Eleanor – aged care story
‘I was a stay-at-home mum of two kids, and I had to look at going back to work. I left school when I was in year nine, so didn’t have any qualifications. I’d worked at Kmart and a few other jobs before I had the kids.
I love working with older people… the smiles on their faces, the stories they tell. I started working as a personal care worker in aged care about 12 years ago.
My boss mentioned to me there were scholarships available. I’d never had a scholarship before. There’s no way I would have ever been able to afford the course otherwise.
I’ve completed a Certificate IV in Ageing Support. I struggled a bit with the study, but I finished!
I really love the placements. I’ve done placements in an aged care facility, and they offered me some shifts when I finish the course. I will work in home care and residential care. It’s really opened my eyes to how residential care works.
I’m looking after a lady who is 96 and her husband was a veteran who passed away a few years ago. Sometimes, we have a cup of coffee and a chat.
You’ve got to have a lot of patience in this job, especially with people who have dementia. They might forget what happened last time and the time before, and you have to repeat it to them. I’m a very patient person so this work is good for me!
Sometimes, I encourage people to do things that they don’t think they are capable of. They get a lot of joy when they accomplish something they thought they couldn’t do. It could be something as simple as cutting up a sandwich.
I really enjoy looking after older people; I feel like I am giving back to them.
At the end of the day, seeing the smiles on their faces, it just makes me happy.
This case study was supplied by the Department of Health and Aged Care. Find out more about Aged Care Nursing Scholarships on the Australian College of Nursing website.