National award nomination for caring support worker

Published 6:00am 17 February 2024

National award nomination for caring support worker
Words by Jodie Powell

A Moreton Bay home care support worker has been nominated for a national award.

Kim Long has worked with Barbara Knott for the past five years and was nominated as a sign of Barbara’s gratitude.

They met after 74-year-old Barbara’s shock melanoma diagnosis – five years ago she was given just eight months to live.

With no family living nearby to provide the support she needed, Barbara turned to home care provider Just Better Care North Brisbane, which is based at Arana Hills, for help with transport to medical appointments, home cleaning, grocery shopping and social support.

“Kim is my primary support,” Barbara says.

“She is an amazing, caring person who makes my life worthwhile. Without her I would need to be in care.

“We laugh the whole time we are together - Kim takes me for all my medical appointments including cancer treatment and endless scans.

“My oncologist has high regard for her also because of the way she cares for me.”

Loads of laughs

National award nomination for caring support worker

Before she met Barbara, Kim was unemployed.

Her job network suggested a career change through a Certificate in Disability and Aged Care.

“Barbara was my first ever client five years ago,” Kim says.

“I wish I’d found this profession years ago. It’s just such a rewarding job in the rapport that I feel with the customers and the difference I can make to their lives.”

Kim and Barbara do a variety of activities together, including grocery shopping, outings for coffee, walks along the foreshore and trips to Bunnings, where Barbara indulges in her passion for orchids.

“We just seem to hit it off pretty well … and we just laugh and joke the whole time we are out together,” Barbara says.

Barbara is so grateful, she nominated Kim for a national award - the Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) ‘You Are ACE!’ recognition.

ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson says home care workers such as Kim can change lives.

“More and more older Australians are choosing to stay in their homes longer and caring people like Kim make that happen,” Tom says.

“It’s not just a job, it’s a passion, and carers are changing the lives of older Australians for the better.

“There’s a massive shortage of carers in Australian aged care and the beautiful friendship between Kim and Barbara shows just how rewarding a career it can be.”

Kim says her three children and three grandchildren are “tickled pink” by the recognition.

Winners of the awards will be announced in August.

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