Nursing is in Janene’s genes.

Her mother, auntie and two of her sisters are all nurses, and Janene has been a nurse for 31 years - starting in a hospital environment and working in community nursing before moving to a Wellbeing Manager role with Feros Care.

Photo of young Janene dressed up as nurse
Janene as a child, dressed up as a nurse - what she wanted to be when she grew up

As a Wellbeing Manager, she is responsible for being part of a team of individuals that look after clients and help them to Grow Bold.

“It makes my heart sing,” Janene says simply, “Being back in community is like coming back home.”

Janene knows to find out what’s important to the client

With so many years of experience, Janene specialises in speaking to clients and hearing how they spend their day - then finding ways of improving it and making it much safer.

She gives the example of 93-year-old client Daisy, who uses a motorised quad bike to get around her farm. “She couldn’t get down the stairs, she wasn’t aware of some of the things that could help her,” Janene explains. “We put in a stair lift, so she could do the same level of things she wants to do, but include equipment to ensure she does it safely. As soon as we mentioned that she was like, ‘thank you so much!”

As with so many other Feros Care team members, Janene looks at clients and often thinks to treat them exactly as she would treat a family member of her own.

“I think, what support would make the biggest difference to their life? It’s not about adding quantity but quality - what’s important for each of them.

“Each client is like a crossword and you’re working it out so it all falls into place. We ask the client what their goals are, then we come up with a plan that’s individually tailored to the client. It can be a challenge, it’s never mundane, and it keeps you passionate. It’s why I got into nursing.”

Photo of Janene next to Feros car

Changing lives along the way

Janene says that there is a certain level of magic in simplicity. Sometimes it’s doing the smallest thing for someone that can really improve their lives dramatically for the better.

“You have to work out what’s appropriate, what’s important and still follow the guidelines,” Janene says.

One client in Ballina, for example, was struggling with her home. The rubbish had gotten on top of her, and although she had her daughter and grandson living with her, they each had their own challenges.

“The house had been quite neglected over some time,” Janene says. “The care worker got consent to have vermin sorted out, got rid of the rubbish, did a forensic clean and decluttered everything. Three skip bins later, the client said - ‘I’ve got the home I’ve always dreamed of.”

“It was just all about building the trust with us, with no judgment - she was embarrassed, but we made it clear that there was no need to be.”

Janene explains that being able to go into the client’s home and make a difference is what keeps her getting out of bed each morning and being inspired to do the best possible job.

“We’re honoured to be part of that journey - the stories clients tell, you take it with you. We get to meet amazing people,” she says.

“I still have people approaching me at the supermarket, saying - “here’s my angel!” Well, I was just doing my job!”

The key is explaining that services are there to help

When working with clients, Janene shares that the biggest factor is explaining that the services are there to support them - not take away their independence.

“Clients can be concerned that getting services is a sign that they’re not coping,” Janene explains, “But I explain that they are just offering the tools to make a difference, helping you stay at home longer.”

Even if someone ends up going to the hospital, they’re likely to get home faster should they already have services in place to assist them in anything they might need when back in the house.

“A lot of people have their neighbours or family helping, but it’s so much better when the services are there to support as well,” Janene says. “Do you want your daughter visiting to clean the toilet or do you want her visiting to have a cuppa or go shopping?”

To find out more about Home Care, click here.

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