“Working in aged care is exciting and invigorating!”
Yes, you read that right, and here’s why according to Community Support Worker Addrian.
Addrian Carelse is passionate about many things. He loves fishing and the outdoors, describing himself as a dedicated ‘sun-chaser’. He loves good coffee and when asked if the term ‘coffee snob’ applies, he answers ‘perhaps’ with an infectious grin.
He loves spending time with his beautiful wife, whom he also supports in a carer capacity. And last but definitely not least, he loves his job as a Community Support Worker at Feros Care, where he makes a real difference in people’s lives every single day.
Finding his groove
Predominantly working in disabilities and aged care for the last seven years, Addrian knew he’d found his calling.
After gaining experience in different areas of the industry, he decided a career as a Community Support Worker was the perfect fit for his skills, and profoundly meaningful given his personal circumstances.
Residing on the Sunshine Coast at the time, Addrian was juggling work and caring for his wife. Diagnosed with a central nervous system disorder, working for an organisation which understood their situation was very important.
As there weren’t any opportunities available in Community Support Work at the time, he decided to apply to Feros Care who were actively recruiting in Marlborough. After discovering his application was successful, Addrian and his wife made the move north to kickstart the new chapter in their lives.
Aged care – anything but vanilla
From the get-go, Addrian thrived as a Community Support Worker. He attributes this to a combination of factors, particularly the special connections he forms with “amazing people.”
“No two days are the same and I meet a range of clients from different backgrounds going through different things,” he says. “Getting to know them and hearing their stories and all the great things they’ve done in their lives – it’s exciting and invigorating.”
Addrian goes on to explain that the fulfillment he experiences is immeasurable, and that supporting these clients gives him a real sense of purpose.
“Their whole demeaner changes when they’re talking to someone who actively listens to their history and it’s so rewarding to see that shift.”
“You have the chance to help them feel good about their lives, despite the difficulties and problems they face. For me, being able to help them work through their struggles – that’s what makes life worth living.”
When your work makes a difference in the community AND at home
Working in the aged care industry has been particularly enlightening for Addrian, helping him navigate his personal carer journey.
“It’s great meeting people like my wife, seeing how they manage their lives, and how they benefit from the care people like me provide. Their smiles and positivity keep my mind in the right place.”
“Attitude is everything and I have a lot of clients who are very positive. I take that on board and it follows me home, helping me be the best carer I can be for my wife. She is very upbeat too so when we’re both in that mindset, it makes things so much better.”
They’ve got it all wrong!
Like most people, Addrian’s perception of aged care was shaped by unfavourable stereotypes. He explains that when you work in the industry, you realise very quickly that it’s a complete departure from how it is often portrayed.
“It’s so different to what you see in the media. You tend to just hear about the not so good stuff when in fact, there’s a lot of good stuff,” he says.
“The reality is, it’s a very caring and gratifying environment where you’re surrounded by interesting people and a strong support network – especially at Feros.”
Addrian also addresses the notion that the people who work in aged care are homogenous, emotionally detached, and mostly dissatisfied with their job.
“No, I don’t fit the stereotypical aged care worker mould which is completely wrong by the way,” he insists.
“I’m not negative or lacking in empathy. I keep a positive attitude, I love what I do, and I live life to the fullest.”
“And it’s not just me – there’s a big cross section of people and personalities working in the industry, and that definitely brings a lot to the clients.”
The Feros family – working with a team who ‘just get it’
Originally from South-Africa, Addrian was raised in a very familial-centric culture with a deep respect and appreciation for grandparents and the older generation. So, it’s no surprise that Addrian was drawn to an employer with the same values.
“I look for that family-oriented feel and Feros is very family-oriented,” he says. “We really do work together as one to help the clients. Everything and everyone collaborate seamlessly.”
Also, while managing work life and his role as a carer can be a difficult balancing act, Addrian says working for a company like Feros has been a blessing.
“Not everyone can relate, but the people at Feros do and they’re very supportive. My wife and I were only just saying that being a Community Support Worker at Feros is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Take a leap of faith and give aged care a go
Addrian strongly encourages anyone considering a career change to look at aged care.
“Nothing beats the feeling of helping someone who needs it. If you can support someone and let them know that they’re not alone, well that’s a wonderful thing.”
“I can’t imagine a job better than that.”
Not your typical aged care worker? Good, because we’re not your typical aged care organisation.
Apply your skills in a career that makes a difference in the lives of seniors. Find out more and view our job vacancies here.