When was your last case of inspireitus, where your heart swelled up with inspiration and you were moved to tears?
I recently had the honour of offering my Unsung Heroes closing keynote at the annual convention of a national home care organization. As part of the speech, I reflect back to the audience some of the compelling stores of service excellence. Here’s what was shared. I got half through before the incredible compassion woven into these lives triggered my Inspireitus and I was deeply moved.
Compelling Stories of Unsung Heroes in Home Care
1. A 93 year old lady has received footcare at home by our staff for quite some time. She is known in her community for baking items and taking them to new residents as a welcome. She was recently frightened by a home invasion and was questioning whether staying alone was in her best interest. She did not want to go into long term care. Our staff now stays with this lady 24 hours/day 7 days a week and she is thrilled with the service. She is able to remain in her home with our assistance and continues to be a very active senior and baker.
2. A Mom aged 43 struggling with her second round of breast cancer. The palliative team made it possible for her to die in the comfort of home with her kids ages 13 and 15 and husband by her side. Her husband was in denial and worked long hours leaving a lot of responsibility to the two boys who had been doing care duties but could now focus on grieving her loss and not worry about her care. The care worker went above the call of duty and prepared school lunches, drove kids to school, etc. The mom took her caregivers hand and uttered the following last words to her angel caregiver before she died, “Thank you for taking care of my kids.”
3. Young soldiers that have been injured in Afghanistan and require dressing changes – they would need to go to the base hospital if our nurses did not go to their homes, thus causing additional pain and more pain control medication – these are wounds that none of our nurses have ever seen before. One care nurse stopped by to dress and pack the wound of a 23 year old foot soldier amputee on November 11, Remembrance day. He was distraught because he thought he had let his comrades down and his dreams to be a police officer were gone. The care worker stayed an extra 6 hours comforting him before a base social worker could relieve her.
I couldn’t get through these stories with out swelling up with gratitude for the unsung heroes who care and nurture thousands of folks like these every day. Salt of the earth, genuine, behind the scenes, everyday unsung heroes.
Here is how one home care professional described their role:
“Our is an agency that has both Personal Support Workers and Nurses that are here to assist you with your aging parents, your newborn babies, your disabled teenagers and everyone in between. Depending on your needs, we escort you to appointments and programs so that you are not alone. We cook your meals and clean your home so that you are safe and well fed. We can give you a warm shower and make hygienic practices that could be embarrassing a little more comfortable for you, because when you look good, you feel good. We remind you to take your medications and vitamins because we want you to be healthy. We can play board games, read books, make crafts and go for walks because we want you to enjoy our time together. But above all, we are good listeners and companions. If you are safe, happy and warm at the end of the day, we’ve done our job.”
I have no more words I’ll just let my Inspired Lachryosis (Swelling up of tears) respond.