A career in happiness – Jackie’s aged care story
“Working in aged care is fulfilling because it’s all about making someone’s life happy,” says Jackie, an aged care worker.
“I make them happy, and they make me happy too. They make me laugh, they make me smile – the best part of this job is the relationships with older people,” she says.
A big part of Jackie’s job, like any care and support worker, is providing companionship. Then, it’s about supporting the people she cares for to do all the things they want and need to do.
For Jackie, that means helping older people around the house – whether that’s hanging out the washing, doing some gardening, or preparing a meal. It can also mean getting out in the community, to run errands, go to the shops or just to support people to enjoy time outside.
One of the people Jackie works with regularly is 80-year-old Maria.
“Working with Maria is very easy, because she’s very talkative! She’s easy to approach, she’s a social person,” says Jackie.
“The last year has been really hard for her, with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. It’s made our time together even more important – she’s so happy every time I go there because she can’t go out and see anyone else,” she says.
Both coming from the Philippines, Jackie and Maria have an undoubtedly special bond. Jackie calls Maria ‘Nanay’ – which means ‘mother’ in their native Tagalog.
“Maria is kind, she’s funny, she laughs a lot and she’s cheerful. She is a lovely person to be around,” says Jackie.
“We share so much. We tell each other stories and laugh together. Being able to speak in our language makes it easier for us, too,” she says.
Aside from Maria, Jackie works with older people from all different backgrounds – this is a big part of what she loves about her job.
“I learn so much about people’s different cultures. When they tell me these stories about themself and where they come from, it amazes me. Everyone has so much to learn and understand from each other,” says Jackie.
It all adds up to a career that Jackie describes as rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful.
“I would really recommend it! If you’re thinking about it, do it,” she says.
“Like all jobs, there are challenges but it’s very rewarding. In my experience, there is lots of work available and it’s secure. Many of my friends lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, but I’ve been working the whole time.”
When you work in aged care, like Jackie, you’ll have a rewarding career where you’ll genuinely change people’s lives.
See more stories about working in the care and support sector.