A passion for people and enabling them to have a good quality of life is what motivated Community Support Worker Shona to become a carer and the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for her to start a career in the aged care industry.

“COVID-19 changed lots of things for lots of us, and for me it came in the form of a new job which I love,” Shona says.

“I started to ask myself:  what can I do to make a difference… and the rest, as they say, is history!” she says.
Shona’s caring nature has long been evident with her 24-year career as a vet nurse practised both in the United Kingdom and Perth.

“I love animals and worked closely with them and their owners since I was 15 years old, studied hard, got my degree, and kept working.

“I love people too, I love human nature,” Shona says.

“In a lot of ways, the work I do now is similar to my veterinary days as you need care, empathy, understanding and connection… the main difference is that working directly with people means the conversation flows a lot better and is not so one-sided!” she laughs.

Shona emigrated from the UK in 2000 and cites the lack of family here as another reason she values the caring work she does.

“All my family are back in the UK, except for my children and partner who are here with me, so I understand loneliness and the importance of social connection,” Shona says.

“Many of our seniors experience loneliness as they don’t have family either, or their family are busy with their own lives, so the visits are not as frequent and at times I am the only person they talk to in a day, or a week.”

“Just like the conversation, the connection is very much two-way: I really enjoy the company of my customers, just as they enjoy mine.”

“We connect when I help them shop, when we go to appointments, when I drive them around, when administering their medication, when helping with personal care and helping around the house.”

Aged Care Employee Day is on 7 August and Southcare invites everyone to thank a carer.

And if you want to become a carer, take heed from Shona’s words and ask yourself what you can do to make a difference, too..