Hunter is a first generation college student from the Bay Area, majoring in Global Health at UCSD. He loves listening to music and spending time with his family.
For his Field Experience requirement Hunter spent 8 months as a Caregiver for ActivCare, an organization that takes care of elderly patients suffering from dementia. Caregivers are responsible for assisting the elderly with their activities of daily living and help with their basic needs.
You have to be ready to handle tough work being a caregiver. It is a hard job that is worth while.
As a Caregiver, Hunter was responsible for taking care of dementia patients. Some of his responsibilities included feeding the residents, helping residents take showers, brushed residents teeth, changed soaked briefs, and transferred residents from wheelchairs to bed. A Caregiver's general routine consisted of giving out dinner and helping residents go to bed for the night. During his downtime, Caregivers would play with the residents. They would play cards, make puzzles, and play bingo with the residents.
Hunter explains that being a Caregiver is generally a tough experience; not only is it intensive labor, it's sometimes difficult to deal with patients suffering from dementia. He overcame these challenges by becoming very patient.
As a Global Health student, Hunter learned that Global Health is all about advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves. He was able to relate his teachings from UCSD to his experience at the facility, gaining valuable insight for both.
One thing I learned from my field experience is that no one asks to get old or willingly wants to get dementia. There is a stigma that dementia patients can’t have a good life even with their illness. This isn’t true, dementia patients can have a great life and a meaningful one too.