How COVID shut doors – but opened them too

Coming close to retirement, I had to think ahead about how I would remain active and have a lifestyle as well. So, I decided to do a certificate III in aged care. Following training at Bupa, I knew how much need there was to help older people to have independence and wellbeing. That’s when I knew support work was the job for me.

As an older Australian myself, being able to build strong friendships with the people that I support is really rewarding and makes my work meaningful. As lockdowns and restrictions have continued in Melbourne, I feel this work has become even more important.

Many of us have had to adjust our routines to a new normal, which can be isolating and have an impact on mental health.

Keeping socially engaged is vital for our health, even more so as we get older. By being an independent support worker and providing my services directly to people via Mable, I’ve connected with clients who I share similar interests with and who are looking for the sort of assistance that I can give, such as social support, recreational activities, and help around the house.

It’s allowed me to choose who I work with, when, and what I do – which means I find people I have a connection with and are usually based in my local area.

During the pandemic, I’ve been able to provide companionship to my clients, and they’ve also provided it for me! I’ve been able to see them face to face, which is a real benefit when the only other contact we had was over the phone or video call.

Especially through COVID and lockdowns, I was still able to give support and connect with my clients – assisting with food shopping and medical appointments, walks in the fresh air, and social interaction. My work gives me company for myself and my clients, as well as personal care for some to help them overcome their loneliness and depression.

The connections I’ve built with my clients mean I have been able to continue a normal balance of life, helping me to be active and communicate with people and remain an independent worker in my retirement.

Have you ever thought about becoming a paid carer? Can you see the benefits? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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