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PSWs – more than a helping hand

In the last year, Carefor Personal Support Workers (PSWs) have made more than 700,000 home visits, and for good reason. They help people who need assistance due to illness, aging or increasing dependencies.

Their services include bathing assistance, exercise, companionship, feeding assistance, grooming, light housekeeping, and more. This level of personal care helps to reduce caregiver burnout and keep clients safe and healthy in their homes.

Longtime Carefor PSW Heather Munn says home care PSWs are a lifeline for not only clients, but also their families who need that helping hand: “PSWs take some of the load off from family members who have a lot on their plate.”

However, during these uncertain times, their role has become more important than ever to keep people out of hospital and stay socially connected. They have become a calming presence, and for some, one of the few faces they will see during a time of social isolation.

While clients aren’t able to see the warm smiles behind their masks, they are still receiving compassionate care during a great time of need.

“Continuing to see our clients helps to keep a sense of regularity during this challenging time,” Heather explains. “Despite everything that has changed, they can rest assured that they are still getting their showers, being fed, changing their clothes, and maintaining some kind of social interaction.”

Heather says being able to have genuine conversations with her clients when some of them don’t have many opportunities to connect with the outside world has improved their mental health: “We’re all running out of TV shows to watch. I come in as a different face, we can have a conversations and they can ask me questions that concern them … They aren’t seeing their family or friends, but at least they see me, and that keeps them calm.”

While this is an undeniably difficult time for our clients, it is equally as challenging for some of our staff.

Heather lives with her family, and her mother and grandfather are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This constant worry is not easy, but she is committed to serving her clients when they need it the most.

“Some clients are so kind that they’re offering lodging for me because they’ve heard on the news that some health care professionals are looking for a place to live during these uncertain times.”

Support during this COVID-19 pandemic will help protect our Carefor Heroes, their clients, and their own family. Give to our local frontline workers at carefor.ca/donate.