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IRT at Home marks 25 years

Staying at Home Positive Ageing Stories
  • IRT’s home care business celebrates 25th birthday
  • IRT at Home started as a pilot program with only 20 employees
  • Evolved to meet changing customer expectations and government reforms
  • Not simply about home care, but also the relationships that are formed
02 February 2018
Carer sitting with elderly woman in retirement village backyard

IRT’s home care business has been providing care and support to people in their homes for more than 25 years.

“IRT at Home is about more than keeping people in their homes for longer; it is about the relationships that are formed.”
Raelene Lewis
IRT at Home Illawarra Business Manager

IRT celebrated a milestone birthday recently when the IRT at Home business turned 25.

It was a particularly special occasion for manager Raelene Lewis, who has been with IRT at Home since it began as a pilot program in 1992 with only 20 employees.

“It was a pilot so we kind of flew by the seat of our pants. I think we worked seven days a week and we did anything and everything that the clients needed,” she recalls.

Raelene, who started as a care worker, is now the Illawarra region’s Business Manager. IRT at Home has evolved over the years to meet changing customer expectations and sweeping government reforms to the industry.

However, Raelene says the one thing that has remained the same is the genuine care and devotion employees have for their clients.

“The whole business is structured around the customer, not the other way around,” she says. One of IRT at Home’s longest serving customers is Frances ‘Peg’ Hill, who has been with IRT for 15 years.

Peg has had to overcome some struggles in her life but says that IRT at Home gives her the peace of mind to live comfortably and independently in her own home.

When she was younger, Peg was diagnosed with throat cancer. She was lucky enough to overcome this illness but faced a new battle.

As part of her treatment Peg had to have part of her voice box removed, which left her with no voice.

Peg did not let this stop her. She persevered and although her voice is not as strong as it used to be, she is able to talk.

One of Peg’s fondest memories of her time with IRT at Home demonstrates the relationships that develop between customers and employees.

“I got pneumonia and one of the employees, Trish, came up and found me in bed. I didn’t want the doctor because I thought he would put me in hospital,” Peg recalls.

“She asked me if there was anything she could do for me. I asked her for an orange; for some reason all I wanted was orange juice.

“She went out and made me a drink and when she finished at the end of the day she came over with a big bag of oranges and squeezed them all out for me.”

Such acts of kindness make IRT and its employees special to Peg.

“IRT at Home is about more than keeping people in their homes for longer; it is about the relationships that are formed,” Raelene agrees.

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