Meet Rose, Home Care Coordinator
“Have the courage to make a difference. Caring for people in their home is such a rewarding thing to do.”
Rose is in her 20’s and has been in aged care for eight years, and five of those years have been at St Louis Home Care in Adelaide. After working as a community care support worker, looking after people in their own home every day, she has now taken a new role at St Louis Aged Care as a Home Care Coordinator.
In this role Rose supports many people to remain living at home. A Home Care Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the client’s choices in services are provided safely, to meet the needs and goals of their home care plans and within their budget, as provided by their MyAgedCare assessment. With private home care clients, Rose also helps to provides the services that the client would like so that they can remain safely in their own home.
Why did you choose a career in aged care?
Before aged care I was studying. After I finished school, I went straight to university to study teaching. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a teacher and was a little uncertain about where I was going with my career. I saw an ad for aged care and decided to give it a go. I thought it would be good idea to do this work while I figured out what else I wanted to do.
But I love it, and five years later I’m still here.
What do you love most about your work?
I have learned so much about myself and about people in general. I love that our clients have a choice in how they want their home care to be delivered. Every day is different. Each client is unique and has a specific set of needs. I love interacting with them, talking with them, listening to their needs and then being able to help them make their life easier.
For example, at the start of a shift I would know if some of my clients were not in a good way and by the end of the shift if were smiling, I knew I had made a positive difference. Even on a bad day, if I saw a little smile, I know they felt better and I was able to help them. Clients are very grateful too, for the services and the care we provide which makes my job very rewarding and fulfilling. It makes me feel appreciated and that I am making difference.
How does working in home care support you to maintain work life balance?
Being a care worker is flexible work. We get to choose our availability so I could plan my schedule, my hobbies and personal life, and was able to keep my work-life balance. I could catch up with family and friends and I was also still able to study so this was a great benefit to me.
The industry talks about "connection" and "one to one time" with clients - why has this become so important?
I started my aged care career in a nursing home and then moved to community work. I like community work better because I have more one on one time with people.
Today life is so just fast paced and if you don’t take time with older people, you can’t connect. This one-on-one time we have with our clients is so important and its never rushed.
When I’m there and we are spending time together, it makes them happier that we are taking the time to care for them. We might be the only person they see that day or even in the week. As well as providing the care services we need, we also spend time chatting and having a cup of tea.
Many older people feel lonely because their friends have passed on and they don’t have the physical ability to get out and about, so it’s even more important to help them with social activities, transport and helping them get out and about in their community. We have the time to find out what they need, and so we can make sure to give them the support that will ultimately make them happy and comfortable to continue living at home.
Why do you enjoy working at St Louis Home Care?
St Louis is a family-owned business and so they are family oriented and professional too. Family is important to me, and I feel part of the family here as well. There is lots of communication between everyone here, clients and care workers, we all work together. My colleagues are super supportive, it’s a real team environment. I am never afraid to ask a question and to seek extra support whenever I need it.
I had a warm and fuzzy feeling when I first started, and this continues till today which is why I’ve been here for 5 years.
My advice to younger people who are thinking of working aged care
Go for it! A half an hour spent with someone older who is lonely could make their day, their week or even their month. It makes such a difference to them and they are very grateful. You feel wonderful at the end of a day’s work.
How has St Louis helped you develop your career?
I started my Coordinator training at St Louis a few weeks ago, and now I am an official Home Care Coordinator. It has been on the job training and I have been working closely with an experienced coordinator who is my mentor. I am using all of our resources and programs to get in touch with people and arrange their services.
I feel my care-working background and time with St Louis has helped me immensely. It gave me enough information to be confident in knowing what I am doing. If anyone in their 20’s is thinking about aged care or home care, I would say to them, have the courage to make a difference.