Family inspires aged care careers with Carinity

They work in vastly different roles but for Carinity Aged Care team members Danielle Jenkins, Jenni Smith, Shareen Miller, Jomon Thomas and Larissa Gear the inspiration to work in aged care was the same.

The positive influence of older family members has motivated them to dedicate themselves to care for Queensland seniors.

Carinity Fairfield Grange aged care staff members Danielle Jenkins, Jomon Thomas and Shareen Miller
Aged Care Employee Day on August 7 celebrates those who support seniors such as Danielle Jenkins, Jomon Thomas and Shareen Miller from Carinity Fairfield Grange aged care.

A Personal Carer at the Carinity Fairfield Grange aged care community in Townsville, Danielle Jenkins’ grandparents helped shape her career pathway.

I was always very close with my grandparents in particular my grandmother, as she would quite often look after us while we were young. I began to take care of her as she aged,” Danielle said.

“My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and memories of this time had always stayed with me. I wanted to educate myself as to why this disease had changed his personality so significantly, so I started to do different courses about dementia.

“I enjoy making someone smile and hearing about our residents’ life and adventures, and working in such a kind and caring team. I love being able to help people. To just make someone’s day gives me a sense of purpose.”

Older relatives also inspired Jenni Smith to work with older people in her role as the head cook at Carinity Karinya Place aged care in Laidley.

“I have always enjoyed the company of seniors. My great-grandmother, my wonderful grandparents and all my aunts and uncles were a great influence in my life,” Jenni said.

“My grandparents were a big part of my life when I was growing up. I cared for them in their later years, so I realised I wanted to be in a place that cared for older people.

“It is so much better to give than to receive, and I couldn’t think of a better group of people to spend my day with.”

Carinity Karinya Place cook Jenni Smith.
Jenni Smith has been the cook at the Carinity Karinya Placeas residential aged care community in Laidley for 19 years.

Shareen Miller works as a support services team member at Carinity Fairfield Grange.

“I’ve always had an interest in taking care of the elderly. Because I took care of my mother that inspired me to take care of others,” she said.

“What I enjoy most about my role is spending time with the residents and listening to their stories.”

Personal carer Jomon Thomas also enjoys engaging with Carinity Fairfield Grange residents.

“I come from a very traditional background which emphasises the importance of family. This has nurtured a sense of care for the elderly,” Jomon said.

Larissa Gear, a former hospital nurse who is now a Carinity Aged Care regional manager, has worked in the aged care industry for 23 years.

“My grandparents lived for some time in a granny flat with us while I was a child and teenager and I loved having them close. My last grandparent passed away many years ago, so it is nice to continue to have connection with the same generation,” she said.

“I have had the privilege to be some part of our residents’ lives. They have had so many life experiences and continue to offer so much. They and their loved ones put their trust in us – I don’t take this for granted.”

Between them, Ozelle Hutley from Carinity Hilltop and Carinity Aged Care Regional Manager Larissa Gear have worked in aged care for 50 years
Between them, Ozelle Hutley from the Carinity Hilltop aged care community and Carinity Aged Care Regional Manager, Larissa Gear, have worked in aged care for 50 years.

Danielle, Jenni, Shareen, Jomon and Larissa are five of around 1,200 dedicated Carinity employees – and more than 360,000 aged care staff nationwide – who work to support Australian seniors.

On Aged Care Employee Day on August 7, Carinity recognises the people who care for 1.3 million older Australians receiving home care or residential care services.

This includes seniors living in 12 Carinity residential aged care communities from Townsville to the Gold Coast, as well those supported by Carinity Home Care in-home services available statewide.

For more information on Aged Care Employee Day visit

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