About the Founder

I (Katherine) have always had a passion to help and serve others.

My work at a large Winnipeg Hospital as a Social Worker alerted me to the fact that there was a great need for people who ‘fell between the cracks.’ They were not well enough to stay at home without assistance of some sort, yet they were not ‘sick’ enough to remain in hospital or enter a personal care home. The job I did of ‘sending’ patients to a personal care home was always met with some resistance, or a sad, quiet resignation. It was the most disturbing part of my job.

I also worked in a Personal Care Home as a Social Worker back in 2004, before Comforts of Home – Care had started up. One of my tasks was to visit one client a week to provide an assessment and update their care plan. In staff meeting, I would make my recommendations. Invariably, I would recommend a companion. In my opinion, almost everyone in that place could use some extra company!

One week, I entered a room looking for my resident. It was so still and quiet. The woman was parked in her wheelchair facing the window. There she was in her soft pink sweater, her pale skin and her wispy white hair. When I said hello, all she could do was gaze back with a vacant stare. I looked around for something – anything! Anything that could give me a clue to help me fill out her report. There was one lonely Christmas card on her bulletin board. As I went to leave, I took her hand to say good-bye. What happened next surprised me. She grasped my hand so tightly and her eyes locked with my eyes. She wouldn’t let go. Someone had taken a moment to break through the isolation and see her as a person.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Margaret Peters manages a smile as she recovers at home from vicious beating, surrounded by flowers from well-wishers (from Strong Again but Less Trusting).

My recommendation for a companion in staff meeting was met with scorn by the Director of Care. Sarcastically she said, “You think everyone needs a companion.” I’ll choose to take that as a compliment!

Breaking my wrist in June 2005 led me to ask myself the question, “What do I really want to do with my life?” In the weeks that followed, when my search brought me to The Senior’s Choice, I knew that this was it! They would help me form a business that would be rewarding in many ways.

A year after I had opened my door to care for other people’s parents, caregiving took on a whole new meaning when it hit home. My then 77-year-old mother was the victim of a brutal home invasion that made national headlines for its severity and brutality. Strangled, pushed down the basement stairs, and bashed with rifle butts, she was left for dead. Margaret Peters miraculously survived and returned to her independent lifestyle after months of hardship and rehabilitation; but things would never be the same trusting way they were.

I realized how different it is when its your own parent that needs care. Seeing my own mother in such pain clouded my own mind. I couldn’t think clearly and every emotion was magnified by 100! I realized what each of my client’s family members must be going through! I was happy to rely on my professional team of caregivers when I couldn’t hold it together. The compassion I felt for my clients and their family increased greatly. I will never be the same after experiencing being a caregiver to my mother during that very difficult time.

If you would like to hear Katherine give a presentation about Elder Abuse, please contact the office. She is well connected with the local WEAAD “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” chapter in Winnipeg and can present one of several, It’s Not Right presentations to your group or club.

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