Meet Rosemary, Community Care Worker at St Louis Home Care
Home is the best place to be and I want to help older people stay in their own homes comfortably.
Rosemary returned to work in 2001 after raising three children. Her first job in aged care was looking after Veteran Affairs clients in the Adelaide Hills. In 2019 she joined St Louis Home Care as a Community Care Worker.
She loves her work in aged care. In the interview below, we get a glimpse into the day to day life of Rosemary, working with her clients to enable them to remain in the comfort of their own home as they get older.
Why did you choose a career in aged care?
“I wanted to be able to help older people stay in their own homes. I have a lot of empathy and patience for them, and I have learned many valuable life tips just listening to them talk about their own lives, which is rewarding for me.
I decided to complete my Cert III in Aged Care in 2012 to provide overall domestic care to people. Aged care is a growing industry so I knew there would be many opportunities. I enjoy working with older people to improve their lives. It’s a genuine passion for me. Older people need care, and we are all going to be old one day and I’d like to know that someone will be there to care for me too, so that I can stay in my own home.
I have a client over 100 years old that I have been looking after for many years. She recently spent time hospital and the nursing home for respite. When she returned home she said to me, "this is the best place, being home and having St Louis caring for me.”
What do you love most about your work?
“I love the interaction with my clients and having a positive impact on their day. I enjoy doing tasks for them that they struggle with. I like listening to their stories from way back and how they did things in their younger years. I enjoy seeing a smile on their face when I’ve helped them. I strive to do the best and their wellbeing is the most important thing to me.
I also love that each day is different. You might have the same clients, but every day turns out to be different.”
Describe how you have achieved work-life balance?
“I try and plan ahead with my leisure time and family time. I take care of myself and my health, and I don’t take work stress home. My days can be full, and anything can happen.
I have learned to say no so that I don’t get overloaded every day. I care about my clients, and I provide a good service but I also look after myself properly so that I can do a better job of looking after my family and my clients. They all rely on me for care.”
Do you get enough one on one time with your clients?
“Connecting and having one to one time with clients is really important and we have the time to do this at St Louis. Domestic help is an important part of the job. You help your clients stay at home safely and comfortably and they feel much better and happier. But you’re not just there to do chores, you’re there to lighten up their day. You can’t be down or grumpy. I am always doing my best to listen to what they want and make sure I maintain good communication with them by not talking too fast and making eye contact.
I respect their culture and never rush the care as this makes them feel less cared for and agitated. I show respect for their wishes. If they want something done in a specific way. I do my best to provide this. Also it is important to match the carer to the client for personality, cultural or language reasons and St Louis do a great job of this.”
A moment with a client which reminded you why love the work you do?
“I have a client that I visit in the morning and help her to get ready for the day. She calls me her treasure. She is over 100 years old and she needs our help. I am there almost every day and I know the way the house runs. I help her live day to day and she feels happy and safe at home. She is exactly where she wants to be. She is one of our oldest clients and she is living alone. I feel very happy that I have been able to help her live at home where she wants to be and enjoying these later years of her life. We have made such a big different to her life and she is so very grateful.”