“I try to make my time with them the best time of their week.”
Tell us about one of your clients.
I've just finished 12 weeks with a beautiful client I looked after for the Transpac program. Transpac cares for clients coming out of hospital, transitioning back into being independent at home. I was helping her for the first weeks back, with personal care, shopping, cups of tea- all the things she needs to get her back on her feet.
Toward the end of that time I just noticed a Bible in her cupboard, and wondered if that was important to her. So I asked her about it. Turns out she went to church for many years, she can still recall liturgy and Bible verses she learnt when she was 15 - and she's in her 90’s now. Taking communion was particularly important to her. So we talked about whether she would like me to organise someone to come in to the home to give her communion, if that was something that she wanted.
I was happy to help her back to independence after her surgery, and also to be able to give a social and spiritual support in things that were important to her. The sad thing is now that she's independent again, I really miss her. She's beautiful and we had a lovely time together.
How did you become involved in care at home?
My husband and I are Christians, we were missionaries in South America for 10 years. We have five children. Some years ago we fostered with Anglicare, a little boy, for 9 months, and we learnt about Anglicare - they were magnificent. Then three years ago my stepfather started getting help in the home. The help wasn't great and I thought gee, that's a special job, it would be great to do it really well.
Then when my youngest started school I contacted Anglicare to see if there was any way I could get involved. To my amazement, they took me on, and I now have the great privilege and responsibility of going into people's homes, observing, caring, and trying to think outside the box to provide the best care I am able to.
What drives you?
My goal every time I step inside someone's house is to make my time with them, the best time they have in the week. It deeply upsets me that we don't look after the vulnerable in our community well enough. I've got to be at my best, and I've got to make this the best hour they have in the week. And perhaps I've still got my stepfather in mind when I do that. And it’s just a huge privilege that these people let me into their homes. Our goal is to provide physical, social and spiritual support for people’s needs and desires.
Do you feel supported by Anglicare?
They've developed a culture at Anglicare where I feel like I can call my boss at any time if I've got a worry or I need a hand. As a care worker, I can see an Anglicare counsellor myself if I need to – if I need some support. And there's a workplace trainer who knows everything about everything - she's amazing.
I recently had specialised dementia training for 18 hours, and there's more training on hand if I need it. The more I've gotten to know Anglicare, and through doing a couple of workshops in the last few months, the more I love Anglicare. I love what they are trying to do. It's fantastic - they're really pushing it. I've been amazed.
Thanks Sally for sharing your story with us. Some names and details have been changed to protect privacy.
If Sally’s role sounds appealing, why not visit Anglicare’s Careers page for more information on working for Anglicare.