Tuesday, March 29th 2022, 5:55 am - The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for caregivers who dedicate their lives to helping others in our communities, but have you ever asked yourself, "Who’s taking care of our caregivers?"
Caregivers can be many different types of people from hardworking teachers to loving guardians, to local personal support workers.
They’ve certainly become the backbones of our communities and Michelle Clermont is one of them.
“Every day, there are connections that you make.”
Independent Personal Support Worker (PSW) Michelle Clermont, has been helping seniors and people living with disabilities since 2017.
Personal Support Worker. (Photo provided)
As a PSW, Clermont takes care of their hygienic and overall health needs all while brightening their spirits.
“You know, people will say things like, ‘Oh, I feel so much safer when I'm with you' or 'You make my day a little bit brighter',” expressed Clermont.
Clermont was inspired to become a PSW after watching her grandmother be allegedly financially abused in a long-term care home.
“I had a grandmother who had dementia and sadly I saw abuses in the system, she was in a long-term care facility…it drove me to decide for the rest of my life I wanted to make a difference to seniors and ensure they were safe and protected under my care,” said Clermont.
(Credit: Storyblocks Enterprise)
While Clermont spends her professional days caring for others, many people are considered caregivers in their own right.
“Many of us are actually caregivers, we don't always think of ourselves in that way. But if you have a child, if you have a spouse, if you have an elderly parent, you've probably engaged in some sort of caregiving throughout your lifetime,” expressed Mona Sabharwal, Senior Vice-President of Rexall Pharmacy Services.
(Credit: Storyblocks Enterprise)
“The reason that they are so essential is because (they’re) how our communities work. Even if you have a pet, you're caring for them constantly and so you are in fact a caregiver,” Sabharwal continued.
While caregiving has many mental health benefits - the act of giving can also take a toll on a caregiver’s mental health.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee encourages caregivers’ to be honest about their emotional capacity and to reach out to their loved ones when feeling mentally overwhelmed.
“I would recommend to anyone who is a caregiver right now, that it's okay to be tired. It's okay, this is a hard time for all of us. Bring whatever you have to the table, maybe bring a little bit less to the table, so that you can give a little more to yourself. All of that is perfectly acceptable. It's not selfish. It's actually self preservation. And we need that right now.”
It’s important to take care of the caregivers’ in our life, on good days and bad, and that’s where our friends at Rexall Pharmacy can help.
“At Rexall, we are committed to caring for Canadians one person at a time. We have been very deliberate in creating tools that can help make caregiving just a little bit easier,” said Sabharwal.
Through their Be Well Loyalty and Wellness app, Rexall hopes to give caregivers an easy to use tool for accessing their health needs on top of the health needs of those they care for.
“We have Be Well, our health and wellness and loyalty app. You can use that directly to manage your loved ones prescriptions, you can access your whole medication list, you can submit a new prescription simply by taking a picture of it. You can refill your prescriptions with one swipe. It's really very intuitive,” Sabharwal continued.
Personal Support Worker, Michelle Clermont. (Photo provided)
Rexall also offers delivery options to help save caregivers those extra precious minutes.
“Rexall is really just trying to make things a little bit simpler, shaving five, ten, 15 minutes out of a caregiver’s day. It’s the best gift we can give a caregiver.”
Caregivers’ certainly are the gift that keeps on giving! Remember to take the time to thank the caregivers in your communities and offer them a helping hand whenever you can.