Jackie Baca—one of the stars of our Care Team—has found her true calling as a caregiver to clients in San Francisco. A great companion to seniors, Jackie is deeply caring by nature and an old soul who can talk to anyone and make others feel instantly better. Our clients love her, and we love her too. Thanks, Jackie, for sharing your story—and your compassionate self.
1. How did you get into being a caregiver?
My father passed away from dementia and liver failure. I visited him a lot at the nursing home and I realized I wanted to help others like I had been able to help my dad.
I learned that caregiving takes a lot of patience. It can be sad if someone forgets your name, who you are. But you have to learn to cope with it. Because it’s not the person, it’s the disease. It’s about understanding where they’re coming from.
This is my second year as a caregiver and I really, really love it.
2. Is there anything about your family or background that makes you especially passionate about caring for others?
To be honest, I’m just a generally caring person. I like my job because I know I can help and make a difference in someone’s life. For example, I have one client who couldn’t even take a shower by herself—but now that I’ve been working with her she showers on her own and is more independent. That’s very rewarding for me.
3. Why did you choose Honor?
I have friends who work at Honor and they told me good things about the company so I decided to apply and give it a try. Well, I love the company. The coordinators actually care for the Care Pros. They listen to us, and if something isn’t right they’ll do anything to make it right. It’s important that a company is caring towards its employees.
4. What do you love most about being a professional caregiver?
Being able to meet a lot of new people and learn new things. You learn a lot about people and their culture when you are inside their homes.
5. What’s your greatest challenge in this work?
I’m comfortable going into homes. I know how to do my job and I know what I bring to the table. That said, I get easily attached to clients, so it can be very difficult when they pass away. That’s the hardest part.
6. What’s the secret ingredient in a great relationship between a caregiver and a client?
Trust. And being genuine, being the person that you are. To build trust, I start with small talk. And if I sense they’re okay with it, we talk more.
Once there’s trust, you can each share a little more of yourselves. You’re there to help—but if the person doesn’t trust you, he or she won’t ask you for what they need. And that makes everything more complicated for both of you.
7. Any particularly rewarding moments you’ve had as a Care Pro that you can share?
I’ve been with my current client for about six months—she has stage four bone cancer. A couple of months ago, I noticed that she was more independent than when I first started. Instead of staying home, she wants to go out more. I knew that’s what she wanted, but she needed someone to motivate her and be there with her, support her, and keep her on the ball. She’s limited—but we still go out and do a lot of things. It’s rewarding for me to help her do that.
8. What do you like to do outside of work?
I often work seven days a week so it’s very exciting when I get to go home and see my dog. I also like going to the gym and cooking and hanging out with my family or close friends.
9. What’s the most important question a person should ask before hiring a caregiver?
It’s hard for me to put this into words. It’s about compassion and figuring out if the person will put the client’s needs first, over her own.
I know with myself, it’s not about what I say—it’s about showing what I can do. My work speaks for itself.
Jackie Baca, who lives in Mountain View, has extensive professional training, 2 years of experience providing in-home senior care—and a ton of passion for her work. She loves helping people get stronger and feel more independent. To learn about what makes Honor caregivers the best of the best, give us a call at (415) 300-2515 or visit our website.