Perfectly practical in every way

Meet Janet Rerden who is comfortable under the bonnet of a car, can reverse a trailer, do wood turning and make cheval mirrors – and who has a heart as big as a two ton truck (which she can drive!) when it comes to caring for older people.

Janet, who lives and works on the Mornington Peninsula, is a Direct Care Worker at Uniting AgeWell Andrew Kerr Home Care - and is pictured here with client Dorothy Davis.

And Janet’s practical nature means she’s totally comfortable with all the demands the role presents. She loves taking clients shopping, does house cleaning and personal care, enjoys taking them to appointments or out to lunches, and loves chatting to them over a cuppa.

“I love being around older people and listening to their stories,” Janet says. “Does it sound cheesy if I say that I really love my job?”

Not at all!

“I also love our close-knit team,” Janet adds. “I can speak directly to the case managers so the clients get the best of our combined team care each and every day.”

Janet, who has worked in aged care for 26 years, stumbled into the role quite by accident.

As a child she lived on a farm in Maryborough before moving to Melbourne with her family. She left school at the age of 16, was married when she was 20, went on to have three children in quick succession and then held down a number of jobs in traditionally male-dominated fields. She worked in a cabinet making business doing wood turning, made mirrors and worked at a lawn mowing business.

One day she helped out with doing cleaning at an aged care facility and realised she has an affinity for older people. The rest is history. She did a Cert III in Aged Care and Disability, and has worked in aged care ever since. She spent 23 years as a home carer for the Shire of Mornington Peninsula and another aged care organisation, before moving to Uniting AgeWell in February.

Now a grandmother-of-four, she is loving life in Mornington, where she plays basketball, goes kayaking and cycling and lives with her beautiful Bernese mountain dog, Winnie.

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