Caregivers at Hakuna have a variety of backgrounds, interests, and personalities. We love getting to know them and working together to help our clients and their families. For our newsletter this month, we interviewed Cristal, who is originally from Brooklyn. Read on for the full interview.
Hakuna: How long have you been a home health aide?
Cristal: I’ve been a home health aide for about a year and a half.
H: What do you like about being a home health aide?
C: I like the fact that I can help meet a need that a person has. Even if it’s a basic need, whether it’s making sure that they eat or that they receive special medical care, it’s very rewarding to me.
H: How did you become interested in becoming a home health aide?
C: I was looking for something different. I used to work at a daycare taking care of kids and I loved it. I wouldn’t say that the elderly are like children but there’s a saying I remember: “once a man, twice a child.” The elderly need the same care and attention as a child. From that background, I became interested in being a home health aide.
H: What is one of your best memories as a home health aide?
C: There was one couple who said, “You are like a daughter to us, we enjoy having you here!” It makes me feel so welcome having people so comfortable with me that they can embrace me into their home and their family. To feel like I am a part of their family is really special.
H: Do you have any advice you would give to a new home health aide, from your experiences so far?
C: I would say that you should walk into someone’s home with an open mind and don’t compare one client with another. Everybody’s home is different, so you should respect the people that you are taking care of and you should respect their home.
H: What would you say is the biggest challenge in working with older people?
C: The biggest challenge I would say is to get to know the person well. Know their personality, what they like, what they don’t like, you know. Everyone is different and I work with multiple clients. I typically ask the questions like “do you like this?” or “what do you like to do?”
H: What are your future plans?
C: I plan to further my education in healthcare. I definitely want to advance my career and continue to grow. I want to learn how to better use my time, learn about the different conditions and how to deal with them, that sort of thing.
H: Do you have any other hobbies?
C: I went to a fashion-based high school and grew up with a love for fashion. Now I only do a little bit of designing and sewing; nothing too big (laughs). Other than that, I like to read. I love to listen to music. And I am part of a dance group for my church.
H: So you are a jack of all trades?
C: Kind of, I guess!
H: What do you like to read?
C: Mostly novels but I read about a lot of different things.
H: What’s your favorite place in NYC?
C: That’s a tough one. I love Brooklyn because it has so many different neighborhoods. I would probably say Brooklyn and Manhattan because they are so lively.
H: Last Question! -- Do you have anything else you wanted to mention about yourself?
C: I’ve only been with Hakuna for a short time but I’ve been enjoying it so far. I love being part of this company.