Terry Hatch: Direct Service Provider - Local Government Community Workers - Component 18
"“In times past, my clients would have been living in institutions. I believe they deserve all the supports necessary to feel valued, and live safely, in our communities.”
Terry Hatch has spent her career caring for a living in The Pas — first as a health care aide in the personal care home, then as an educational assistant in the local school, and now as a Direct Service Provider (Government Community Workers – Component 18) in the community.
“My job is to help my clients, who have a range of cognitive and physical disabilities, live as independently as possible, in their own homes” she says. “Some have jobs, so I make sure they’ve got clean clothes and their hair is done before they go out the door. I help them prepare their meals, assist with laundry, offer my guidance and support.”
Hatch is adamant that her clients deserve to be out-and-about in their community and treated with dignity and respect like anyone else. If she has one frustration on the job, it’s the chronic lack of funding for the Government Community Workers program.
“Some people don’t even have any family in town and if I want to help our clients celebrate a birthday with a little restaurant lunch or a holiday party, it comes of out their pockets and mine,” she says. “But what worries me most is our lack of training. Last month, one of my clients was choking on her supper and I realized I’d never been taught First Aid. Many of us administer medications every day, there are clients who can be aggressive, and there is simply no training available.”
Hatch, who is not one to keep quiet when it comes to her clients’ well-being, got involved in the union to try and push for program improvements.
“In times past, my clients would have been living in institutions,” she says. “I believe they deserve all the supports necessary to feel valued, and live safely, in our communities.”