Recognition for exceptional carer's 4500 hours of service
MARGUERITE Barnett has a history of social work, but recently she's been named Sunshine Coast's Caregiver of the Year, announced by Home Instead Senior Care.
Ms Barnett is based in Maroochydore and has been working as a caregiver for three-and-a-half years, completing more than 4500 hours of service.
Having completed a Bachelor in Community Welfare, Ms Barnett has assisted people with disabilities and those affected by domestic violence for seven years before she relocated from Toowoomba to the Coast.
Ms Barnett has also previously been a caregiver on a very personal level.
While raising her child she also looked after her mother who had dementia for eight years.
"There wasn't as much help back then as there is now,” she said.
"Now the work is varied and often people in need don't have family that can help out. I've seen clients with no family, or they live too far away, essentially we are their family.”
Ms Barnett said caregiving involves many different needs and wants from personal care, such as showering or getting changed, to social company.
Ms Barnett spoke about one particular gentleman she assists who has no family and suffers from severe dementia and blindness.
During a morning shift she will assemble breakfast, assist with medication, domestic duties and then suggest some low-key activities like going for a walk by the river, sitting in the morning sun or listening to some music.
"As he's blind, I may need to adjust things for him such as guiding his hand to a spoon. But his other senses are great so we focus on those. I might make some lunch and ask him 'what kind of ingredients can you smell?' and make it into a game that can be fun,” she said.
Ms Barnett said she loves what she does and it's clear to see in her passion for helping others she deserves to be recognised for the outstanding work she does for the people around her.
Home Instead Senior Care Sunshine Coast director Falon Newman said "Marguerite is an exceptional caregiver.”