To make a difference and empower the persons under her care, are some of the main reasons why Berenice Wilsen, House Mother of Huis Liebenberg, started working at Sunfield Home. We chatted to her about her day-to-day tasks and challenges.
She was born and raised in Wellington, matriculated at Bergrivier Senior Secondary School and became involved with caring at an early age. She worked at Silwerkruin Retirement Home for 13 years and six years as a private carer at Fyngoud.
Her daily tasks include nurturing a very close relationship with the residents and she also supervises their personal care. They are showered and shaven daily, their teeth needs to be brushed and they are dressed. They are served and fed and their nails are looked after. These tasks further include cleaning their rooms, doing the dishes and laundry.
Religion forms an important part of the residents’ day and they are also kept busy with creative activities such as colouring, beading, dancing and watching movies.
Acting as nurse is also needed, since she dispenses their medication and the residents need to be weighed and sometimes require a chaperone to visit the hospital. She has to ensure that they are kept dry and clean at all times.
As a mother to many, it is her goal to empower the residents to engage in their daily activities with minimum help. With the necessary motivation and support they can perform tasks that promote the development of their fine motor skills.
A carer’s role involves giving so much of themselves to others. It must feel like a ungrateful job at times? Although we are very thankful for people like Berenice, she insists that it is the residents that have taught her to be thankful for all the things that we take for granted in our daily lives.
Drink: A cold beer!
Books: Ena Murray
Movie: Fiela se kind
Berenice lives her life according to the well-known verse Philippians 4:13: “ I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.”