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Changing career paths can be a tough job, especially when the change is forced upon you. In 2012, Sydney resident Robert Horspool celebrated his fiftieth birthday. He also lost his job. This sudden change was a difficult time in Robert’s life, which he now reflects on reverently.
After finishing school, Robert worked for a bank in a number of branches, before being moved to the bank’s computer department. When the computer operations were taken over by another company, Robert seized the opportunity to train as a computer programmer and began working in software development.
The operations were soon overtaken by yet another company, and Robert remained working there until he took up a position with a technology company.
When Robert was retrenched in 2012, a career he had spent almost 30 years building, he didn’t know what to do. He was highly skilled in his field, but the competition was fierce.
He spent the following three years looking for work in the IT industry to no avail. The longer he spent looking for a software development job, the less likely it seemed he would find one.
Robert decided his time would be better spent investing in re-skilling for a career in the growing aged care industry, which led to his enrolment in a Certificate III Individual Support TAFE course.
With an ageing Australian population and increasing demand for care workers, the aged care industry promised Robert a safe and secure career path. When he graduated in mid-2016, Robert was eager to commence work straight away.
While strolling through a TAFE job market, Robert’s enthusiasm and warm nature captured the attention of in-home care provider, Just Better Care. Much to the delight of both parties, Robert commenced work with the care provider shortly after.
“I now have a wonderful job where I can work with people to make their lives easier,” Robert said.
“My days are filled with providing assistance to people, supporting them to lead independent lives, while satisfying my desire to help other people.”
Through Just Better Care’s professional development and training programs, Robert can continue to develop and expand his workforce skills, while enjoying a job where his skills are needed.
- Robert Horspool, Just Better Care Hills to Hornsby
For many people, the pressure of caring for a loved one as they battle a degenerative disease can be overwhelming. And for those caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease, the emotional impact of being an unfamiliar face in the eyes of your original carer can be an emotionally painful and stressful experience.
In spite of the emotional challenge, Tony Wilson spent the last year of his father’s life staying with his father four nights a week to feed, bath and administer medication, to ensure that his father had the essential care and companionship he required in the later stages of his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and to give his mother, the primary carer, a well deserved break.
Whilst he admits that juggling his full-time job and family with caring for his father was difficult, it inspired a passion for aged care that Tony wouldn’t have realised otherwise.
“I was still working full-time as a truck driver and excavator daily with my company… it was hard work juggling the two roles, but I loved it,” he said.
After 25 years, Tony gave up his career as a truck driver and excavator to become a full-time care worker with Just Better Care’s Hills to Hornsby office in New South Wales.
Tony’s selfless dedication to helping those in need hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Sue Buckle, Just Better Care’s Hills to Hornsby director, recognising his great work in the lead up to this year’s National Employee Appreciation Day.
“He works from his heart and while he has only been with us for about seven months, he is already a wonderful asset to our team. He is genuine, has a bucket load of empathy and a wonderful, positive attitude,” Ms Buckle said.
Tony has joined the 1,400 care workers working for Just Better Care across Australia, providing much needed in-home care and lifestyle support for a multitude of people including seniors, new mothers and those living with disability.
With projections from Alzheimer’s Australia suggesting that by 2025 some 255,800 carers will be needed in the community, it has never been more essential to recognise the important work those like Tony are achieving daily.
- Tony, Just Better Care Hills to Hornsby
Cheryl joined Just Better Care in 2011 after moving into the Hawkesbury Nepean area of Sydney. With her skills and training, Cheryl began as a field support worker providing support for a number of clients with high care needs. Her role involved providing complex personal care and respite to families living in the Hawkesbury.
Over time, Cheryl gained further training and development. Her role expanded to include responsibility for training staff in serving complex-care clients. Cheryl’s high attention to detail allowed her to be actively involved in the preparation of care plans designed specifically to meet the client’s daily needs.
Cheryl is very committed to her work and even continues caring on Public Holidays to ensure her clients receive continuity of services. The raport Cheryl has with her clients is outstanding, and her clients request she provide additional services required.
Cheryl has always gone above and beyond in the provision of high-level care. She is a valuable member of our large team in the Hawkesbury. Her work was recognised by the Richmond Rotary Club which awarded Cheryl a Pride of Workmanship Award.
- Cheryl Norton, Just Better Care Hawkesbury Nepean
Karen joined Just Better Care Hawkesbury Nepean and Blue Mountains as a Community Care Worker in November 2014.
Karen has an exceptional work ethic, and consistently provides a high level of care to clients with varying needs throughout the community. Her dedication and compassion is not only appreciated by the clients and their families, but by those who have had the opportunity to work with her.
We are also aware that Karen volunteers her time, organising donations of personal care items and arranging their collection and delivery to senior members of the community.
Karen is a valuable member of the team. She was recognised for her outstanding service by the Richmond Rotary Club which awarded Karen a Pride of Workmanship Award.
-Karen Palmer, Just Better Care Hawkesbury Nepean
Read what our staff say about working for Just Better Care