Every month Seniors for Seniors chooses an employee who exemplifies qualities of a great companion.
For September's Employee of the Month, we chose Debra Gill because of her warm and patient personality. She is always attentive to her clients and we hear nothing but positive feedback.
We recently asked Debra some questions about working as a companion. This is what she shared:
1. How did you hear about Seniors For Seniors and why did you decide to join the company?
I saw a poster looking for seniors interested in working with seniors in the Kingston and surrounding area and I decided that this would be a perfect part-time job! Although I am not classified as a senior yet I have a great admiration and respect for seniors and thoroughly enjoy spending time with them.
2. What is your favorite companion/caregiver experience or story?
My most favourite experience was not with a senior but it involved seniors. I volunteered to help deliver a small bag of goodies with a Morning Glory flower and a small note of encouragement to local seniors in apartment buildings during the COVID-19 lockdown! So many seniors have lost all their social activities, especially those in apartment buildings as they are not only isolated from their families but also from their friends.
The common rooms where the seniors would gather for games, potlucks, exercise and just to mingle and talk have been closed since March and it has taken a toll on the mental health of our seniors. The joy on their faces when they received their bags was truly a memory that will stay with me forever. Some were overjoyed to the point of tears and although heartbreaking, it was very rewarding!
3. How has Seniors For Seniors benefited your clients?
Seniors For Seniors has benefited my clients in many ways such as not having to worry about going out to the stores because we do their grocery shopping or run errands for them. They also benefit by not feeling alone because we come into their home with proper PPE and keep them company. My clients do not have to worry about taking public transportation to go to a doctor’s appointment because we drive them to the appointment, and accompany them and then take them home again.
4. How has being a Seniors For Seniors caregiver enriched your life?
Caring for the older seniors has given me a greater appreciation of the challenges that they face, challenges that I will also face someday. Some of the seniors just enjoy talking and telling their life stories, which I love to hear. So many of these stories are fascinating, actually they are all fascinating! I had one client who was likely a very good musician in his prime take out his guitar and sing Amazing Grace while I cleaned his house. Just seeing a smiling face and having someone listen to them makes a huge difference in their mental state and it has enriched both our lives!
Want to know more about being a senior companion? You can visit our employment page here.