The #1 thing I ask myself when I’m hiring for LTC is “is this someone I would have wanted to take care of my grandmother?”
About 3 months ago I got the job offer to work for Plan A. Within the same week, I also found out that my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. This time it was terminal. About 9 years ago we got the news that she no longer had ovarian cancer — woo hoo! That gave me another 9 years with one of my favourite people in this world. This time she was diagnosed with lung cancer that had already spread through her entire body and there was absolutely nothing that could be done to stop it.
When I was 15 my other grandmother had died on my birthday, but the relationship was different and it didn’t quite hit as hard. With this one, I had no idea what to do with myself. I felt destroyed and lost and hopeless. Sometimes I still feel that way; after all it has only been 5 weeks since she passed. The one thing that did come out of this, was that it gave me a connection to my job that I didn’t know I needed. It allowed me to think of it more personally and really understand how important our healthcare professionals are. I started to really analyze and think about the kind of person it takes to do this job and just who I would want taking care of my grandmother.
I spent a lot of time in the hospital during her last month with us back in October. It gave me a new appreciation for our frontline staff and made me realize just how important it is to have the right people taking care of our elders. I made an effort to thank each and every nurse or personal support worker that came in because they are doing a job that I know I could never personally do.
It absolutely breaks my heart to think of the homes being short-staffed because that means people are not getting the care they deserve. I am so proud to work for a company that helps eliminate this problem because I cannot, in a million years, ever imagine or be okay with my grandmother going through that. She was fortunate enough to be surrounded by our family and was never alone for more than one hour — even overnight.
I will forever hold my grandmother in my heart. She was the kindest woman you would have ever met. She is part of the reason I am who I am today. I have been told that I have her heart and nothing makes me happier. So thank you, Grandma, for teaching me everything that you did and for giving me a reason to love what I do. I will forever be grammy’s little girl.
~ Heather Stevenson, Hiring Specialist, Plan A Toronto