Today we’re launching #PeopleofPCH, a series that highlights the diverse stories of staff, residents, and families across Partners Community Health (PCH).
To kick off the series, say hello to Alexandra Marie Algar, a social worker at Camilla Care. For National Social Work Month, Alexandra Marie shares her story:
“My passion for working in palliative care and with seniors stems from experiences I’ve had with my loved ones. When my grandmother was in palliative care in 2015, it was one of the first significant losses we experienced as a family. I’ve always naturally been the caregiver for my family and having the support of a social worker at the time allowed me to better help my family.
Once I saw how the social worker was able to support and comfort my family, I knew that’s the person I wanted to be for others. I wanted to be the pillar of support. I wanted to be the person families could turn to when they’re dealing with loss.
I joined Partners Community Health in October 2022 and help assist with resident admissions into Camilla Care. This includes conducting tours, holding care conferences, and supporting residents and their families, ensuring they have what they need to navigate the long-term care system. And that’s just the beginning.
I see my role as helping residents and families who are facing first-time, often tough decisions about their or a loved one’s health and future. A few years ago, one of my nieces passed away at an early age. Prior to this she and her twin sister, like my grandmother, were also placed in palliative care. Until this point, palliative to me always meant end of life. Seeing my niece still receive this care has helped me learn that palliative care isn’t just about end of life, it’s also about how we can give people the best quality of life for as long as they live. And that’s part of my role at Camilla – to make sure that we have everything here that can help people continue to live the life they want.
My favourite part of my job is as simple as helping the residents and families. I have a lot of care to give, and I now have somewhere to put it. I like to help. I like giving answers and being the point of contact for families. Even something as simple as a phone call to family members when they are going through a loss shows how important it is to be there for someone.
Partners Community Health is amazing, and the people who work here are fantastic. It takes teamwork every day, and I’m so grateful and lucky to work here.”