Age no barrier to building connections
With roots in regional New South Wales, and fond memories of spending school holidays on the farm with his Nan and Pop, the quiet country life is cemented in Nick Harris’s heart.
At 19, after leaving school and working in several jobs that weren’t the right fit for him, Nick’s natural affinity with the older generation led him to completing a Certificate III in Aged Care and commencing a career in the industry.
Eight years on, Nick is a Lifestyle Carer at Carinity Home Care, and part of a team that provides seniors with the support they need to remain living at home.
“After working across various carer and management roles in residential aged care, I joined Carinity Home Care last year as a personal carer. I enjoy what the hands-on role delivers in terms of direct connection with people, and I find it so fulfilling,” says Nick.
With similar upbringings, hobbies and interests to his clients, Nick finds himself completely at home supporting seniors living in the Ipswich area who, like him, were surrounded by the quiet country life ‘back in the day’.
“I enjoy being connected. You feel like you belong and have a real purpose. Every day I am filling a need by doing something for my clients that they can no longer do for themselves. Keeping them in their own home is so important to us both,” Nick said.
“They’re such interesting people, have so much to share, and are always happy to chat about their life experiences. And they’re a generation that are so appreciative and thankful.”
Nick and Trevor enjoy a unique connection. Trevor was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2017, aged 62, and his condition limits his ability to communicate verbally.
“We have a set and limited vocabulary we use between us, which allows us to understand each other, cementing our relationship and making our time together really enjoyable,” Nick shares.
Nick and Trevor spend about nine hours each week together, time sharing a common interest: walking through the natural beauty of Queensland’s parks and gardens.
“Familiarity is important when supporting Trevor. It’s not just about revisiting his favourite parks, Nick says.
“I also make an effort to remember which plants Trevor is interested in and make sure we walk by them each visit to see if they have new blossoms or flowers.”
Reflecting on the last eight years working in aged care, Nick boasts, “I can’t think of a more fulfilling job you can have than assisting these people that need help!”
Read more stories from Belong: Spring 2022 | Edition 27