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Paulette Taylor smashing steraotypes around ageism

Paulette takes on ageism and sends it packing

When you walk into Feros Village Wommin Bay, you’re met with a vibe that’s a bit more upbeat than your average aged care facility. At the heart of this energy is Paulette Taylor, an 81-year-young physio assistant, whose presence is as invigorating as a breath of fresh air in the Northern NSW community. 


gathering in ding room at an aged care facility called Feros Care Wommin Bay.


Paulette’s not your typical aged care worker. She’s the personification of that Aussie spirit—bold, brave, and with a spark in her eye that tells you she’s up for adventure. Her days are spent not only assisting the village’s physiotherapist, but also running gym strength and balance sessions that the residents say are “full of fun and friendly banter”.  

Paulette’s zest for life isn’t limited to her work. She’s a thrill-seeker, having been a caver, a scuba diver, and a white-water rafter, sailor, been shipwrecked on an uninhabited island (that’s a whole other story!), been mustering in the outback several times and tutored children living in remote areas!  She has so many stories she could fill a book.  

Collage of active 8 year old woman who works in aged care.

From early morning hikes to Friday night dances, her energy and enthusiasm for life are still truly infectious. She’s a constant learner, too, keeping her skills sharp with online courses in health and fitness which have always been one of her passions. 


Old couple dancing


Finding purpose that’s personal

But life hasn’t always been a bed of roses for Paulette. There have been dreadful thorns. The sharpest being the unexpected death of her youngest daughter, Danielle. It sent Paulette into a deep, dark hole she didn’t think she could escape. The loss also had her wondering what life was really about, and she became determined to find purpose amidst her grief.  


attractive young woman, portrait image


Ask Paulette about the source of her resilience, and she’ll promptly tell you it was her mum. She fondly recalls witnessing her mum tenderly care for her husband at home for 50 years following his stroke. And when her mum’s health began to deteriorate, Paulette stepped into the role of caregiver. 

Paulette says it was a privilege and an honour to look after her mum at home for eight years. But when at the age of 94, she fell and broke her hip the family knew they had to find a caring place for her to live, and they found Wommin Bay. 

“But because I’d been with her 24/7, for eight years, she wanted me there at Wommin Bay every day, so I became a volunteer,” smiles Paulette.  


Middle aged woman and her mother at residential aged care Feros Care Wommin Bay


Paulette’s bond with her mum was something truly special, lasting right up to the very end. When that time came, leaving Wommin Bay just wasn’t in the cards for her. She had grown too fond of the residents, and the feeling was mutual. They couldn’t stand the thought of losing her, so they came up with a solution and offered her a part-time job as the physio assistant. Most would have considered Paulette well past retirement age at 73, but both Feros Care and Paulette ignored the number. 


What’s your superpower?

Eight years later and Paulette is still smashing stereotypes left, right, and centre. Still fit and healthy at 81, she’s a living testament to the fact that age is no barrier to making a real difference. Her secret is love for her job and a genuine desire to see the residents grow stronger and more confident.  

“I love my job. I love working in the gym. I love seeing residents who come in and are not as strong or mobile as they were, or would like to be, and after a few weeks of being in the gym three times a week, I see them getting stronger, walking more confidently, and generally feeling better in themselves,” says Paulette.  


man doing exercises with physiotherapist at Feros Care Wommin Bay village for aged care.


“I’m always trying to watch and make sure that I’m getting the best out of the residents with their exercises.” 

This is echoed by 103-year-old Geoff, one of her star students, “Paulette’s a darn good teacher. I notice that when I’m doing exercises, or anybody else is, she’s watching all of us, and if we stumble a little, she’ll notice that and change the exercises to suit us.”  He also admits to being a bit cheeky during these classes as Paulette is good fun and they all enjoy her company as much as her physical therapy. 


woman with old man in wheelchair at Feros Care Wommin Bay village aged care


Speaking of her aged care clients, Paulette says, “They’re trying new things, they’re enriching their lives.” And this is what it’s all about for her.  


woman in mask dping boxing with old man in wheelchair. physiotherapy centre Feros Care Wommin Bay aged care.


Paulette’s gym is a real community hub where everyone gets a warm welcome, no matter their age, fitness level or background. They say she’s a true gem full of kindness, understanding, and a dedication that’s simply inspiring. Paulette is building a community, connecting with residents over their interests, family and history, which are as rich and varied as her own. 

“I guess age is a superpower when you’re looking after seniors because immediately there’s a bond,” claims Paulette. 

“I am actually older than some of them, and so we have experienced very similar things growing up. We often talk about the differences between our generation growing up during and after the war, and how this shaped us and our way of thinking, compared to now with so much technology.”


Paulette is actively changing perceptions about aged care

When Paulette tells people she’s still working in physiotherapy at 81 they have their doubts. 

“I find the first misconception is, she’s old, and therefore she’s frail. Followed by she’s old, therefore she can’t be with it,” Paulette reveals.  


woman in physiotherapy gym at aged care centre


But Paulette does not want a bar of that, and she encourages other seniors to look at their work experience and use their skills to give aged care a go. She says that it’s changed dramatically over the years, and is now focused on enjoyment and enrichment, so it will benefit you as well.  


Embrace life like Paulette and get out and smash the age-old ageist stereotype!

If you have a passion for making a difference in the lives of our older generations, then a career in aged care is calling. Paulette is the epitome of someone who’s found her calling, and she lives it every day with a twinkle in her eye and a readiness to care and connect. 

She’s an inspiring force in aged care and she’s proving the cliché is true – age is just a number.  Paulette is not just working in aged care. She’s redefining it. 

Paulette’s story has been brought to life in Feros Care’s groundbreaking new documentary series, SMASHING! Each episode of SMASHING! focuses on tackling a specific stereotype, showcasing diverse individuals within the aged care industry who defy expectations and transform perceptions.  Her story will be launching soon on YouTube.  Subscribe now and set up notifications so you don’t miss her stereotype smashing episode.

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 https://www.feroscare.com.au/careers. 

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