me, and I saw him as my grandfather. He was 97 years old and I was there for a long time. The family thought of me as a daughter, and I took care of them. I did everything. I mowed his lawn, picked his fruit trees, fixed his plumping. So I really enjoyed it. He's been gone for three years and I really miss him. Those years were very precious to me because of all the stories he told me and how to live life and enjoy it.
What makes you proud to be a caregiver?
What makes me proud to be a caregiver is seeing my client smile at the end of their day, or the end of their time. I enjoy completing some of the stuff that they need to do around their house, or just having someone to talk to and making someone feel loved and knowing that someone is there to care for them. They don't have to worry about waking up and wondering who will take care of them.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
If I was to give one piece of advice to a new caregiver that would be to have patience. As you get older, you get tired, and you have lived a long life. As caregivers, we need a lot of patience to deal with them daily.