Home care jobs boom in Port Pirie

SUPPORT: Client Maureen Fletcher is supported by Port Pirie's Helping Hand Care worker Francie LaForgia. Ms LaForgia has been with Helping Hand for three years and says she finds her job fulfilling.
SUPPORT: Client Maureen Fletcher is supported by Port Pirie's Helping Hand Care worker Francie LaForgia. Ms LaForgia has been with Helping Hand for three years and says she finds her job fulfilling.

Helping Hand Home Care has recorded an increase in care staff numbers to support the elderly at home, amid other industries left to struggle by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment's projections to May 2024 predict home care jobs will increase by 50,600, almost 20 per cent.

Helping Hand provides services such as personal care, gardening, cleaning, and grocery shopping to more than 3500 clients across the state.

Port Pirie care worker Francie LaForgia feels like she has hit the jackpot with her role, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

"To be honest, I have never been as content in a job my whole life," she said.

"I think I have found the most fulfilling job and I don't even feel like I go to work."

When the insurance business Ms LaForgia worked for closed its doors in the town three years ago, she looked to reskill and took up home care.

"I love the fact that you can make a difference to someone," she said.

"We might be the only people they see in a day and they wait for you to come...we are always looking out for ways to make their lives a bit easier."

Port Pirie resident Maureen Fletcher said having Helping Hand support her and her husband with household chores has made life a bit easier, following Mr Fletcher's stroke which left one side of his body paralysed 11 years ago.

"We've had Helping Hand since 2014 and Francie has been coming to us every week for two and a half years," Mrs Fletcher said.

"She helps makes the beds up, cleans all the bathroom, sweeps and mops the floors and wipes the cupboards down - she even sweeps outside if she has time.

"Because my husband is paralysed on one side I have to do it all myself and by the time I get through it, I'm getting a bit puffed myself.

"Francie comes in and has a five minute chat to find out how we have been going through the week ... it's great to have someone coming in regularly to check on us."

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