Focus Care's Everyday Heroes - Aged Care Employee Day
2 August, 2021
Quiet heroes walk our streets everyday. Our teachers, our healthcare workers, and our paramedics – looking like ordinary people, just like you and I, but heroes nonetheless. At Focus Care, we breed quiet heroes in all that we do – from the behind-the-scenes diligence in Head Office, to the tireless efforts from our Support Workers.
In celebration of Aged Care Employee Day, we sat down to chat with our team about what drives them to do the most for their clients, especially in an environment that allows for growth and development. Everyone is different, but the Focus Care team has one commonality – an incredible passion for the work they do.
James, Social Worker at Focus Care, joined our team as a new graduate and sees Aged Care as an exciting career for Social Workers, with diverse pathways and opportunities. He has a special interest in working with vulnerable older people, and in particular, those who are socially isolated. He also works closely with our Art Therapist and Counsellor, developing and facilitating our Creative Therapies program. James says that creative therapies make a real difference to the well-being and quality of life of our clients.
“I’m happy that we were successfully able to transform our art therapy program from individual to a group setting. It was amazing – all our clients have different challenges and support needs, and we were able to individually tailor the program for everyone – allowing them to participate, enjoy art, and socialise. I especially enjoyed when we ran art therapy groups specifically for our Italian clients – it was the most amazing environment to be apart of. You could just see how we were able to help our clients form connections with not only each other, but their culture and their community.”
When asked about a specific client, so many stories came to mind for James, it was almost impossible to narrow down.
“One of our aged care clients, Nancy, I’ll never forget what she said to me. I asked her how her day was, and she said “Everyday is the same, apart from when I come here. I come alive when I’m here.” I will never forget Nancy saying that to me. It was a beautiful reminder that the work we do means something, that it makes a difference – and that means more to me than anything else.”
Nancy is just one example of the many clients that Focus Care works to make a difference for. Of course, it all starts in the field. It all starts with the Support Workers – working day in and day out to ensure their services are to the utmost standard.
Deepak, Registered Nurse at Focus Care, is an example of the company fostering growth in its team. Originally starting off as a Support Worker, what began as merely a job to complement his studies transformed into a full-time presence within the field.
“I started off with two clients and only doing a few hours a week. Soon, I was so liked by the clients that this expanded to over 38 hours a week. The Care Managers saw the difference I was making, and I could continue this work alongside full-time study to become a Registered Nurse, so it was perfect.”
Soon after starting as a Support Worker at Focus Care, Deepak won our Inaugural Celebrate award, in recognition of his outstanding commitment and dedication. Our CEO met with him to discuss his career plans, hoping that he would be interested in remaining in the Aged Care Sector after completing his degree and offered to consider him for a full-time role as an RN after graduation.
Fortunately for Focus Care and our clients, Deepak graduated as a Registered Nurse earlier this year and chose to stay in the In-Home Aged Care sector. He has a particular passion for working in the community and is dedicated to supporting older people to live well and maintain their independence for as long as possible. Deepak is also committed to the work he is doing at Focus Care and he now has a full-time position as a Registered Nurse and Care Manager working in our Sydney Head Office.
“As a RN, I conduct RUDAS assessments, baseline comparisons, and more. I enjoy community nursing – I enjoy interacting with many different people. I feel a lot more appreciated that way.”
Serena, another Support Worker turned Head Office employee, is a further example of Focus Care fostering growth in its staff. Serena fell in love with Australia when on exchange from Italy, and hasn’t looked back in since. After working in various customer services and hospitality roles, she decided that she loved working with people, but she didn’t love selling a product. This is where Focus Care came in.
“I approached Focus because of my personal history with aged care. My grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s in the last five years of her life, and myself and my father were her main carers. It’s difficult to see someone so close to you transition from being fine, to not even being able to complete simple tasks. I realised then that I wanted to help people – not sell to people.”
It just so happens that Focus Care was searching for an Italian-speaking Support Worker, to match the needs of a few clients who were seeking engagement with someone who could speak their native tongue. At first, Serena started with social support – going to a client’s home, having a coffee, and having a simple conversation. This, simple as it may seem, become a highlight of the day for the clients she visited.
“My client base has increased – it’s been very enriching. I really felt like I was helping, and that’s a beautiful feeling. I think it’s great, especially for aged care clients, to find someone they can relate to in terms of the culture, the language, the traditions. It helps them feel safe and at home, and I’m so glad I can provide that.”
Serena, a stand-out Support Worker, has now begun her transition into Head Office. As much as she loves her clients, she feels she can make an even greater difference to the lives of older people by working behind the scenes to drive bigger change. Already, she loves it.
“I’m still so proud of the work I’m doing. I’m still quite new, with only a few days of office experience, but already, I love it, especially when looking at it with a long-term perspective. I feel more challenged, and like I can make more of a difference. This position feels right for me.”
During these tumultuous times, we can’t forget the true heroes of this story, particularly those who are out seeing our clients everyday. As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in Greater Sydney and restrictions tighten, our Support Workers in hotspot LGAs are queueing up for COVID tests every three days to continue their amazing work.
Nurah, a Support Worker living in the Fairfield Local Government Area, is an example of this. We admire her commitment to her clients, and her passion for the important work she does.
“I got into this because I wanted to help people. I like making them happy. Our services are so important. I wouldn’t dream of putting my clients at risk. If I have to get tested every three days to keep my clients safe and to keep providing my services, then it’s worth it.”
Serena, Deepak, James, and Nurah are four examples of the Focus Care family, brought together by a common need to help, to offer support – to care. Employed by a company dedicated to allowing staff to grow and flourish, this offers clients a chance to live their best life possible.
On Aged Care Employee Day, we thank our team for their hard work. Focus Care would be nothing without the commitment they demonstrate to our clients in all that they do - their dedication and passion is unparalleled. #ThanksForCaring