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19 Dec 2023

Case studies

Kerry’s transition from community pharmacy to home care continues her passion for helping seniors

Kerry from Home Care

Kerry took a leap into home care after a rewarding 25-year career in community pharmacy, driven by her unwavering compassion for helping seniors.

Having already spent much of her career in the pharmacy assisting older people, home care seemed a perfect fit.

Looking back on her transition, Kerry said the decision to join SSI’s Home Care Workforce Support Program was easy and she felt supported every step of the way.

“It took me about a month from the time I contacted SSI to starting my job. They made it simple and were very helpful. The staff called me every few days to see what was happening,” she said.

The transition from a strict five-day workweek in pharmacy to choosing her own work hours at Catholic Healthcare was ideal for Kerry. She liked to do other things three days a week, and on those days she would begin work at one o’clock, which suited her lifestyle. Gradually Kerry shifted back to full-time work as she enjoyed her new role helping the elderly so much.

In addition to embracing flexibility, one of the most rewarding aspects of Kerry’s work is the social connection she provides to those she cares for. Many elderly individuals do not get the opportunity to interact with others on a regular basis.

“Just by helping them to continue to live at home, where they feel most comfortable, I can brighten their day with my visits,” she reflected.

Kerry also recognised that while many elderly individuals had given so much to others throughout their lives, they now needed assistance to keep their independence.

“They’ve worked hard all their life and it’s nice to give back,” said Kerry.

For these seniors, Kerry’s visits aren’t just about chores; they are a chance to share stories, make connections and even enjoy a simple cup of tea together.

She enjoys getting to know the seniors she cares for and finding out what they’re interested in.

“By introducing their interests back to them, it gives them a purpose,” she noted.

One of the seniors Kerry supports once revealed that his father used to teach budgies to whistle. Because he lived alone, she seized the opportunity to help him get a budgie of his own.

“When I recently visited him, he told me, ‘I’m so happy I got a budgie. It’s made me so happy. I wouldn’t give him away for anything’,” she recalled.

Prior to his new colourful companion, Kerry’s client rarely got out of bed. Having a sense of purpose and something to care for every day has, in her words, ‘made a big difference’.

Watch Kerry’s full story here.

Learn how SSI’s Home Care Workforce Support Program can help you to build a meaningful care career here.

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