Mary Coyne is the Galway Carer of the Year, one of the carers chosen from each of the Comfort Keepers seventeen offices and time will tell if she ends up being a regional finalist or indeed, the winner of the Comfort Keepers Carer of the Year Award in 2015.
Mary has been working as a carer for two years, she previously worked in health insurance. Although many carers complete their training when they start working with Comfort Keepers, Mary completed the course with her local VEC. She attended classes on a full-time basis over eight months. They had two months off over the summer but within that time, she completed two weeks work experience and also worked on assignments.
Mary sees nine clients at the moment and usually works 36 hours per week. She takes one day off in the week, works full days on Saturdays and Sundays and tends to work mornings and late afternoons/evenings the other days, having a longer break in the middle of the day. The appointments tend to vary in length from one hour to 2.5 hours and she will see some clients twice a day. The morning appointment sees her help them get washed and dressed, getting them breakfast, doing some light housework, reminding them to take their medication and of course, having a cheery chat while all that is going on. The evening appointment is much of the same, replacing the breakfast with an evening meal or supper. Some of her clients are aged over 90, love living in their own homes and simply require a little assistance to live independently.
Mary clearly loves her job: “I like meeting different people during the course of my day, I feel like I’m visiting one of my relations, catching up on news and taking pleasure in spending time together. There is no sense in anyone doing a job like this if you don’t like it. When spending time with other people, it is important you both enjoy it.”
What makes a good carer in Mary’s opinion:
- Need to be able to relate to other people
- Need to be a good conversationalist and have good personal skills
- You have to care for other people’s feelings, emotions and future
- You need to be punctual and reliable
- You need to be observant
- Being professional is key.
It’s clear that Mary is a worthy winner of the Galway Carer of the Year award and we’d like to wish her well in the next stage.