It’s never too late for a new career
Mature-age KinCare Team member Lorraine wants others like her to know their hard-earned skills and life experience don’t need to have a use by date.
Lorraine still gets goosebumps when she recalls how nervous she was applying for a Home Care Worker job with KinCare. After a long and varied career, she suspected her best work years were behind her.
“I was 56 years old, so it was a huge thing for me,” she recalls. Applying for this job was the hardest thing to go through – it was scary stuff.”
Lorraine needn’t have worried. Her rich life experience and strong interpersonal skills were immediately clear to the interview panel. With expert training, they could see Lorraine would make an excellent Home Care Worker.
Lorraine recalls the day she received her KinCare job offer with immense pride.
“KinCare took a chance on me,” she says. “Everything I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt on the job. I didn’t realise what my potential was until I was given that chance.
From the very beginning, she loved her job as a Home Care Worker for the connections she made with customers. They were so appreciative of the things she did to help them.
“It’s about making their lives a little bit easier, so they can live in their homes for much longer than anticipated,” she says.
By nature, Lorraine is caring, social and highly practical. In her downtime, she can be found planting and pruning in the lovely garden of her Sydney home, or enjoying regular lunches with her close band of girlfriends. “I’m there for my friends – and I know they are there for me,” she says.
It’s this steadfast quality and an unflappable nature that have made Lorraine shine for KinCare. She is the kind of person who can put our Customers at ease and give them the confidence to overcome hurdles they never imagined possible.
She remembers one such Customer fondly, a man who was a quadriplegic and his car had been modified so that he could use his hands to brake and accelerate.
“For months, this Customer had to practice wheeling himself out to his car then using a special hoist to transfer the wheelchair on to the top of the car. I was by his side, watching and supporting him in case he slipped or fell. After three months of persistence, he mastered it and passed the required test to use this equipment all by himself.”
“It felt fantastic to be a part of that, because this equipment allowed him to have independence and get out in his car and go. It was a great feeling.”
“KinCare took a chance on me. Everything I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt on the job. I didn’t realise what my potential was until I was given that chance.”
A few years ago, Lorraine was offered the chance to advance to an office-based role of Customer Care Coordinator supporting older people in the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Central Coast regions of New South Wales. She really wanted the job but didn’t have the computer skills – and that made her anxious.
“Prior to this, I’d only held one brief office job and before that I’d never ever used a computer – so my skills weren’t brilliant,” she explains.
But fortunately, Lorraine found out she was able to receive computer training and today she is excelling in the role and can get around a computer spreadsheet or database with ease.
“I impress myself every day,” she says, with a twinkle in her eye.
Now, a typical work day for Lorraine involves talking with her Customers to arrange extra help, liaising with their doctors and health workers and checking in with families to ensure their loved ones are getting the best possible care.
“I really enjoy the contact with our Customers and making things work for them,” she explains. “It brings me great satisfaction to get a good outcome for my Customers. That is how I know I’ve done my job.”
At this stage of her life and career, Lorraine still feels thrilled to be part of such a dedicated and diverse team, with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are committed to going above and beyond for their Customers.
“It’s been a great journey and a lot of learning for me,” says Lorraine. “I’m not ready to lie down yet!”