Care Worker Tania shares her story: “You know you’ll make a difference”
Tania Garland is one of Feros Care’s most-loved care workers.
She’s been in the role for 12 years and was drawn to the company after reading about the founder, George Feros, and his kindness throughout the Byron Bay area.
“I thought, that’s who I would like to work for,” Tania says. “I was 59, but I thought – you know, they might see something in me.”
The hiring managers certainly saw something and held onto it. With a background as a doctor’s receptionist and, later, as the night carer at an independent living facility, Tania was known for her fun-loving nature; she would put on pantomimes and
morning teas at the living facility just to keep the residents engaged.
With so much experience, here are the things that make Tania a remarkable care worker, and some of her best stories.
Treat others just as you’d like your loved ones treated
Tania’s parents were in their 90s when they passed away, and her care for them has always inspired the way she treats her clients, with friendship, caring and kindness.
“Everyone has a story to tell,” Tania says. “I listen, remember. If they have a problem – I ring the care manager and see how I can help without going out of the guidelines.”
She gives the example of a gentleman who was struggling after the loss of his wife. Tania found a fishing rod in his home and asked if he’d like to go fishing one day.
“He was waiting for me the next week with 2 fishing rods, and we went down and had the most wonderful day. We would go as often as we could, and I could see the difference in him – I left feeling that I had cheered him up. He’d been so despondent;
I didn’t know how he could get over the loss of his wife.”
Tania loved being able to see him enjoying his life once again, and has used that motivation to inspire her day-to-day work.
Find a common interest
Tania says the key to connection with clients is through observation. By noticing the photos around their home, it might open up a conversation about their relationships, travels or past occupations. From there, Tania is sure to always keep the same conversation
in mind for future visits.
“When I started to get to know my clients – say that I met one who was from France, I would make sure I said, ‘bonjour madame!’ when I walked through the door,” Tania explains. “They would be at ease and also think it was
quite funny, the way I said it.”
It isn’t just language or destinations that inspire Tania; she shared the story of one client who lived all alone, but Tania knew she loved the races.
“One Melbourne Cup, I took all my hats around and we got dressed up,” Tania says. “We went to a doctor’s appointment to show them off, stopped off at the TAB, put a bet on each, then we went to watch the race at home – but we had
such a fun time!”
It’s the little things
Finally, Tania reveals that being a great care worker is all in the details: being punctual. Being dressed well for the part. Remaining kind, caring and compassionate.
“You also have to put yourself into situations and handle it at the same time, just really be ready for anything,” Tania adds. “I once took a client to a funeral, and we were waiting in the church, the funeral about to begin. At the
top of her lungs, the client said ‘Tania! You forgot to put my hearing aids in!”
“The whole congregation cracked up laughing. I didn’t know what to do. I said, look just come with me for a minute, and we went to the bathroom. I told her I’d explain everything to her at the end!”
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