Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi. My name is Wanera, and I've been a caregiver for over ten years. I'm from San Jose, California, and I just recently received my CNA from Mission College of Santa Clara. The people who inspired me to become a caregiver are my mother and my father, because they took care of their mother. Their mother and father came in when they got sick and they became elderly - I got a chance to see that up front and personal. Also, I have two sisters that have disabilities, so they would go out and work with the communities over the years, with other children that had disabilities.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I'll never forget is a lady by the name of Tybel that I used to take care of many years ago, and I definitely will not forget her. She was pretty independent, but I came into her home to make sure that she didn't forget to take her medications. And she liked to go out a lot, so we would go out. And we'd go out to the mall, and she was what you'd call one of those ladies that shop until you drop. And I would be sitting on the bench, and she would be in the store. What I admired about her most of all was her giving, and kindness, and her special hugs. And once you came into that front door, you became family.
What are your strengths as a caregiver.
What I think makes me a great caregiver is because of my experience over the years, and before that as a child growing up with my parents, is I have a lot of empathy, and I'm a great listener. I get that from my parents. And I love listening to the stories of the elderly. I love going back to World War II and listening to all those things. I have a lot of patience with them.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
A new piece of advice for a new caregiver from me would be to believe in yourself and have confidence. And never give up, and just carry that on with whatever compassion that you have to give to that client, and you'll go far.
I have a lot of moments that make me proud as a caregiver, but just to name some specifics would be, maybe on a daily basis, like when I was working for a facility, would be how at the end of the day, how that client feels and how that makes me feel after I've left, is to know that they are safe and cared for, and that's a good feeling to have.