July 2021 - Leanne
"I couldn’t ask for a better CG than Leanne. Thank you."
- Client’s daughter
The beleaguered woman, speaking from her heart, had something important to tell Leanne: "You know, Leanne, I was so worried because I didn’t know how I was going to manage care for both my daughter and my husband on my own. Then God sent you to me."
The woman’s husband and daughter are wheelchair-bound, and her daughter is always either in bed or in her wheelchair. In fact, the woman’s emotional words flowed as they were transferring the daughter from a wheelchair back to her bed.
Leanne swallowed hard and choked back tears. "I was speechless for a minute. It showed me how much we CAREGivers mean to the families of our clients. To me, that’s why our jobs are so important, whether we are helping someone in a nursing home or in a private home. Families have peace of mind because of the things we do," Leanne said. "Sometimes things can be frustrating, but then I remember the woman’s words. Her
daughter needs to have everything done for her. Since last year, her husband has been confined to a wheelchair. We run into difficulties sometimes in our own lives, but then you remember when someone is a 24/7 family caregiver. Someone always has it worse. We’ve got to be ready to help with the load, whether it is emotional or physical. "In 2020, Leanne was at a work-career crossroads and needed to decide what she wanted to do. "My job at that time was not moving in the direction I wanted. Then the COVID-19 pandemic came," Leanne recalled. "I took some time and did some serious thinking. I realized I wanted to go back to my roots."
Leanne had graduated from Loyalist College in Bellville, Ontario, with a degree in the Developmental Services Worker program. As a Developmental Services Worker (DSW), she has assisted people with disabilities and helped them live as valued, contributing members of the community. "I worked in a group home with teens and young adults. But I took a break from the field and followed a different path. I helped take care of the stepfather of a very close friend. The stepfather was in palliative home care, and that’s where he passed away. I have always been a caregiver at heart," said Leanne, who started looking online for jobs where she could use her skills as a DSW. I applied with Home Instead and received an interview. When I was hired in March 2021, I was so excited."Leanne is enrolled in a PSW (Personal Support Worker) course. "By next March," she said, "I will have my PSW certification as well as my DSW."
"One of the best things about working for Home Instead is the one-on-one time with the clients. I receive the opportunity to learn about the clients and their families. That’s one of the best ways to gain trust when caring for clients. I also want to say the support from the office and the training is amazing. It was so helpful to be able to learn new techniques and to be refreshed on old ones. There are subtle techniques that you sometimes need to help a client," Leanne said. "The other day, I was trying to feed lunch to my client, but she was not so interested in eating. So, I was trying all the tricks I learned over the past few months to try to get her to eat. Her father walked through and commented, ‘I see you learned all the little tricks.’ Then he laughed and said, ‘Give it a few months and you’ll be speaking Polish.’ I laughed and said, ‘You never know.’ "