MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Karen Gerrard believes a mid-life career change is possible for everybody.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Karen Gerrard believes a mid-life career change is possible for everybody. Andrew Watson

'Proof that 60 is the new 40' says age-care worker

AGED-CARE worker, Karen Gerrard is set to make a difference in her community after a mid-life career change led her to doing what she loves, working in age-care.

"I'm 63 and probably proof that 60 is the new 40," she said. "We're living longer and with better health, nutrition and treatments so retirement for me doesn't mean giving up paid work but continuing to move forward, looking for opportunities that may lead me on yet another road before my body tells me to stop."

Karen believes there is no such thing as an average day in aged care. Her day may consist of making phone calls to book pop-up stall venues, coordinating volunteers, visiting prospective clients and their families or even delivering a presentation at a services club.

"I love the variety of the workload, the clients and families that I meet, and the sense of accomplishment when I'm thanked for the support we put in place," Karen said.

Karen is particularly interested in talking to people who feel they need more from their Home Care Package.

"Many people just aren't getting the care they deserve and with the average case management and admin fees across the country hitting 45% of the value of a person's Home Care Package, I'm on a mission to make sure consumers have a choice," Karen said.

Karen believes aged care offers a whole new range of opportunities at all levels from domestic assistance, nursing, allied health, transport right through to management levels.

"I'm happy with my career change as it gives me the opportunity to ensure our elders are well, safe and supported to remain active in their own homes," she said.

"We will all be elders one day so having appropriate flexible, transparent services available in local communities will benefit everyone."


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