Care giver of the year began her new career after caring for her dad

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

SIOBHAN Hourigan worked as a secretary for many years until she had a life changing experience, and now she has been chosen as Home Instead Senior Care’s care giver of the year.

SIOBHAN Hourigan worked as a secretary for many years until she had a life changing experience, and now she has been chosen as Home Instead Senior Care’s care giver of the year.

Originally from Lisnagry but living in Annacotty, Mrs Hourigan retrained as a carer after looking after her dad.

“After my mother passed on my dad needed to be cared for because he was suffering from Parkinson’s. I looked after him in his own home. It was there that I learned to understand the need and importance of keeping seniors in their own homes to care for them in their own environment.

“I got very interested in it and then did the courses,” said Mrs Hourigan. She has been working for Home Instead Care Ireland for almost three years and has been giving the same care and attention she gave to her father to all her clients.

Liam Toland, managing director of Home Instead Senior Care in Limerick, said all eleven of Siobhan’s clients have been vulnerable or they wouldn’t have been required.

“So much so that four have since passed on to their eternal reward. The extra time gained for them can be explained by medicine or good fortune but it was Siobhan’s ability to open a light into their room that ensured a hunger for each day. Not so long ago I asked an 85-year-old man who has since passed on would you recommend Siobhan to other families. He replied, “you’re not going to take her from me, are you,” said Mr Toland.

She was presented with her framed certificate and gift voucher at a ceremony that included 57 care givers who’ve completed their FETAC Level 5 Practical Home Care Skills courses.

Clients and staff nominated Mrs Hourigan and she says it has been a humbling experience.

“There is so much wonderful care being delivered every day in our community,” said Mrs Hourigan, who is married to John and has three children, Joanne, Jennifer and John.

One client of Mrs Hourigan’s said: “Siobhan has been a great addition to our household. Her cheerfulness and good humour is wonderful. She is a marvellous carer to my mum and always kind and attentive, gentle and considerate. She is constantly thinking of ways she can make mum’s life better. Mum looks forward to her visits as much for her company as her care. She has improved mum’s quality of life so much and mine as I know I need not worry when Siobhan is calling.”

Mrs Hourigan says you have to laugh and have fun.

“Sometimes it can be a very sad situation so you try to lighten it up and they respond to it. I love my job,” said Mrs Hourigan.