Our Care Professional of the Year: Johanna
Congratulations to all of our Care Professionals who have been nominated by their host families for our annual Care Professional of the Year Award! Being a great Care Professional is a balance of professional skill with personal empathy and adaptability. We are excited to announce this year’s winner – occupational therapist Johanna. Learn more about Johanna and the impact she has made on the Carroll/Gooley family below:
Our beloved “Yoyo” came into our lives in August 2019, she came to help us manage our new role as caretaker for my little brother Charlie who suffers from severe non-verbal autism and to help me manage providing the significant care needs he requires whilst also raising my own young baby, Andy and balancing the juggle between the two children.
Johanna instantly became part of the family, I feel as though we are as close as sisters and I trust her more than anything. She is reliable, hard working, flexible, honest, fun and funny and whole-heartedly enjoys caring for my family as if it were her own. She works so hard to help get greater results from Charlie’s therapy’s, sitting in on his therapy sessions in order to learn the skills and incorporate them into his daily care activities, she manages his calendar and therapy appointments to ensure his daily routine is adhered to.
Johanna is a modern day explorer, she loves to get out and hike and find remote water holes, waterfalls and secret beaches. Charlie and I often tag along and love showing her new places and exploring the National Park and the beautiful area we live in. Her explorer influence has given Charlie a greater sense of inclusion within the wider environment beyond our home and he absolutely loves to get out and about and go on hikes and go to the beach now.
We lost Johanna for 3 months at the beginning of the pandemic when she set off to do her farm work so she could stay with us for another year, during those 3 months of lockdown and home schooling Charlie with a 1 year old running around I truly realised how much we rely on her to keep everything running smoothly around here. She is the tracks that keep the train running on course and we simply could not manage life without her. Charlie has a big crush and will do absolutely anything to please her, he’s always such a good boy and try’s his hardest to impress her, whilst Andy is also equally obsessed with her “Yoyo” and squeals with joy every time she hears Johanna coming down the stairs. Andy loves Johanna’s German nursery rhymes and try’s to sing along and do the dance moves too. She loves to feed us, and stuff us full of German food she does! Whenever she is craving a dish from home she’ll cook for a whole day and make enough food to feed us for a week! Cooking is another activity Charlie now enjoys because of Johanna, he always wants to help and loves sneaking taste tests!
Having Johanna live with us has been a great pleasure, her easy-going nature blends perfectly within our family. She genuinely cares about Charlie, and the progress he is making under her care shows in leaps and bounds. Johanna deserves to be Care Professional of the Year, her dedication and love for my family is more than we could have ever asked for.
We love you Yoyo!