Caring a joy for Bernadette

After hearing about the rewarding work of caring staff she leapt into a new career as a KinCare Home Care Worker. She didn’t know it then, but she had found her life’s calling.

by KinCare — 19 April 2018

Ten years ago, mum-of-three Bernadette was bored with her sit-down office job. After hearing about the rewarding work of caring staff she leapt into a new career as a KinCare Home Care Worker. She didn’t know it then, but she had found her life’s calling.

“My goal is to provide the same level of care to people as if they were my own loved ones,” she says. “To this day, caring is the best job I’ve had in my life. It is such an honour to help our Customers.”

Bernadette remembers growing up in a home where her parents kept the door wide open to those in need. She also had a very close relationship with her grandparents. Her early years planted the seed for her life today helping others to stay in their homes – and her uncanny ability to put Customers at ease.

We asked Bernadette to take us back to the day she first started at KinCare. She sentimentally recalls meeting her first Customers – and being taught to take the time to notice little extra things she could do to make their days more joyful and rewarding.

“Old age is not for wimps, these people have contributed so much to this country in so many ways and now they deserve to be treated with great respect.”

Time after time, she observed even the most vulnerable and anxious people would come out of their shell when she took the time to really listen. She has always made a point of remembering the important details – the name of their sister, a favourite meal or hobby.

“Old age is not for wimps,” she says. “These people have contributed so much to this country in so many ways and now they deserve to be treated with great respect.

“We are in the business of keeping people in their homes for as long as possible. It’s about genuinely putting them first. Being good at my job means being proactive. It’s respecting the diverse cultures and religions of our Customers and being just what they need me to be.”

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Very quickly, Bernadette built a reputation as someone our Customers felt they could trust.

That is why, two years ago, Bernadette was the right person to start a new role at KinCare, leading and inspiring a team of 60 Home Care workers to be the most incredible support possible to our Customers.

“My role is to make sure the services we provide to people always meet with the promises we make to their families and Carers when they signed up with KinCare,” she explains.

“My number one priority is helping my Home Care Workers be the best they can be. And I’m very proud of the superstars I’ve got on my team.”

Bernadette’s role is very demanding, as she is always available to her staff, yet she feels she gets more from her work than she gives – through the priceless chats and happy moments she has shared with Customers.

“The people that are aged now are the last generation of their kind, they are the last that share stories orally. They have witnessed war, the Great Depression, and enormous change in society, so they are unique.

“One Customer told me stories of how he used to get around in a horse drawn buggy, and another shared about being one of the first people to walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge when it was built.”

“A bus trip is not just a bus trip… By the end of a trip some people will have swapped mobile numbers with new companions and even become Facebook friends.”

As for her proudest achievement? Bernadette is thrilled by the success of a program of day trips she co-ordinates for our Customers – giving many who are isolated the chance to connect and see their world – often for the first time in years.

“A bus trip is not just a bus trip,” laughs Bernadette. “Some of our Customers are very lonely but these trips are a wonderful way to meet people. By the end of a trip some people will have swapped mobile numbers with new companions and even become Facebook friends. They then catch up with their new friends later.”

It’s magical moments like this that remind Bernadette precisely why she wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.

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