|With Mycare, companionship’s just a phone call or email away. One worker tells how it benefits everyone.|
According to the poet Yeats, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met”, and as the old proverb goes, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. Knowing how much can be gained from hiring or becoming a Mycare companion, we couldn’t agree with either sentiment more.
Someone who’s experienced this first-hand is Nelson’s Annette Andrew. Ahead of the UN’s International Friendship Day on July 30, we spoke to Annette (50) about the mutual benefits of the relationship she’s developed through reaching out with Mycare.
Earlier this year, seeking a slower pace, Annette and her husband Joe left Auckland’s hustle and bustle behind and relocated to Stoke. Having worked as a nanny, an in-home home child carer and for Geneva Healthcare for many years, Annette says, “Looking after people is my passion, so I wanted to pursue it when we got here. Being able to provide companionship helps me maintain my own independence, as it’s something I can offer wherever I am.”
After hearing through the grapevine about Mycare, Annette created a profile advertising her services as a carer. Soon she accepted an offer of work – but has gained much more in the bargain.
Annette’s new client is 67-year-old John*, a retired businessman who lives rurally with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and baby grandson. John has been in remission from a brain tumour for two years, but his illness has seen his abilities affected, including his speech.
Three times a week for three to four hours at a time, Annette heads out to the farm to keep John company. “Caring for John is full-on for his wife and daughter, so I’ve become his companion to help give them a bit of a break,” she explains. “And that’s essentially all I do. I occasionally hang out the washing and make his lunch, but they say if you don’t move it, you lose it, so because John’s family want him to keep his independence, he does most of those sorts of things for himself.”
The positives are plain to see. “John’s thriving since I started and we’ve become very close and have formed a lovely bond,” says Annette. “He looks forward to my visits for the extra social stimulation. He loves our walks and our chats.”
The unexpected surprise for Annette is that it’s not only John who’s reaping the rewards of her companionship. “I was struggling when I first moved to Nelson,” she admits, “but since meeting John, there’s a spring in my step. He and his family already treat me like I’m part of theirs.
“There’s such a need for companionship in the community. As a worker, it changes your whole outlook on how your presence can affect someone and put a smile on their face – just having someone other than their family to talk to. I’ll look to taking on other clients if the opportunity comes up. I love working for myself, the routine and doing what’s asked to the best of my ability – it motivates me and makes me more self-aware.
“My advice is: if you’re thinking about helping someone, don’t think too hard, just do it! It’s so rewarding to help others and know you’re doing good in your community.”
* Name has been changed.
If you or a loved one would benefit from hiring a trusted companion, or you’d like to offer your services to someone in need, simply sign up here, or contact Mycare’s Customer Success Team on 0800 677 700 or [email protected] to find out more.