Profiling PSW’s to Enable Others: Aimee Doubled Her Income by Working Independently

It has been said, “life’s greatest value is one person caring about another.”

Personal support workers are our carers.

Either today or tomorrow, they will help our parents, our children, our families, our friends and us.

With their support, we will eat, bathe, get dressed, connect.

Basically, with their help, we get to participate in life.

We receive this gift, yet, we spend a little time thinking about the life of the carer, the physical and emotional challenges that come with the job of supporting others who are struggling, who are aging, who cannot speak, or who have dementia.

We do not know how they make ends meet on an average annual salary of $32,590.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this situation, with the value we give to those who do our most important work.

The challenge is how we can make it different?

How might we enable our PSW’s to access the remuneration and recognition they deserve?


With this frame in mind, Strive a Toronto based social enterprise working on financial resiliency, is looking at positive outliers, individuals who have somehow managed to increase their success within the system.

The hope is that others can take the learnings, strategies, and tactics to replicate some of that success and to exert pressure on the existing system for better pay, access, and recognition.


As part of this work, Strive interviewed Aimee, a 20-year Personal Support Worker and single mother who, in the last five years, doubled her income by working independently.

She now loves her job more than ever and feels like she won the lottery.

After 15 years of struggling to make ends meet, and a few years of picking up clients on the side, Aimee was frustrated enough with the system and hopeful enough with the possibility of being able to start her own business that she was able to push herself out the door of the agency world.

She started with the resources she had available to her; her knowledge of how the system worked and funding opportunities, relationships with her past and present clients, and her will to both provide better care and be valued.

She used these and slowly added new clients.

When not providing personal support services, she problem solved her way through the world of building a business.

She registered her company, got insurance, found ways to promote herself, figured out what price point worked and how to sell the value of her work.

She built a business routine.

The full blog on Aimee’s journey and other stories of how individuals are maneuvering their money can be found at

Although it was not easy for Aimee to give up the security and stability afforded by stable employment or to figure out how to find clients, she was able to do it.

She was not able to do it overnight, but over a 5-year period, she built a small business that provides her with double the income, greater control and ability to provide a higher level of care to patients.

She knows that if she had stayed in the agency world, nothing would have changed. She is ever grateful for her decision five years ago.

If you are interested in learning more about real positive outliers, sharing your journey or in participating in a Strive workshop designed to help you achieve your goals, please visit

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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