Lisa works as a Direct Support Worker for a group home in an urban center, where she cares for residents' various needs in order to live full lives. This involves a little bit of everything, from personal care (such as washing, dressing, bathing, feeding and toileting) to engaging and encouraging her residents. She also does laundry, cleaning, meal planning and preparation, and maintaining their homes.

The best part of her job is knowing the relationships she builds with her residents allows a sense of comfort and ease. This means the day goes well for her residents, knowing they don't have to work to explain what they need. Depending on which house she's at, there are up to eight residents to care for.

Some residents need a high level of physical care, while other residents need more emotional support. It's crucial to be aware of behaviours and triggers. Trust is the most important aspect of the job.

Lisa has a unique story on how she found this career. Her parents owned a private care home so she had residents in her house as she grew up. She enjoyed the people that lived with her but knew she didn't want to work in her own home so she decided to be a Personal Support Worker in a facility. She knew she could bring value to others' lives and found her current employer; she liked their philosophy of focusing on quality of life for residents.

Lisa has been at this group home for 12 years now. When she took her training, she obtained her Rehabilitation Worker Certificate, now called Disability Support Worker. She also has taken her First Aid, Food Safety, Medication Administration and TLR (Transfer Lifts and Repositions) training.

Everything changed and yet everything stayed the same while working during the pandemic. Life goes on. Residents were understanding for the most part, although a few were initially angry with the restrictions.

It's been difficult for Lisa, though, to watch her residents over time. Watching the mental and emotional state as this pandemic has lingered has been trying. Some are cautious with high anxiety, some are overwhelmed with restrictions but all feel fortunate to have kept safe so far. Staff are fairly upbeat and positive, trying their best to be supportive.

Lisa, the positive difference you make to your residents' lives is clear. You and your coworkers do an amazing and very important job in society. We cannot thank you enough for all that you do to make your residents' lives better. 

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