Home Care Consumer

Age: Mid-70s

Prior to retiring, I helped deliver the Cert III in Individual Support course at TAFE and other training institutions. For many years I worked as a Rural / Isolated Nurse in Goondiwindi.

I really enjoyed my job. The course went for 12 months, students needed to meet face to face regularly to pass their exams. We taught them all sorts of things; how to use a hoist, how to make beds, first aid, how to care for someone living palliatively or with Dementia. We also taught them correct manual handling procedures. At the end of the course they would complete 120 hours of placement and I would visit them during that time and make sure they were on the right track.

Fast forward to 2023 and I’m now a recipient of Home Care Services. I live in a retirement village and I receive domestic assistance once a fortnight and occasional transport assistance. I live with a medical condition which makes me short of breath, the support I receive is a lifesaver.

It’s not just the aspect of someone coming to clean my home once a fortnight – It’s something that I look forward to. I have a regular worker who chats with me and takes an interest in my sewing. If she knows of any craft events in the area she always lets me know. I feel like she’s my friend, although I know it’s important not to share phone numbers.

I’d like to see changes in the Home Care industry that make services and time more flexible. I recall a time where I had to leave a craft class so I could be home in time for my cleaning service.

My provider gives me a window of time for when the worker is likely to come. I know to expect them between 8am to 1pm or 1pm to 5pm. I get sent a text message the day before. They can’t be more specific than that, I’m told it’s because they’re short staffed.

I know that the workers who come to my home do a great job but I worry about them burning out because they’re so busy and there’s not enough of them to go around. I really wish I was still working, I love to help those less fortunate than myself. Now it’s me who needs help at home. I hope there are people out there who may consider working in Home Care.