Thursday July 26, 2018
Each month we highlight a Seniors for Seniors’s Senior Companion who goes above and beyond their job description to make our clients feel valued and special. June’s Employee of the Month is Mary Scot Magill!
Recently we asked Mary a few questions regarding her experience as a Senior Companion. Here is what she shared:
1. How did you hear about Seniors for Seniors and why did you decide to join the company?
I found Seniors for Seniors online a few years ago. I sent a brief query through the Seniors for Seniors website and was astonished to receive a phone call the next day - long distance, no less! Months later when I was back in Toronto, I was invited to an interview. I liked what I heard about Seniors for Seniors' goals and the range of services it provided. Four days later, I began my first placement.
I had no idea then if this was something I would continue with, but my wonderful experience with my first client and her family, along with the tremendous support of the responsive staff, have lead to some of my most interesting and cherished experiences.
2. What is your favorite companion/caregiver experience or story?
One of my favourite moments happened with a very independent and generally rather feisty client about a year ago. Her short-term memory had been declining and even some of her longer-term memories seemed to be fading as well. I remember feeling grateful that she'd already told me so much about her life, as I was now able to help "fill in the gaps" in some of the treasured stories from her life that she would struggle to tell me about.
Then, rather suddenly, it seemed she was beginning to be unsure of who I was when I arrived. One day, as we walked from her front door to her kitchen, she seemed embarrassed to ask me, again, for my name. I reminded her, making light of it, and in a split second decided to ask a question myself, "I have a question for you, if you feel like answering, and if you don't, that's okay too. Just out of curiosity, when you look at me, who do you see?" There was only about a three-second pause, and then "oh, that's easy, dearie. It is true, already I can't remember your name and it makes me mad because I know you just told me! But when I look at you, I see two people."
Her voice got soft as she continued, "I see someone who always, always, tries to help me. And I see someone who is maybe the only one who still talks to me like I'm an adult. You always do. And for that I really thank you so much." Of course I teared up after that. We had our first hug then.
The hugs became routine after that, though no less special. That one exchange, in this remarkable woman's kitchen, will be with me always.
3. How has Seniors for Seniors benefited your clients?
What I appreciate most about the way Seniors for Seniors cares for its clients is the consistent responsiveness of the staff and their tremendous recognition that every single person is unique. They seem to have a real dedication to discovering, together as a team of clients, family and caregivers, what exactly may be most helpful to each individual and then doing their best to provide precisely that.
I think our clients benefit tremendously from the prompt and thoughtful ongoing communication among everyone involved in their care and support.
It's good to know that together we've been able to help someone remain as healthy and as independent as they possibly can and to support them and their families as they adjust and adapt to difficult changes.
4. How has being a Seniors Companion enriched your life?
Seniors for Seniors has given me many opportunities to observe, learn from and share in the tremendous strength, resilience, generosity and often plain courage of extraordinary people whom I would never otherwise have encountered or come to know.
I have also been touched, many times, by the ease with which people who are struggling in so many ways not only welcome us into their daily lives but also readily share with us so much about what is and has been meaningful and important to them.
Many of my fellow caregivers and companions have also generously shared their knowledge, skills and experiences with me. There are often challenges but there is also a lot of affection, laughter and enjoyment together.
I'm grateful to our clients, their family and friends, my fellow caregivers and Seniors for Seniors. I've been fortunate to work with so many people who inspire and encourage me.
Thank you Mary for sharing your experiences of being a Senior Companion at Seniors for Seniors. Congratulations on being the June Employee of the Month! We thank you for all the impactful work that you do.
Want to know more about being a Senior Companion? You can visit our Seniors for Seniors employment page here.
We are very grateful for your thoughtfulness and for the excellent care that mum received over the past year from all the senior companions. Sincerely,
I and B. B, Hamilton