Meet Christine: The care worker changing lives on the Gold Coast for 15 years
Christine is a care worker with a difference. Having been in the role for 15 years, she is just as passionate as she was on her very first day, when she started working in the community after a stint at a residential village.
“Every day is so different and it’s so good,” she says. “You’re always meeting new people, or even if you’re seeing the same people, they’re always doing something different!”
Caring for people runs deep in Christine’s genes. Her mother and aunties were nurses, and her cousins have all gone into related roles, such as pathology and midwifery. And while Christine admits she didn’t intend to become a care worker,
“you just follow your path and it leads you to where you need to go.”
Inspired by loved ones
Christine was drawn to working with seniors thanks to a close relationship with her grandmother: “She’s my inspiration, I used to take her to the shops when I first got my licence because no one else could take her.”
After so many years spending quality time with her grandmother, Christine found herself naturally drawn to helping others. While living in Sydney, she would often offer elderly people a lift in the car if she saw them walking somewhere while she was driving
her daughter to school.
“One lady in particular, I would always offer her a lift to the shops, and it just became a routine,” Christine admits. “I thought – this would be an interesting job!”
From there, Christine moved to the Gold Coast, arranged her qualifications and has been working for Feros Care ever since.
There’s no place like home
Working with so many people on Home Care Packages (government-funded, in-home care), Christine has a motto that she often uses when chatting with clients: “I’m just like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, I say, there’s no place like home!”
She says it’s important for people to have all their comforts, whatever they might be; all their favourite possessions, their pets, the things they are used to.
“We’re here to help keep you in your home for as long as possible,” Christine says. “It really helps.”
Christine mentions that occasionally people hesitate to accept the help that is offered to them, thinking that there is someone who may be worse off than them – and that accepting help would be taking it away from others.
“I just explain that you deserve it! If it’s available to you and it makes your life easier then all the better for everyone,” Christine explains.
“After a while, people think – I didn’t know what I was missing! It completely changes their way of thinking.”
Building relationships is everything
Christine takes pride in her positivity and is inspired by her clients daily.
“I love hearing everything about their lives, where they’ve travelled, their good ideas. It’s interesting to know more about them. You always learn something off them.”
She can build long-lasting relationships, working with one particular client for over 10 years.
“He used to like going up to Burleigh and sitting there to read a book, or we’d go watch people playing bowls.
“It felt like my own grandfather. He had good stories to tell. He taught me to be positive – everyone can have a bad day, but if you can lift someone else’s day and make them happy, it’s worth going.”
Christine says that if she can spend her days making other people happy, she’ll get home and feel satisfied that she’s had a wonderful day.
“A lady said to me just the other day – ‘I’m so happy you’re here, you made my day.’ And I said back to her, ‘you made my day too!”