Roxanne Martel began her work in home health care by volunteering and assisting a gentleman with his shopping. She saw that he had someone to come in to cook his meals and thought that this type of work would be very fulfilling.
She completed her training at BCIT and began working in the field. Assisting first hand with the seniors in her care has allowed Roxanne to create relationships with her clients and to drastically improve their lives while allowing them to maintain their independence.
“Helping people resolve some of their health issues or advocate on their behalf is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work,” Roxanne explains.
As a Community Health Worker, Roxanne’s duties consist of personal care, bathing, exercises, going for walks, respite visits and connecting the clients with resources they require.
“I think we can keep people from getting sicker. We can see things that would not be caught by a doctor who they may only see once in a while or if their family lives a distance away,” Roxanne says. “I guess we are just the first responder.”
In her 28 years in the industry, things have changed quite a bit as far as home care responsibilities. Where at one time they would pay a client’s bills, take them to church, or take them out shopping, the relationships between caretakers and clients have become less personal and more professional. Maintaining a personal feel while abiding by professional expectations is her primary goal.[quote name=”Roxanne Martel” pull=”Left”]I have had some good experiences with people in my little group and thought that maybe I can change too and better respond to people if I understand them more[/quote]
The personal relationships she builds with clients are one of the highlights of her career. Especially those whose lives she can make a difference. The simple act of sitting down to chat with a difficult client was able to bring up some of their concerns and allow them to work through some of the reasons they were struggling.
“I have had some good experiences with people in my little group and thought that maybe I can change too and better respond to people if I understand them more,” Roxanne explains.
Understanding the challenges of clients struggles have given her a better grasp of the people they were prior to their illness and how she can help them. Losing control of aspects of your life due to an illness is never an easy transition. Roxanne keeps her clients mental and emotional health forefront in her care of them.
When she was young, Roxanne aspired to be a private eye. With a penchant for problem solving and a fascination with murder mysteries, she enjoys the complexities of solving a crime. When not working she still enjoys the literary works of Kathleen Winsor and plays Scrabble. She also enjoys researching and learning about various topics such as labour law, mental health, and psychologically healthy workplaces. She is inspired by the late anthropologist Margaret Mead, as a pioneer of the women’s movement.
– Written by freelance writer Angie Holubowich for the Seniors Care HR Planning Committee. Funding for this project was provided by the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement