Today the nation is celebrating Aged Care Employee Day (7 August) - a day we say thank you to the 165 Ageing Services employees in The Benevolent Society; and to more than 360,000 dedicated people that care for and support around 1.3 million older Australians who receive home care and residential care services.
Making sure we keep our older clients safe during the COVID pandemic has been at the forefront. Our Ageing Services employees have continued to support and care for our older clients, following infection control practices and measures in place to maintain a COVID safe environment.
Our Ageing and Caring Services
The Benevolent Society provides a range of programs and services to older Australians. Our Home Care Packages (HCP) provides older people who want to stay at home, with access to a range of ongoing services, support services and clinical care, which helps them with their day-to-day activities; such as help with personal care, meals and domestic assistance.
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) helps older people stay independent and in their homes and communities for longer. The CHSP provides basic home support for frail-older people who need assistance to keep living independently.
Carer Gateway is a national service for Carers with different needs, funded by the Australian Government. Carer Gateway’s services includes valuable support for older carers, who could be looking after someone with disability, mental illness, dementia, a long-term health condition, a terminal illness, an alcohol or drug problem; or another older person requiring care.
Meet Leigh Andrews, Home Support Team Member
Leigh moved from northern NSW 22 years ago to start a new life with her partner in Sydney and worked in retail after leaving school. She lived with her grandma who had breast cancer and cared for her for five years in the regional town of Murwillumbah – right on the border of NSW and QLD - where caring services weren’t as accessible as they are today.
Being there for her grandma inspired Leigh to join The Benevolent Society’s Ageing Services nine years ago. As Home Support Team Member, she cares for older clients in NSW’s Northern Beaches, providing personal care, domestic help and social support.
Leigh said: “Some people don't have their family around to support them. I could be the only person visiting them that week, so I’m more than happy to be that person there for them, to talk to and listen to what's on their mind and find out how they’re feeling.”
Caring for our clients during COVID
Leigh has provided continuous care for our older clients throughout the pandemic and during NSW’s COVID lock down.
“The pandemic has been hard and challenging for a lot of individuals. Most of our clients understand what’s going on, but it’s hard to explain the situation to some of our clients who have dementia. Whilst some find it confronting that we have to wear masks, they understand the reason why. It’s for everyone’s health and safety and we’re doing the best that we can,” expressed Leigh.
“You know you’ve done what you need to do, when you see a smile on your client’s face when you’re walking out the door. If you can change something in their life for that little time you have with them, it’s an amazing and fulfilling feeling,”
Helping older clients is rewarding
Leigh enjoys connecting with her clients and has some met some interesting people along the way.
“One of my most memorable clients I’ve cared for truly inspired me. She was a very smart lady, who taught me a lot about music, art and commerce. We visited museums together and she would share her life stories with me,” said Leigh.
“I really enjoy working for The Benevolent Society. I’ve met a lot of lovely people and our management and rostering team are great. It’s a privilege to work for this organisation and hope I do it justice in the work I do,” added Leigh.
Thank you Leigh for your ongoing commitment to help older Australians live their best lives and to all other 164 Ageing Services employees who make a difference.