Hi! My name is Yvette, and I live in Austin, TX. And I've been a caregiver for 15 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver after taking care of my mother for many years. It encouraged me to go out and help the elderly and make them feel like there's someone out there caring for them. Other than to let them know that we are not here to let them go. We are here to help them, and do for them, and care for them.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver is, if you're going to do this job to just get paid, then don't do the job, at all. Find something else that has nothing to do with what you're going to work with and deal with. Because what you're going to work with is a lot of responsibility. And on top of that, it has to do with a lot of care. Just as we are called caregivers, you have to care, order to give. But if you're not going to care, how are you going to give? So those two words are very important. I have trained many, many girls in my life, and guys, as caregivers, CNA, PCA. And I always tell them if you're here for the pay, don't bother doing this. You have to do this for within in your heart. That's what I would tell them.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I will never forget was just recently. I was helping a friend of mine with a client, that she called me and told me, "I need your expertise," and she said, "I know he can eat, but he's not eating with me." She was very sad. She was with him for a very long time, and she told me to go over, and I did. And as I was there-- he was in hospice. And he was not able to eat because his mouth was open very wide. And there's a technique for that. And it's hard for me to say it to you because it's better demonstrated than say it. It's a way of with the spoon. Anything that you put close to the mouth, his mouth is going to react to it. So he was almost in his last days, and his wife and my friend, they wanted him somehow to eat-- not eat, he was drinking the Ensure. Because my friend and the wife was there. As I was putting the spoon in towards his mouth, he went for it and he swallowed. And he hasn't talked for months, months, months, months. And I said to him, I call him by his name, and I said, "Do you want some more?" And he said to me, "Yes." When he did that, I cried. My friend cried. The wife was crying because he wasn't talking for months. And that was very memorable to me.