May 19 is PSW Day.
Gwen was actively my caregiver for over 6 years as a youth and with my transition to an adult required me to change agencies. Even though she is no longer my professional caregiver, we now consider her as part of our family. She goes above and beyond her call of duty and would ensure I receive everything I needed before she leaves, which makes me feel unpressured as I go about my day. What surprises me is she would do things without me asking, somehow she just knew the things that needed to be done like making my washroom spotless or staying beyond her scheduled hours just to make sure I am okay.
She came to Canada from Guyana in the 80s where she started as a nanny for several families before getting married. She started as a nurses aid in the early 90s, after her husband’s’ death her commitment to helping others was ever strengthened and has been supporting so many people for over 27 years. She’s also had several physical injuries which haven’t stopped her from continuing her role as a PSW even though it was a detriment to her own health.
Gwen always says her love is to help others in need and indeed she’s found her calling in helping so many including myself and our family even to this day. We’re blessed to have had her as a PSW and now as someone, we consider family.
I loved how when she was assisting with my daily activities we would have music on and would sing together. We would sing the loudest when Celine Dion was on as we’re both huge fans. Her attention to detail and commitment to my care is beyond expectations, for example, her focus on scrubbing my body during showers or helping me with my stretching is with utmost gentleness and precision.
She’s one of the biggest givers I know, not only does she always bring food for our family the past few years, she would go to the office of her agencies to water their plants voluntarily knowing that the company has cut costs to plant maintenance. She’s also the go-to person for the two agencies that she works for to backfill for others and isn’t afraid to speak up for her clients if she sees something that’s not right and can be improved by the agencies.
The work she and many PSWs do often go unnoticed. Let’s not forget the impact PSWs have on our lives and thank them for the work that they do.