Grandparents inspire career

Meet registered nurse Jeff Costales, who sums up why he loves working in aged care in two words: “My grandparents.”

The registered nurse at Uniting AgeWell Hawthorn Community is happy making a difference to the lives of older people.

But his life has taken many twists and turns before he landed his dream job.

Jeff grew up in Baguio, on the Philippines Luzon Island. His family lived in a small two-bedroomed apartment. His parents slept in one bedroom, and Jeff and his sister and his grandparents shared the other. He shared a room with them for many years.

“In our culture, it’s very common to live with grandparents,” he explains. “We have very close family ties.”

His grandparents used to take the kids to school and look after them so his parents could work shifts. Jeff’s dad was an engineer who travelled overseas a lot, and his mum was a production specialist.

Jeff admits his grandparents really spoilt him. Apart from the time when, at the age of six, he was severely punished for playing with a fire lighter gun, accidently igniting a container of gas, and nearly burning the apartment down.When Jeff was 10 his parents had saved enough money to buy a house – just in time for his new baby sister to arrive.

Fast forward a few years, and Jeff started working as a nurse in the Philippines, and then moved to Melbourne nearly ten years ago and began nursing at a hospital before he joined Uniting AgeWell.

He’s married to a nurse, has a two-year-old daughter, Yzabella and pretty much loves life.

He adores multicultural foods, but still hankers after traditional dishes of Pork Bagnet. He also loves dancing and karaoke, and isn’t afraid to belt out a Bruno Mars tune or two.

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