Why we do what we do: Find out how to build a career with real purpose at Helping Hand
We know that aged care is so important. At Helping Hand, we don’t do it for the pat on the back; we do it because it matters. We carry out our work with a profound sense of purpose and compassion because we understand that every moment, no matter how small, can have a big impact on an older person’s life. We talked to three of our people to find out what motivates them in their roles at Helping Hand.
Combining passions to bring about change
Our incredible physiotherapist Thien found purpose in his role by combining his love for dance and martial arts with his work helping clients with recovery and mobility. Through his Dance for Balance classes, he’s been transforming lives by bringing the joy of movement through music.
“I tried out various areas of physiotherapy such as private practice, WorkCover (Occupational Health and Safety), and rehabilitation, and in the end, I decided aged care is what I enjoy the most. That’s why I came to Helping Hand, and that’s why I’ve been here for almost 10 years.
“Dancing and martial arts are very similar. They both require good hand-eye coordination, footwork and balance. These skills have helped me a lot in my life. I noticed that most of the exercise classes in aged care can feel a bit repetitive after a while, so I thought, how can I make things more fun and engaging while achieving the same outcome?
“The transformation in some of our clients has been incredible. By improving their strength and balance, their ability to walk without aids has significantly improved. But it’s not just physical; there’s a social aspect to it as well. For some participants who might have been dancers in the past, it brings back a lot of good memories, and they say, ‘Oh, I haven’t done this since I was young.’ And that’s wonderful to see.”
A shift towards a more meaningful career
Our Home Support Worker Josh started his career journey in a family-owned mechanic business in South Australia. With a growing sense of unease and purposelessness in his life, he ventured out to explore other options. What he found was an organisation that shared his values and an opportunity to make a bigger impact.
“All my brothers are qualified mechanics, but that was never my interest. I felt a little bit lost, sitting in an office all day answering phones and completing paperwork. When I got my first position in aged care, I realised my purpose in life is to help older people. I really give them my all.
“Hearing their stories amazes me. My generation, we have everything and we’re not happy. The people I work with have been through world wars and recessions; they were struggling, but they were content. Hearing their stories and life experiences makes me go home each night and be grateful for what I have.
“It’s not just about the money; it’s far more than that. It’s about the connections I get to form with clients. I’ve got a few mates who are mechanics and are looking for a career change, and I always tell them to go with Helping Hand. It’s just such a rewarding job. Each time I go to work, I’m reminded of how much I love what I do.”
A true match of values and purpose
For Donna, our Residential Services Group Manager, a new role in aged care meant a newfound sense of responsibility and purpose. By supporting and empowering Residential and Care Service Managers across six Helping Hand care homes in South Australia, she ensures our care homes provide safe, quality care to our residents.
“I had an interview with Helping Hand, and I came out of that conversation thinking, I can work for this organisation because what they’re talking about is exactly what I’m looking for.
“You get to a point in your life where you actually want to do things that are important to you, and you want to do it in an environment where there’s mutual respect and recognition. So, I rang Helping Hand back a couple of days later and said, ‘Yes, I could work for your organisation because I hear your values and they match mine.’ It’s funny how sometimes, things just all work out like that.
“Helping Hand has truly been one of the best organisations I’ve ever worked for. They are wholeheartedly values-driven, and unlike some other organisations where their values are just stuck up on the wall, Helping Hand actually lives them. They walk the talk, and it informs every part of our business, from engagement with staff to the people in our care.”