Meet our team: Deb, Aged Care Worker and Social support coordinator at St Louis Aged Care
“If you can give people some happiness during the day, your job is half way done.”
Deb has been with St Louis Aged Care for ten years, and during this time she has worked in several different roles. Currently she is a care worker at the St Louis Nursing Home and a Social support coordinator for the home care division. She shares why she loves working in aged care and the different roles she’s had at St Louis Aged Care.
What do you love about the aged care industry?
“This is simple, it’s the people that I care for and they are the reason I love it. It’s nice to hear their life stories. You get to know them and their families and what they like and what they don’t like.
I like people and get on well with most. When I have cared for someone and they are happier for it and appreciate it, it makes me feel great about my work.
I am also involved with the whole family and you get to know them on a personal level, understanding their family dynamics which is useful when you are caring for their parents. We have a laugh together and we know how to see the lighter side of what emotionally intense situations can sometimes be.
Our families are ever so grateful for the care we give their loved ones.”
What is rewarding about working at St Louis Aged Care?
“We’re all very busy with plenty to do. St Louis is a family owned business and this culture is at the centre of the care we deliver which is what I love. We have the time to spend with families and their parents in the residence, and with a home care client and this is valuable because we find out about the specific needs of the person and the small things that matter and make a big difference to them. It feels like an extended family home for all of our community – staff, clients and residents.
We become an extension of families as we are all involved in the care of their loved one. I am still in touch with families who have lost their parents but want to stay in touch. We’ve been through a personal and important journey together and this shared experience can bind us for life.”
How has your career varied in aged care?
“I’ve had quite a few different roles. I started as a carer and now I’m also involved in the social programs for both the nursing home residents and home care clients. I help out on the bus trips, go out with clients to the movies, for shopping or even for just a walk in the park, I will look after transport and take clients to places they need to go, and I have even worked in the kitchen.
I have done pretty much everything at the nursing home.
So I have had quite a few different roles. I can do anything I need to help people live a better life and that’s why I love this work and working for St Louis Aged Care.”
How does a home care role vary? What’s a typical day?
“You’d never be bored in home care, there’s always something different every day. You could be helping someone with personal care, going for a walk, taking them to their weekly Bridge games, organising a chair based exercise class or taking them to a hydrotherapy class. There are also many different things to do in their home as well.
Being a home care worker is a busy and interesting job, and a good sense of humour is essential and makes everything better. If you can laugh, it makes the residents and clients laugh too. If you can give people some happiness during the day, your job is half way done.
Some of our clients and residents don’t have family nearby and their friends may have passed away. If you are visiting them, you have to help them enjoy their day more. If I talk to clients on the phone, generally I can make them laugh even if they are not in the best mood. You have to be willing to be this person and if you enjoy the work it comes naturally.”
What age is ideal to work in a home care role?
“Any age can work in home care, young or old. One of our ladies who was a favourite carer among our clients was over 70, and she loved her work. If you’re physically well and have a good attitude, patience and sense of humour, you can do this work.
You need patience especially for people with dementia because this can be hard work. But the end result of seeing your clients happy and cared for makes up for the difficult times.”
Interested in finding out more about a career in home care?
You can visit our home care careers page which has interviews with staff, FAQ’s and other resources. Or you can call us on 08 8332 09050 for an initial and confidential chat about career opportunities at St Louis Aged Care.