When I contacted Breege to chat to her about her ‘Carer of the Year’ runner up prize and why she enjoys her role as a carer so much, I was amused that she encapsulated so much of the personality type I wrote about last week – those people who get bored once they retire, that feel the need to keep working, who want the interaction of meeting people on a regular basis, and who love their work.
Breege lives in Galway and started working for Comfort Keepers two years ago. She had retired from her work with the Irish Wheelchair Association and within a month of retirement, she was itching to get back to working. She contacted Comfort Keepers, was interviewed and once we had her garda clearance, we were able to put the wheels in motion. ‘I felt cut off from the outside world when I retired,’ she claimed ‘I was bored, I wanted to feel useful again.’
Breege provides home care for five clients Monday – Friday, for two of those five on a Saturday and their families provide care at the weekends. She spends an hour with each client – providing personal care, helping to prepare meals, bringing them items from the local shop, chatting to them, listening to their stories. Breege feels very strongly that elderly people gave their lives for this country, they kept it going through the bad times, through wars, recessions, progression, and she feels she is giving each of them back something in return, something small but important nevertheless. It was clear that she enjoys spending time with each and every one of them.
Breege is very proud to be a Comfort Keepers carer, she regards all the carers at being very good at their job, providing excellent services and support to their clients, and in turn receiving great support from the teams in the offices. She was delighted to bring the Regional Carer of the Year award home to the Galway office.
Breege believes she is good at her job because she loves it, she loves seeing her clients happy and knowing she makes a positive difference to their day, she’s had years of experience and knows she is good with people. As she said, good carers have to be dedicated, they have to be good with people, they have to care and they have to want to make a difference to the lives of others.
After talking to Breege, I felt energised, positive and amused – I can just imagine how seeing her everyday for an hour would have a hugely positive impact on her clients.