As the CEO of Southcare I recently had the opportunity of spending the day with Cathy, a Care Support Worker at Southcare who has over 25 years experience in the Aged Care community. Cathy was my mentor/buddy as I took on the role of being a carer for the day.
We started early at 7am. Our first client was a 90 year old lady who receives personal care and meal preparation services from Southcare. As a care support worker, I realised that I was in a very privileged relationship with this client who let us into her home, allowed us to support her and shared her life with us at the same time. It was wonderful to see the vast array of photos and the personal possessions that were dear to her from both her present and past. The history, the life stories, the wonders of her children, grandchildren, past pets and pastimes – I took it all in and realised what a special experience this was.
At the same time, I also saw how professional, Cathy was in supporting the client while checking her service plan and remembering all the little details about her ‘special ways’ and various needs. Cathy’s role was busy, varied, rewarding and energising and she was held in high regard by all the clients we saw that day. Her ability to pace herself in line with the client’s needs and desires was inspiring to experience.
Over 50% of Southcare’s clients are over 80 years of age and many are quite frail and live alone. Southcare employs over 40 care support workers in the community to assist them with aged care services such as home help, garden maintenance, personal care, social centre and tailored services.
Along with our clients, care support workers are at the foundation of Southcare’s services. We support our care workers with professional training, equipment and communication so that we can continue to provide excellent client services and support. Being a carer for the day showed me that these values are paying off for Southcare, our clients and employees like Cathy.
Dr Nicky Howe, CEO Southcare