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October 17, 2019

Julie Morton, Community Carer, RSL LifeCare at Home

Julie Morton has worked as a community carer in age care for more than 13 years and enjoys the variety the job offers.

She works with RSL LifeCare at Home close to where she lives which works well for her. She has eight regular clients, plus the occasional new person to visit. There is an emphasis on helping them to do as much for themselves as they can and helping them do what they enjoy.

Arriving with a smile is important

Her interaction with them involves personal care, medical checks and social support.

“Arriving with a smile is important,” Julie said.

“The last thing an elderly person needs is a glum face.

“Many of them spend a lot of time on their own as people are so busy nowadays. Visiting an elderly relative or friend may be the last thing on their list and sometimes they just don’t get there or have little time”

The qualities Julie sees as being important for a carer is being tolerant, a bit adaptable and changing your personality a bit for different clients to suit them. She says you need to be able to sum up people’s personalities and likes, be a good listener and have a lot of patience.

It’s good, where possible, to get to know the family as it is sometimes hard on them to be caring for an elderly person. This is especially so when there is some dementia – it can be tough on everyone.

“I am not necessarily always patient in other areas of my life but I need to be with my clients,” Julie said.

“I give them lunch or dinner and you can’t make them eat faster, make them hurry in the shower or get out of a chair quickly. You need to work at their pace.

“They look forward to seeing you. I find it really rewarding as they all have a story to tell about their past. You get to know them and sometimes their families.

“Some of them live with a family member; children on grandchildren. It is important to see how they are faring as well.

“It’s good, where possible, to get to know the family as it is sometimes hard on them to be caring for an elderly person. This is especially so when there is some dementia – it can be tough on everyone.”

Julie says the option of home care service provides many benefits and without it many would struggle.

“Elderly people have so much time to sit in a chair and overthink things. They do tend to worry,” she said.

One of Julie’s clients is visually impaired and can’t do some things by herself which is frustrating.

“She wants to do things but she just can’t. I’m there to help her do as much as she can.”

Elderly people have so much time to sit in a chair and overthink things. They do tend to worry

Julie finds her job very satisfying. She says that anyone working in aged care for the long term must have the right attitude and qualities.

“You couldn’t cope with it if you didn’t. People in aged care need to love their job and then it is so very rewarding.”

Story by Liz McDougall

If you or someone you know needs help around the home please reach out to our friendly team. Or visit our webpage to see the range of services.

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