On Aged Care Employee Day, now more than ever before, we say thank you.
Friday 7 August 2020 is Aged Care Employee Day. This year, the theme is Thanks for Caring and recognises the hundreds of thousands of people employed across the aged care sector in Australia. While many sectors are feeling the brunt of COVID-19, demand in South Australia for home care staff is growing.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s projections to May 2024 predict employment for personal care workers will increase by 50,600, or nearly 20 per cent. Aged and disabled carers are projected to increase by 45,100 jobs while nursing support and personal care workers are projected to increase by 5,500 over the period. This compares with the department’s projected growth of 8.3 per cent for all occupations.
Helping Hand Home Care Operations Manager Ms Kathryn Broadbent said the company was growing rapidly and had continued to provide services to elderly clients with rigorous safety measures throughout the COVID-19 shut down. Helping Hand’s Home Care Division provides services such as personal care, gardening, cleaning and grocery shopping for over 3500 clients across metropolitan Adelaide, Yorke Peninsula, Lower Mid North, Barossa and Eyre Peninsula and employs over 250 care staff.
“We’re growing rapidly and always on the lookout for staff who will be of benefit for our clients. We’re a very people-oriented company so many of our staff are referred by friends or family who have sung the praises of the job and our organisation,” Ms Broadbent said. “We have staff who have been with us for over 15 years.”
“It’s a very flexible job, with strong ongoing training and support, and it appeals to parents, university students, early retirees, as well as people looking for a rewarding career change,” Ms Broadbent said. “The strength of our culture is also demonstrated by the fact that so many of our staff prioritised helping clients during the pandemic.”
That’s certainly the case for Helping Hand home carer John Douglass who, when faced with limiting his own social visits with family and friends during the COVID-19 shutdown to protect his elderly clients, did so without blinking. He knows that when he turns up to help with anything from cleaning and shopping to personal care, he’s not only providing a service, he’s also often providing the only social interaction clients have in a day.
“This is the only job I’ve ever been in where there hasn’t been a morning where I don’t want to go to work and I go home smiling; I know I’ve done something to help people,” he said. For Heather and Gordon Tucker, it’s the banter with Mr Tucker and the chat with John, as much as the house cleaning, they value – especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. Trading jokes and stories are all part of the brief.
“I’ve never worked for anyone like them [Helping Hand] – they are supportive of their workers – they tell you how valued you are all the time. I’ve never had that in any other workplace,” Mr Douglass said.
“And we really value having this service – we just couldn’t do it ourselves,” Mr Tucker said.
On Aged Care Employee Day 2020 we say thanks for caring to all our amazing carers – people just like John – who by doing what they love, are transforming the lives of others.
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