A Day in the Life of a PSW (Part 1): Michelle, Weston Terrace Community

Posted by Michelle Cudjoe on May 17, 2023

 Michelle is a personal support worker (PSW) at Weston Terrace Community in York Region, Ontario. She has worked at the community for the past ten years. When Michelle entered the profession 20 years ago, it was for a stable job. However, it took her only a short time to realize that she loved caring for seniors. Her work gives her a sense of accomplishment and purpose, knowing she cares for people as she would want for her mother and father. Her day is about making life better for her residents.

5 am – Rise and shine

I work the morning shift at Weston Terrace Community and am at work, ready to start at 6 am. I am not a breakfast person; I like to eat my first meal during my break. My husband drops me off, and I see my first resident to assist her with her morning routine. She's visually impaired, so she likes me to sing while I am with her. Unfortunately, I can't sing very well, so I hum instead! This resident is able to tell me how she would like to be cared for, so I follow her guidance to ensure she feels comfortable.IMG_6183

7 am – Getting ready to have a great day

My next resident I have been taking care of for three years. I love her and enjoy our mornings together. She’s fun and makes me laugh. Although she has some physical challenges, she has a wonderful sense of humour. We get along very well.

8 am - Lift and transfer champ

When she’s ready, I go over to the other home area and assist residents who require the support of two PSWs. I have the training to be a "lift and transfer champ." This means I know how to safely move patients who cannot do so independently, and I train other team members to have this skill set. The next resident I see needs us to be cautious. She experiences a lot of pain, but my teammate and I know how to keep her comfortable. I always remember what everyone needs and their preferences; it is the most important part of getting to know people and providing excellent care.

8:30 am - Breakfast

The dining room is bustling by now. I feed one resident during breakfast to ensure they get the proper nutrition. I like being able to spend time one-on-one with residents.

10 am – Time to refuel

By mid-morning, I am ready for my own breakfast. I take a coffee and a snack in our staff lounge area. I like to take this time to catch up with other team members.

Time 10:30 am – Resident engagement

After my break, I have time to engage with residents. For example, some residents enjoy getting their hair done; I will offer to braid their hair and talk to them for a little while. Then I might take other residents outside for a walk. During these activities, I get to know each person and learn about their life story. The mornings are busy, so before I know it, we are starting to prepare for lunch. I assist the same resident at lunchtime as I do at breakfast.

1:30 pm – Re-energizing with a walk

Depending on the weather, sometimes I like to take some time for myself and go for a little walk. It’s re-energizing to get outside.


2 pm – Sweet goodbye

There's one thing I have to do before I go home at the end of my shift and that’s visiting a resident from another home area who I don’t work one-on-one with. I check in to see how she's doing, and say hello. We both look forward to this pop-in at the end of my day. We have a little chat, and I feel good knowing I've checked in to see that she is doing ok. I have to do it – I can't miss stopping by, and I think she appreciates it too.                 

Topics: Long Term Care, Sienna Senior Living, Cultivating Happiness, Life at Sienna, Career, Inspiration, PSW, Weston Terrace Community, Personal Support Worker