Marie J., Personal Support Worker, is the recipient of the 2021-2022 Award for Person-Centred Care– one of the highest honours within Circle of Care’s employee recognition program, Champions of Care.
A Nature for Helping Others
When Marie J. applied to work at Circle of Care as a Personal Support Worker, she did so on the advice of a few of her friends.
“I had a couple of friends who worked here and they encouraged me to apply. They said I would be very happy working at Circle of Care. So, I thought that maybe I would give it a try,” says Marie. “They turned out to be right.”
Circle of Care was a natural fit for Marie, who has always had a passion for providing care and helping others.
Before joining Circle of Care, Marie worked as a caregiver in Israel for four years. There, she took care of an elderly woman who had dementia. In the course of her role as a caregiver, her client taught her how to speak four different languages, including Spanish.
“She was brilliant and kind. I’m glad I was able to be there for her when she had nobody else around,” remembers Marie.
Marie was able to bring that experience and knowledge with her to her role at Circle of Care. As a Personal Support Worker, Marie assists clients with personal hygiene and grooming, along with providing household management, socialization, and emotional support.
Recognizing Her Clients’ Needs
Marie explains that her role is important in many ways and sometimes she’s the only one her clients have to depend on. She gives her clients the same respect, honour, and care that she would give her parents, while finding every opportunity to go above and beyond to provide them with excellent person-centered care.
“I inspire them and make them smile,” Marie proudly says. “It’s always been in my nature to help others.”
Many clients, in fact, describe themselves as being ‘lucky’ to receive care from Marie.
“I’d like to say how much we appreciate Marie, who is looking after my mom. She’s a nice hard worker, very dedicated, caring and responsible,” says the daughter of one of her clients. “We’re so lucky to have her; she looks after my mom the same way she would look after her own mother. Thank you for sending her to us.”
Understanding that she plays an incredibly important role in her clients’ lives, Marie always ensures that she does not perform her duties in a hurry. Rather, she is patient and dedicates her allotted time entirely to her clients to make sure they feel seen and heard when she is with them.
Her favourite part of the role is to be able to make a difference in their life. She recognizes that even a simple act of kindness is enough to brighten up their entire day, so she always tries her best to make them smile.
“My clients want me to spend time with them. They don’t want me to hurry. I see that they want somebody to talk to them and so I talk to them about their day and ask them simple things like if they ate breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It feels rewarding to be able to do something for them,” she says.
Many of her clients have echoed their gratitude for Marie’s hard work, explaining that they often couldn’t maintain their independence without her.
“Marie has been with me over a year and I couldn’t be more pleased with her. She has a great attitude and is always willing to do whatever I ask of her,” explains a client of hers. “She goes above and beyond. She also cleans my apartment once a month and does an excellent job. I am so grateful to her and Circle of Care.”
Celebrated for Her Person-Centred Care
In June 2022, Marie received the Champions of Care Award for Person-Centred Care. This award is given to an employee who provides exceptional care and service by creating a safe and compassionate environment while approaching each individual as a whole person with unique needs.
“My co-workers sent me a message congratulating me that I’d won the award,” says Marie. “I thought they were joking at first! I couldn’t believe it; I was really surprised. But, I really appreciate that Circle of Care appreciate us. I am happy that my clients are happy with our service. It is certainly a good feeling to see clients appreciating our hard work.”
Our Champions of Care program is designed to recognize employees who go above and beyond their day-to-day duties, and who exemplify Circle of Care’s values. Nominations are collected each year from April 1 to March 31, and winners are announced each June. We welcome nominations by Circle of Care clients and family members on behalf of staff members that you interact with. If you would like to nominate a Circle of Care employee for an award, please fill out our nomination form: https://www.circleofcare.com/champions-of-care-nomination-form/