OPSWA’s 2nd Annual Conference

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I first got involved with The Ontario Personal Support Worker Association. And you know what? I haven’t looked back. I’ve been questioned by several people as to WHY I put so much time into something that isn’t getting the attention – well, near the amount of attention –  I think it deserves. I’ll tell you why. I am a PSW. A Personal Support Worker. I believe in the care that I provide. I believe that our seniors – and anyone else requiring the need of a PSW – should get the VERY BEST that this profession has to offer. OPSWA is the ONLY entity willing to stand up, protect, govern & imply accountability to those working in this extremely important field of work. Our government isn’t even willing to do that.

Doesn’t that insult you? We take care of the provinces MOST vulnerable and our government sees no need to make us accountable for our actions. Sees no need to properly regulate the schooling that we take. Now think of this as if YOU yourself needed the help from a PSW. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that someone was keeping severe tabs on the person taking care of you? I would. And this is why I work with & belong as a proud member with OPSWA. Because when I’m old – and when my parents are old – I don’t want to worry. Because as it stands right now? I worry. BIG TIME. So I’m taking a stand and CHOOSING to be accountable to the people I serve. And I urge you to do the same. I honestly question those that don’t see the many benefits this association has to offer.

April 25th of this year is OPSWA’s Second Annual PSW Conference and needless to say I am thrilled beyond bits to be attending. There’s something about being in a room with your peers, people who truly understand the hardships that we as PSWs endure on a daily basis, that makes me feel so wonderful inside.

This years conference will be taking place at the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Center from 8am-4pm. Not only do you get free food – don’t lie, that’s important to you – but you get a a chance to bump & grind with the industry’s top employers. There will be several venues there who are more than looking forward to meeting YOU – the awesome PSW that I know you are. Speakers include Hospice Wellington on the importance of palliative care, Toronto Rehab Facility, renowned disability advocate Joannie Cowie, MYSELF (apswlife) & many more.

Come talk with us. We understand the scare factor when using a hoyer lift. Or when someone’s bowels explode on your shoes.

You know how to find me. Twitter @apswlife & snucci@opswa.com

Exhaustion.

I had a wonderful weekend: saw some friends, saw my boyfriend & came home relaxed & ready to start another week of work. Only I haven’t been to work. In fact, I’ve called in sick to work for the last 2 days and for a very good reason. I have been sick. Not “Oh, I could go to work but I feel lazy” sick – you know what that is – but more like “I think I’ll wake up at 4:30 am with the most excruciating nausea and make love to the toilet for the better part of the day” sick.

Fun, huh?

It has been eons since I last experienced the stomach flu & I had forgotten just how nasty that bug can be. How on earth is one person supposed to manage both ends of their body at one time?! HOW?! Well, I won’t get into much more detail than that for fear of no one reading this blog again.

Today I am feeling better. Exhausted beyond all measure, but at least I am able to keep food down. And even though I’m not vomiting I decided to call in today. I know my body. I know how it works and after 29 years I know how long it takes for it to bounce back to normal. After spending a day with my face in the garbage can I decided that going in to work today probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. I need my energy back. I need a decent meal & a long nights sleep.

When you’re not feeling well – listen to your body. Don’t push yourself & for the love of all things holy WASH YOUR HANDS.

(Sidenote: I have been informed by PEAK College that due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control they have had to postpone their MARCH 1st Montessori Dementia Course to MAY 10th. Should you have any questions, pls contact them directly.)

Cake.

Do you freak out about your birthday? Depending on my mood & age-to-be, I get a little anxious. For instance, in December of this year I’ll be 30. THIRTY. When did this happen? What did I do in my twenties? A lot of it is a blur, but the majority of it is nothing but good memories. That’s what I think birthday’s are: Celebrating another year of life passed and another one to come. I’ve always enjoyed birthdays, even the ones that weren’t my own. Birthday’s are a big deal! Every year is a blessing and should be treated as such.

So imagine celebrating someone’s 100th Birthday. ONE HUNDRED. This occurred yesterday for one of my favourite residents. And for 100, being so “old” and “fragile”, she’s as spunky as anything. She’s so vibrant and full of life, it’s remarkable. Every day is a positive, new beginning for her and it makes me smile every time. Her lust for life rubs off on you. And even though she can’t see the balloons & greeting cards surrounding her (she’s blind) I’ve never seen someone so content just knowing they were there. That after 100 years of life on this planet people still care as if it were her first.

Happy Birthday my angel.

IMG_1104P.S Don’t forget to sign up for the Montessori Dementia Course! Seats are filling up fast! (See my last post for details!)