April 5, 2016 is National Carers Day!
And in honor of all the Family Cargivers, we asked VHA’s fantastic and caring staff and service providers to share their memorable carer moments with us during our #MyCarerMoment.
Read the stories and watch our video below.
I went to my client one afternoon and she had a bad cough. After sponge bathing, I rubbed her upper back and her chest with Vicks. She said the doctor was coming to see her so I called her later to find out how she was. She said the doctor gave her antibiotic, but she did not sound good. I encouraged her to go to Emergency. She called the following evening thanking me for encouraging her because they took an X-ray and found out she had a pulmonary infection and prescribed a different antibiotic. I was happy I was able to advise her.
One of my clients was very sick, and what amazed me was what a great caregiver her husband was. I was very proud of him. He never missed any task and would lose his sleep to watch over her. I wish to have a husband like him – an awesome and amazing man.
My most memorable moment is each day I provide care to my clients—entering their homes and assisting them with their ADL. Seeing them smile and knowing that they are cared for is a wonderful thing. I remember that each day. For me, every moment is special.
Since I started working with VHA, I’ve had so many special moments with my clients, but one of them stands out. Every time I would visit one client, he would turn to his wife and say, “Sunshine is here.” He would always say, “Good morning, Sunshine when I got to his bedroom. It made me feel strong to continue my work day.
My memorable moment of care was when I prepared some oatmeal for my client. She had only had oatmeal made of oats and water before, but I made her the oatmeal the way I do at home—with vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon with honey. She fell in love with it and looks forward to me coming to make it for her every Saturday and Sunday morning.
I had a Portuguese client who never learned how to read or write, but loved to listen to other people reading. She often asked me to read to her. Her favorite book was the Bible and she liked the Portuguese newspaper. It was my special career moment because the client was always excited to see me.
It was my last visit with a male client who was going to a nursing home. He said to me “I really appreciate you talking to me before and during the time you are helping me prepare for the evening. I always look forward to your coming. Others just say hi then start pulling out my beddings – I feel very small and insignificant.” I told him I was thankful he pointed it out and that I will continue to do so.
After taking care of a client, he said to his wife, “Honey, what did she do to me?” She asked him why, and he said, “I feel good!”
It is a feeling of honor and fulfillment to give help and care to all clients that I care for every single day. You see how happy they are and satisfied with the care you gave to them. At the end of the day you feel so good at yourself that you accomplished something good.
The moment that really touched the very core of my heart is when my client tried to open her eyes and said, “Please don’t leave me.” I know she wanted me to stay… seeing her deteriorating every visit was heartbreaking… and for her to say “thank you” after every care was so rewarding. It feels good to be appreciated.
One of my clients had to go to hospital for surgery. The evening before, after I finished caring for her and was about to leave, she held on to me. She cried out, “Thank you, Chandra! Bye-bye, Chandra! ” Little did I know it was the last goodbye. She passed away two days after surgery.
My memorable moment was with a young palliative care client. He snuggled up to me and said, “I love you, Pat.” He also thought I lived at the Pape subway station, as that is where they dropped me off after his visits. He would always say, “That’s Pat’s house….”
With so many years in this career, I have lots of carer moments, but I will share this one: I looked after siblings—a boy and a girl—for about six years, from when they were seven or eight years old. My schedule there was around suppertime for four hours three times a week, so you can imagine the bond that we had. Their mom got sick with cancer, and when she passed away, I was with the children and had that moment to cry with them and gave them as much comfort I could give them.
The first time I visited one of my clients, I noticed that she had a lot of books so I said, “Wow! You seem to be a good reader!” She replied very proudly, “I was a former teacher.” During her shower she asked, “Can we read together after we are through?” With a smile on my face, I said, ” Sure we can!” We had fun reading together that day.
When one of my cancer clients was taken to the hospital, I booked my afternoon off and brought flowers to visit her. When I walked into the room, her two daughters and husband were in tears. They were not expecting to see me at their mother’s deathbed. It was a moment of saying goodbye to this client and showing comfort to this family.
Thank you to all our caregivers for the amazing work you do!
You can join the National Carers Day celebrations by making a pledge to continue working toward a future where all carers are recognized, respected and valued. Visit the Carers Canada pledge wall to make your pledge and see what other carers from across the country are saying!