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IRT celebrates 30 years of home care service

Industry
18 November 2022

IRT is celebrating 30 years of providing home care this month.

That’s approximately 5 million hours spent providing care and services to our customers to enable them to live independently at home for longer.

It all began when IRT was selected as one of only three organisations in NSW to participate in a pilot program; starting in Wollongong with just 20 customers, and growing into today’s robust and quality service, supporting more than 3500 customers each year in NSW, Queensland and the ACT.

IRT CEO, Patrick Reid said he was proud of the strong connection the home care team has with their customers and the communities they have served over the years.

“We’ve remained unwavering through some significant industry reforms, and most recently the ever-challenging COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and travel restrictions testing us and our service delivery,” Mr Reid said.

“Through it all, we’ve demonstrated our bond as one team. No matter the challenge, we pull together when times get tough, and bunker down to get the job done.

“With a 30-year anniversary comes age, and with age comes wisdom, and those who work with our home care customers know how lucky we are to benefit from their knowledge, wisdom and experience every day. Our customers have such diverse and interesting stories to tell, and it’s our privilege to get to know them and care for them.”

Two of our Illawarra Home Care employees agree and shared their experience of delivering aged care services to people still living independently in their own homes and the special relationships they build with their customers.

Kate Larossa, IRT Home Care Customer Relationship Manager says she chose to get involved with Home Care because she believes most people’s wish is to remain living in their home safely and independently for as long as possible.

“It makes me happy that I can help my customers achieve this goal,” Kate said.

“My favourite part of the job is interacting with my customers. They’re all individuals with individual needs.”

Kate has a special connection with Home Care customer Pat Fry who is also a resident of IRT Braeside Retirement Village in Keiraville.

Kate says that Pat has been an absolute delight to work with from the first minute they met in 2020.

“I’m all about promoting independence, and I picked people for Pat’s home care team who would be really supportive in thinking about ways she could self-manage tasks independently and safely. We’re very honest and open with each other. She knows I will advocate for her as much as I can where I agree it’s the right option for her, otherwise I will suggest a different avenue that would suit her better, and she’s always open to that.

The respect and admiration is mutual and Pat says she would be in no-man’s land without Kate.

“When I first moved to the Illawarra, Kate came to visit me to work out my home care plan. She left such a wonderful impression on me, and I thought if this person is going to look after me as a case manager, I’d be very happy,” Pat said.

“Kate will knock on the door anytime she’s around to say hi, but I also have an evaluation with her every three months where she gives suggestions for what would be helpful or useful to me.”

Alison Reynolds, IRT Home Care employee was Pat’s first home care worker when she became a customer.

“You just click with some people, and she’s one of those people. She’s highly intelligent, very easy to talk to, she’s a great listener, very warm and caring and generous. We’ve got those professional boundaries, but we’ve definitively formed a lovely relationship,” Alison Said.

Pat says that Alison and Whitney (another IRT Home Care employee caring for Pat) have been absolutely wonderful since the very beginning.

“When Kate told me a bit about Alison and Whitney and how the two worked together, I knew they were the right people to help me. They’re very supportive and I appreciate our chats while they work,” Pat said.

“I’ve really got to know Alison, Whitney and Kate. Whitney has just moved to work in aged care [residential], which I was really sad to hear, but we’ll catch up again one day soon. They’re very special to me.

“It becomes more than just a service, its company and friendship after a while – you come to really know a person.”

IRT is committed to continuing to support people like Pat to live independently in their own homes as they age for many more years to come.

 

Media enquiries: Hannah Ellson 0429 361 627 | engage@irt.org.au

General enquiries: 134 478

About IRT Group:

IRT Group is one of Australia’s largest community-owned, not-for-profit providers of retirement living, residential aged care and home care. With more than 50 years’ experience and locations throughout NSW, the ACT and South East Queensland, we employ almost 2200 people and play a significant role in promoting seniors as dynamic, influential and valuable members of society.

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