When we asked Honor Care Pro Demetria Figueroa how her friends would describe her, she didn’t hesitate, “Loving. Chatterbox. Passionate.” We couldn’t agree more—and couldn’t help adding, “Enthusiastic with a big smile you can’t ignore.” Demetria, thanks for sharing your story with Honor!
1. How did you get into being a caregiver?
My grandma fell ill, and I was staying with her. She needed someone to be help her with her meds and changing her wounds and everything. And I was there. And I realized, “I really like this.” I took care of her for two and a half years. That’s how I started.
2. Is there anything about your family or background that makes you especially passionate about caregiving?
My grandma. When someone is in need and you can help, it feels good to help. And especially when it’s a relative, someone who looked after you when you were younger, someone who made sure you were okay and safe—that’s what made me love it.
3. Why did you choose Honor?
I was working at a big facility in Pleasanton before Honor. I did that for a year and half. It was hectic. It was just four people taking care of over 60 people at one time. It was hard work, really rushed. I couldn’t really take my time, get to know anyone. It was just, “Let me get you dressed. Let me get you in the shower. Gotta go, gotta go.” I wanted to be able to help people and really know them.
4. Has it made a difference in your life?
Yes, it’s made me more humble. My job before, it was quick going. And I had to keep saying: “I can’t do this,” even when I knew they needed something. Now it’s more, “I want to help you. I have to put you before my needs. And now I have the time to do it with care.” It’s made me humble and more patient. I really had to learn to slow my work down.
5. What do you love most about being a professional caregiver?
Honestly, it’s the bond. I love connecting with people and listening to their stories. I like looking at photos they show me. I’m like, “So, what happened here? When you lived here, what happened?” I love the stories.
6. What’s your greatest challenge?
Pacing myself, trying not to do everything quickly. Also, as a caregiver, you want to do everything so your client doesn’t have to do it. But you have to make sure people have their independence. Sometimes, it’s more about just listening to a client, asking “Oh, do you want to help me make your lunch?” instead of, “Let me go make your lunch, and you just sit down and watch.”
7. What’s the secret ingredient in a great relationship between a caregiver and a client?
I want to say conversation—and communication. Being able to listen and make sure you’re really hearing and understanding their point. No one likes to get talked to or controlled or be told, “Do this!” or, “No, you can’t do that.” You can’t have a great relationship without good communication.
8. Any particularly rewarding moments you’d like to share?
Yes, I used to work with a couple. After the husband died, I took care of the wife for a little bit. She used to always ask me, “Can I see more pictures of your son?” She asked me about him every day. And she’d say, “Oh, he’s so cute, I can’t wait to meet him!”
I kept that in my mind. So when her birthday came and I had a day off, I asked if I could stop by her house. And I brought my two-year-old son! She just smiled and laughed and cried—and was so happy. She said, “Do you want some candy? Do you want some chips?” She was just happy. It made me feel so good to bring some happiness into her day. And her daughter appreciated it too, “Thank you. I’m so glad you came by.”
9. What’s the most important question a person should ask before hiring a caregiver?
Are you passionate about taking care of others? It has to be a real feeling, inside you. Like me, I do it because I just love doing it.
10. What do you like to do outside of work?
I like being outside. I like to chase my son around the park. I love taking him to do little kid-friendly things. We just recently went to a pizza arcade with ride, and he loved it.
11. Anything else you’d like to share?
Be passionate! Every day.
12. How would you describe yourself?
I’m very hardworking. I make sure that stuff is done right—and not rushed. I do everything with love.
Demetria provides care to Honor clients in the East Bay. To learn more about our Care Plans and amazing caregivers, give us a call at (877) 777-5116.