“I was surprised and thrilled to learn that I was being given this honour,” said Kim Morrow, recently presented with the prestigious Caregiver of the Year Award by Bayshore Home Health.
“There are so many great caregivers out there; this award is very special to me. My family and kids are very proud. I love my job, and they know this. They always support me.”
Originally a South Mountain resident who moved to Ottawa for several years, and now makes her home in Morrisburg, Kim is a graduate of Seaway District High School.
She has been a specially trained PSW (Personal Support Worker) with Bayshore Home Health for nearly three years.
Her work is in home care for recovering patients, end of life patients and senior support. But she has also had child clients. “We cover the gamut,” Kim explained, “with assignments as far as Rockland and Summerstown and all areas in between. I put about 50,000 kilometres on my car every year.”
Kim wouldn’t have it any other way, however. Her level of dedication to her clients and to the high standards of her job is evident.
“The wonderful thing about this job is being involved with each patient, and with a patient’s family, to be part of an interdisciplinary team. PSWs are often the eyes and ears for nurses, chiropractors, doctors and other health care specialists.
We are on the spot daily, and we can often detect problems developing at an early stage. I work as part of a preventative team to ensure that a patient’s health doesn’t decline except as the disease necessitates.”
She credits the high standards set by her employer, Bayshore Home Health, and the support of her supervisor, Karen Chisholm, Manager of Clinical Practice (who nominated her) in her success.
“Bayshore tries to be as effective as possible,” Kim said. Keeping abreast of new ideas and techniques and continually re-training is part of her professional portfolio. Kim is currently taking palliative care courses at Algonquin College paid for by Bayshore. Workshops and additional learning are on-going, and she is trained to handle medical equipment and patients’ injections.
Kim feels that there is a vital role for PSWs in the health and well-being of a community.
She chose to go into this field when her mother and her brother both fell seriously ill. She saw the kind of care they received and it helped her make up her mind.
“We provide light housekeeping,” Kim explained. “But we also provide companionship and human contact. There are times when we just hold a patient’s hand, listen to him, have empathy and respect for him.
It’s also important for the family to see that this level of care is taking place. This patient is a loved one.”
The Caregiver of the Year Award is actually three awards in one.
The Province of Ontario and the Mayor and City Council of Cornwall joined with Bayshore in honouring Kim Morrow for her exceptional efforts in her field.
“This is a job which can be emotionally draining,” Kim said. “But if I give 100 per cent, and do the job to the best of my ability, I can come home feeling that I’ve done what I could. I can feel that I have helped.”