Words by Danielle Robertson

Outsourcing the care of your loved one is a big step.

It involves coming to terms with having strangers in a loved one’s home, at a time in life when they are at their most vulnerable, and invariably with you unable to be there to observe the stranger’s every move.

Three points to note on choosing carers

  1. Request the minimum qualifications

Currently, there are no minimum standard qualifications for entry-level care and support workers.

So, ask your home care provider whether the carer they appoint to look after your loved one:

  • Holds a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), and
  • If your loved one lives with dementia, has completed any dementia training.

Both the Certificate III and the dementia training qualifications can be obtained free of charge through courses, in-person or online, provided by TAFE and Dementia Training Australia. This leads Danielle Robertson, founder and CEO of DR Care Solutions, to say that there are no barriers to obtaining the qualifications and providing best practice care.

Ask for the work screening tests

Home care providers must make sure their carers pass a worker screening check. For NDIS carers, there is a specific NDIS Worker Screening Check.

Incredibly, these worker screening checks vary amongst our States and Territories. Though, thankfully one check is common to all – the carer must clear a police check on any criminal history.

Seek the X Factor

The Founder of Australia’s first national in-home care service provider, DIAL-AN-ANGEL, the late Dena Blackman, always insisted on employing carers with “the X Factor”. In an ABC Radio interview with presenter Wendy Harmer and Danielle, then DIAL-AN-ANGEL CEO, Dena, defined the X Factor as: “Someone who is a total caring, compassionate, hardworking, enthusiastic human being – [with those major qualities being] something you can feel (in a person), it comes out of them. You can tell they are caring, they are compassionate, they are enthusiastic, and they love being called ‘Angels’.”

Dena was renowned for being so selective in employing carers (her Angels) that usually only one in 10 applicants passed the test. She described them as, “those people willing to give more than they are paid to give.”

If you need help selecting a carer or team of carers for your loved one, please feel free to seek Danielle’s assistance in appointing people with the right qualifications, clearances and the X Factor.

In publishing this story, we take a moment to remember Dena Blackman, Danielle’s  adored mother and much-admired trailblazer in Australia’s care sector and as a woman entrepreneur from 1967 to April 2021.