This week Caring Senior Service honors Carmen Rodriguez, a caregiver in on our Caring Senior Service of New Braunfels office. In this interview, Carmen explains how caring for her grandparents in her youth helps her today as she cares for seniors in New Braunfels.
Can you tell a little bit about yourself?
I am 68. My hometown is Marion, Texas.
How long have you been a caregiver?
A good 25 years.
How long have you been with Caring Senior Service?
Close to seven years.
"No matter what,
I’m going to make this person feel good
What inspired you to become a caregiver?
Well, We have grandparents and you see how they struggle. They can’t get themselves together, they aren’t safe the way they take a shower or walk around, they get lonely, they need care. They need someone to make them feel comfortable, to make sure there is someone who loves you no matter how old you are. My grandmother needs someone to help her out. To help her to have meals and clothes ready, to take her out. You realize, “Wow, that could be me one day.” My parents were working so we would take turns helping one another.
Are there any significant challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are now?
Well, sometimes you have to have some patience. It’s very tough. Some of them are difficult but I have been lucky enough to be able to work with them. At the end, they care for me a lot. My last client, he was tough. But we still communicate. I feel good about myself knowing that I made that person care about me a lot.
What has been your favorite story/experience since working with Caring Senior Service?
When you put a smile on a patient’s face and you’re able to help them move around. This is the way life is. You have to try hard to enjoy the last years of your life. You can’t just give up. You try to make them feel like they are somebody.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a caregiver?
Knowing that the client, when you go home, he has been taken care of correctly. He has had a shower, he has eaten, he is happy and he knows that he is a human being. It is good when you know that you left them comfortable.
What is the most challenging thing about being a caregiver?
Trying to communicate. Trying to make them understand that they need somebody around. Some of them feel like they don’t need you. When you explain to them, “Well, yes, but you could fall. You need help to cook and put your clothes on and shave.” It’s difficult when they determine they don’t need you but you know they need you because they can’t do for themselves anymore.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to become a caregiver?
They have to do it with love. When they go in there, no matter what, you have to realize that they need you to show them that you care. You have to give them love, too. If you don’t give them that, you’re in trouble.
Enjoy the job. If you go there with a good attitude, saying, “No matter what, I’m going to make this person feel good about themselves,” then when you leave you can feel good about it.
Everyone here at Caring Senior Service National Headquarters would like to thank Carmen and officially recognize her for the service she provides to Caring Senior Service of New Braunfels and the seniors in her community. Carmen we hope you enjoy the LED 32" Flat Screen we sent you, its our way of saying thank you as we celebrate 25 years of helping seniors!