Meet our team: Sarah, Social Coordinator at St Louis Home Care
Giving back to older people in our community is important to me
Sarah began working with St Louis about ten years ago as a home care worker and now she manages the social programs and events calendar, as well as individual social events for our home care clients.
She works out of our Adelaide Home Care office. Sarah shares the benefits of working in aged care, why she loves her job and offers some advice for people exploring a career in aged care.
Why did you choose a career in Home Care?
“I chose this line of work because I wanted to help ensure that the elderly in our society are well looked after. I’ve always had a close relationship with older people. With everything they’ve experienced and gone though in their life over decades, it feels good to give back to them.”
What opportunities have you had at St Louis?
“I started as a care worker 10 years ago and then I moved onto a role as lifestyle coordinator about 4 years ago. I arrange social programs for home care clients based on their specific interests. I find out as much as I can about what they like to do so I visit them for a cuppa and a chat and I do a social assessment. Based on this assessment, I’ll evaluate and facilitate social programs for our clients, doing my best to incorporate what they want into group programs and also working on individual social events. We send out a social calendar every month that our home care clients can pick and choose from.”
What attributes do you feel are needed in homecare/aged care?
“The most important quality is empathy, if this doesn’t come naturally for the people you are helping, then this field is not for you.
Respect and patience for others are also important qualities along with good old common sense to make decisions on a daily basis as your clients have needs which can change day to day. You must also remember that you always have a duty of care from the moment you enter their home to the moment you leave.”
How did you get started in aged care?
“I was a stay at home mum for 11 years and had a child care background, so I was already in the care industry but didn’t want to do that again. I had a close relationship with my grandparents, and they had recently passed away. I was missing that relationship with people of an older generation and so working in aged care made sense.”
What do you enjoy the most about working in aged care?
“I enjoy enriching the lives of older people, helping them develop more meaning and purpose and seeing them happier with more to look forward to. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can always meet and make new friends which often happens in our social programs and I find this part very rewarding.
The elderly can teach you a lot about life lessons, values, family dynamics and human relationships. I am always learning from them.”
What do you enjoy about working for St Louis?
“I feel like I have a sense of belonging here. I have wonderful relationships with my clients which makes my work very rewarding, and I also enjoy working with my colleagues.”
What are some of the challenges supporting older people living in the community?
“Sometimes it can be challenging working with people living with dementia. But the dementia training provided by St Louis builds the skills of being ‘in the moment’ and patient whilst supporting the client as they face their difficult moments.”
In group activities and outings, you’re also responsible for numerous people at the same time and have to do your best to fulfill everyone’s individual needs. I have to say, there is never a dull moment, and we always have fun together.”
What advice do you have for someone who is considering working in aged care?
“You’ll need to passionate about this work as you are helping people and hence you become close and you have to be comfortable with this. As a care worker, you must be available when you’re needed and flexible to change with the needs of the industry and its regulations. You also need plenty of common sense to help people the way they need help when you are in their home or out and about together.
You also need to be adaptable for your clients. For example, you may get a client who is a perfectionist with the ironing and ironing may not be what you enjoy. But you have to do your very best to meet their needs, so you need to work out how to provide ironing to their standard, because this is what will make them feel at ease and happy.”
Call St Louis to enquire about home care positions in Adelaide and Victor Harbor
Call St Louis Home Care in Adelaide on 8332 0950 and St Louis Home Care in Victor Harbor on 8552 1481 to find out about current positions available and to talk to us about a career in aged care. Take the first step today.
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