Two formative experiences have shaped the life and career of Peterson Kamau. Both encounters with dementia would change his life forever. One day, Peterson returned home to find that his elderly father had wondered away from home. He didn’t know it at the time, but his father was suffering from dementia. It would be 2-3 years before he received an unusual call. Apparently a priest had found his father. The only identifying possession he had on him was a receipt from a laundromat. The priest called the store and asked if they knew anyone by that name. The owner of the laundromat did recognize the name and immediately called Peterson. As it turned out Peterson’s father was over 500 miles away and had been taken in and cared for by another family who had found him wandering. Peterson’s father was never able to give his name or information. Moved by the compassion and care of the family and the priest who had found and reunited him with his father, Peterson knew that he wanted to care for others with dementia.
Originally from Kenya, Peterson moved to the United States in 2006. His first client as a caregiver was a gentleman with severe dementia. He cared for him for 2 years until his passing. This experience solidified his desire to care for others in this particular way and he decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant specializing in dementia care. “I chose to become a caregiver because I love to help people. I absolutely love this career.” The same compassion that kept his father safe all those years drives Peterson’s work now and makes him an excellent caregiver.
When Peterson is not working, you’ll find him enjoying a good sports game or reading his bible. He referred to it as a companion in his life. “It is my best friend”, he said. Peterson, we thank you for your excellent work. Your compassion, ceaseless patience and insight into those suffering with dementia are a gift to the people and families you help everyday. We appreciate your contribution to Sound Options and the example you set for other caregivers!
Published on June 7, 2013.