Tom Webb | Personal Care Worker, Calvary Flora McDonald Retirement Community

I have been working in aged care for about four years.

I decided to get into aged care after the death of my father. I had the realisation that the greatest income isn’t monetary; that I personally gain more by helping others than through higher income in any other job. I also realised that there is a real need for people to work at the coal face in aged care. There I can then feel confident that what I’m doing truly has value.

The job is incredibly challenging in every sense. It requires great patience, endurance and mental fortitude. It forces me to be a better person, giving unique insights into life that I can harness. It clears my mind and places any personal troubles into perspective. Where some see our job as unsavoury, I feel it’s truly a privilege to help those who have lived such extensive lives.

I love the challenge of helping someone do the exact same task for the ‘nth’ time in the space of an hour. I equate it to the mental challenge of running up a hill. It’s teaching me something about myself/life I can’t yet fully grasp or articulate.

I enjoy discovering the little things that matter to the individual. It may be keeping their bathroom door open an inch at night so that just the right amount of light seeps through.  Some may find such details frustrating, but we all have certain things that we like… and it’s the little things which are often most important.

I am often inspired by the residents. What I find most inspiring is that people can continue to hold their heads up high and be positive when often their health isn’t the best. I’m convinced that this is the secret to longevity, as a positive outlook seems to be held disproportionately higher among those who have lived longer.