Meet Sahill, Community Care Worker at St Louis Home Care
My belief is that if I do something good in this life, it will return to me later. If I give my best service of care to an elderly person, it makes me more confident that I will also receive care when I am older.
Sahill has been in aged care for over twelve years, and with St Louis Home Care for four years. He works in the community caring for people in their homes, enabling them to remain at home for longer. He loves his work as it gives him genuine fulfilment to see older people living peacefully.
Why did you choose a career in aged care?
“My belief is that if I do something good in this life, it will return to me later. If I give my best service of care to an elderly person, it makes me more confident that I will also receive care when I am older. This helps me to age with more peace and wellbeing knowing that there will also be people to care for me.
Before working as a care worker, I was a taxi driver, I had many lovely passengers, and I was committed to providing a good service. One of my passengers was an older man who could not walk on one of his legs. I helped him get in and out of the car, taking care that we was comfortable, and he was very happy and grateful for my help. He suggested that I consider working in aged care as I had shown him such empathy and a care.
I looked into aged care and started applying for jobs and he was right, I am good at my job and I enjoy it very much.”
What do you love most about your work?
“The personal care. I know that if I have a shower and I am properly groomed for the day, I feel more at peace, better and relaxed. When I give this personal care at the start of the day to my clients, helping them to have a shower, fix their hair, dress in clean clothes, take all the necessary medication and get ready for the day, they clear out a lot of negativity in their body and start the day on a positive note.
I also like the social connection. I like spending time chatting with my clients. We both enjoy the companionship, and it helps them to feel safe and secure because they know I am there for them. It makes me feel better because my clients are more comfortable.
I am committed to keeping them safe. I make sure there are no hazards at home or anything in the way that they may trip over. When I leave them it is a safe environment.
I enjoy helping them grow their own herbs and vegetables because I believe that when they spend a little bit of time in the garden, they feel more relaxed.”
Describe how you have achieved work-life balance?
“This is a bit hard when you have a family with three young kids. I go to work every day and I am very busy. But St Louis is very friendly and family focused, and whenever I need any flexibility in my job because of my family’s needs, they are there to help me. If I need some time off, early starts or finishes, they are always willing to help me. That’s why I am still working with them.”
Do you get enough one on one time with your clients?
“In home care you need a one on one connection with the client, and you need to have the time with the client to be able to do this. St Louis has many staff and we have the time we need to help our clients properly. This one on one connection is why I enjoy my work. The most important thing is good communication, and if I have good communication with my client and their family, then there is more trust and comfort, and they look forward to my visits.
I always take time to review their home care plans. Whenever I visit a new client, I ask what they like, what they don’t like, what they want to do and their hobbies, and what they do not like which is important. For example, some people don’t want to discuss political or religious matters and some enjoy this. I take care to find out everything I need to know about the clients wishes. Once I have collected this information, I can start providing the services to the client.
They are paying for services for their comfort, to change their life in a positive way. We are there for this, whatever they are looking for to make them feel safe and comfortable, we are here to provide.”
A moment with a client which reminded you why love the work you do?
“I had a client whose husband passed away and she was in deep sorrow. She used to keep her husband’s ashes in a box at the front door. She was always thinking about him and always sad. One day I realised that if talked to her husband it might help. So every time I visited, I would spend a few minutes upon my arrival, chatting with the box near the front door. I passed on a message from her husband: “Don’t be upset, I want you to be happy here. If you’re happy here, I will also be happy here.”
I would take her outdoors to the beach and the sunshine, and little by little she got back to feeling more normal. I was new to St Louis at the time and wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing or not. But when I discussed it with my coordinator, she told me that if the client was comfortable with that, it was fine. The client was very grateful. I helped her to recover from her grief and she now lives a more comfortable life.”