The Future of Home Care is in our Hands

Theresa's Story

My name is Teresa Hetherington. Like you, I am a home care worker and I am also a proud United Voice member.

I have worked in the disability sector of ADHC for 13 years; I have been a union delegate for roughly 8 years. I have been a union member for 13 years

My job is to assist the disabled to get out of bed every day, shower and dress, start their day as they need and everything in between until I tuck them into bed again every night. I have what I like to call 'Batgirl" days. I swoop in on a client; help them resolve any issue or just lift their mood - then swoop back out again knowing I have made a difference.

In the last few years I have seen the 'care' slowly fade out of the job description as we are pushed to include more work into less time or staff simply unable to put the needs/interests of the clients first. I have also had the chance to do some palliative care as clients now have the option to stay home longer, occasionally right to the end, and I have found great pride in being able to assist their transition with dignity and care.

The majority of my clients are young disabled people and I also do some palliative care. There is a lot of satisfaction to be found in helping them to achieve their daily goals, whatever that may be. Each client is different, as are their needs and I try to work with them on their level as best I can in the time allowed.

I would like the future of home care to incorporate the freedom for clients the NDIS represents, choice for many of them will be incredibly liberating. For me it means a widening of opportunity, I will be able to do more of what the clients want rather than what is covered in the basic job description.