BC Care Awards – Safety Champion Nominee Amanda McCarthy

Every year, the BC Care Awards celebrate care providers who go above and beyond delivering care to our seniors.

In this nominee profile, we feature Amanda McCarthy from Glenmore Lodge in Kelowna for her work supporting the safety of residents and team members.

Why did you decide to work in seniors’ care?

I have always loved doing work that has the potential to make a difference in someone’s life. I love making someone smile and doing little things to make a person’s day better. The most important thing that I have learned is that being a nurse is a special privilege, you must always remember that others place their trust in you to deliver the best possible care.

What do you wish people knew about working with seniors?

They have amazing stories. Even many people living with advanced dementia can recall events from the distant past, and it’s good for them to do so, so it can be justified as therapeutic to ask.

This is a speciality population, and nurses can develop a sense of pride in becoming expert in their care. I guarantee you that when the elderly  get plain urinary tract infections, the clinical picture is far different from that of a 30-year-old. Knowing that, realizing the problem, and knowing why, can drastically improve the quality of life for a person.

Always remember that the person you are caring for is someone’s parent, grandparent, spouse. They may have fought in wars, most have raised families, and many have lost members of those families. Call it karma or responsibility, but when I care for elderly patients, I hope that when my family members grow old and sick, someone takes good care of them, too.

It may help you reconsider how you live your life. After you have cared for many elderly people and likely been a part of  their deaths, it’s difficult not to be drawn into wondering what amends, regrets, and triumphs YOU will have at the end of your life.

What’s your favourite part about working in seniors’ care?

I enjoy working with the elderly who have challenging behaviours especially when  supporting a spouse or family members in looking after their loved ones. You become part of the family and develop a rapport with the resident and the family.

I have found also that I find working in palliative care rewarding, as you can help people and their families experience a dignified death. At the end of the day each individual has lived an interesting and unique life and it is a privilege to be part of their lives.

BC Care Award winners will be announced early January. The awards ceremony will take place on February 19th, 2017 at the Fairmont Empress Victoria. Registration is now open for BCCPA members and invited guests.