Conversations with Caregivers – Dottie

Q: You have been a caregiver for 20 years! What keeps you motivated to care for clients every day?

A: When I started working as a caregiver, from the very first day I felt I was in a god given career. I love helping and caring for people. Knowing my clients need me is a great motivator. In fact, after 20 years, I feel more energized to care for people because I have the wealth of experience with me!

Q: Families looking for caregivers often find it hard to identify the right person. What advice would you give them?

A: Look for someone compassionate and empathetic. Look for personality fit – see if the person will be a good companion and caregiver. Most good caregivers treat clients like their own family. Therefore, it is important that client’s family members treat caregivers with respect as well, else they will not stick with you.

Q: Many clients are reluctant to get caregivers since they fear that their independence will be taken away. How do you help such a client who needs support but wants to stay independent?

A: I for one believe in letting clients preserve their independence as much as possible. But safety is my first priority. If they want to do something but they are a fall risk, I talk with them and let them know that I am there to support as I am worried about them falling. I also direct them towards tasks that are engaging but don’t require too much walking so that they don’t feel their independence is taken away.

Q: What is the most difficult part of being a caregiver?

A: I become close to the client and family and it is hard on my if they are unwell or they pass away. I miss them so much. I am the kind of person who gives care with an open heart and lot of love. Even though I am a professional, caring with all my heart is part of who I am and it hurts when I lose someone I have cared for.

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