Conversations with Caregivers – Nina and Teresa

Q: You two have been doing in-home care now for many years. What keeps you motivated to continue in this role day-after-day?

A: Nina: Becoming a caregiver has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am not just a caregiver, I am a friend that the client can trust. Giving love, understanding, patience and undivided attention to another person to me is priceless. I am very fortunate to have found such loving clients.
Teresa: I really enjoy helping people of all ages. I mostly enjoy having one-on-one conversations with others. With senior care, I love my conversations with clients as they have so many amazing life stories to tell. I love making a difference in a loved one’s life as I am a compassionate and caring person.

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

A: Teresa: Follow your heart. Look for a personality fit – it is important that the client gets along with the caregiver. It is a big responsibility at a very stressful time for the family. I want to say that a great caregiver would understand that and be there to help.

Q: Many clients fear having a caregiver takes away their independence. How do you help such a client who needs support but wants to stay independent?

A: Nina: Patience and understanding is a must. I will help or stand back depending on the need. I am guided simply by making sure the client needs come first, and then families or mine. Many times clients understand they have needs but want to have a say in the matter of what they do versus others do for them
Teresa: I am upfront and communicate to clients that I am not going to take away their independence – and then I follow through. Gaining the client’s trust is important. I am there to help when needed. But when you have earned a new client’s trust, they will rely on you to balance safety vs independence

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

A: Nina: Caring for an individual with Dementia and Alzheimer’s can be demanding. But it is also most rewarding. One has to keep in mind that having a big heart and making a difference in someone’s life is like a gift.
Teresa: One has to take time daily after work to recharge as a caregiver so you can be on your 100% when caring for someone else – recharging as a caregiver is like wearing your oxygen mask first before putting it on the person next to you.

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