Caring for others is what I absolutely love to do … absolutely love it. I love that what I do means people are able to stay in the comfort and safety of their own homes. I love looking after people, especially the elderly because I love the stories they tell and the wisdom they speak. And I love that I become like a part of their family because I get to know their children and grandchildren.
Jess is a Support Worker with Visionwest Home Healthcare. A few years ago, when she moved to the Waikato, she began her search for her perfect job. Having looked up all the local home healthcare providers, she contacted Visionwest where she’s worked ever since.
My background is in looking after people in their own homes and that’s where I’m happiest. People are so much more lively and happy when they can stay in their own homes; in spaces and neighbourhoods they know and feel safe in. I think it keeps them wanting to be active and involved in their community. It keeps them healthy.
Read Karen’s Story of indepedence.
Caring about Caring for Others is the Key
When asked what attributes a Support Worker needs, Jess is quick to rattle off a pretty comprehensive list which includes caring for others, patience, and the ability to listen well and respond accordingly. She also mentions intuition – being able to recognise the real needs, and flexibility – because sometimes urgent needs arise and have to be dealt with on the spot.
It’s important that a support worker relates well with those they are looking after. You spend a lot of time in their personal space so they must feel comfortable with you. While every client is different and has different needs, but the same level of care is required.
It’s providing care that enables Jess’s clients to remain in their own homes that she says is the most rewarding aspect of her job.
My job is about keeping people happy and in their homes. In my time as a healthcare worker, I’ve seen the health of a lot of elderly people go downhill really quickly when they’re removed from familiar surroundings. By keeping them in their homes and the environment they’re used to, that sparkle stays in their eyes. So many people say to me, I want to stay in my own home for as long as I can because this is where my memories of happy times are.
Jess has a word for people who have older relatives who may not know about the services offered by home healthcare providers. She encourages them to do all they can to keep their loved ones in their own home. Her experience has shown that it keeps elderly people active longer and keeps them happier because they still feel close to their family, people they know, and the joyful times of days gone by.
Jess has also just completed her Level 4 home healthcare study but has decided she doesn’t want to do nursing study because she prefers the hands-on work that home healthcare provides, and the special connection it gives her with her clients, being able to chat while she does her work.
Read about Marissa and Honeylette, Visionwest Support Workers from Bay of Plenty.
If you know a person who is elderly or lives with a disability, reach out to their families and tell them about the support that is available. As a society in general, we’ve lost that community connection. Neighbours often don’t know each other and caring for others isn’t as common as it once was. It’s that connection that keeps people going and creates community. I love caring for others and being an integral part of the community of the people I take care of.
Find out more about Visionwest Home Healthcare.
For over 30 years, Visionwest Home Healthcare has been providing quality Home Healthcare and Individualised Funding services for the elderly and those with disabilities. Our aim is to provide excellent practical in-home support and personal care services that enable people to maintain their independence and remain in their own homes for longer. With over 1,300 Support Workers spread throughout offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Rotorua, we work throughout West Auckland, North Auckland and North Shore, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and the Rotorua/Taupo regions.