With an extensive background in nursing, mostly in aged care, Mary Hillier brings a wealth of experience to her role as a case manager with annecto’s Mildura office.
She said she enjoyed working with older people in nursing homes, but felt a bit detached.
So after completing a Community Services Diploma at TAFE in 2005, she looked at other career options, and in 2007 began as a locum at annecto. That involved “a bit of case management, working on reception, or whatever was needed”, before taking on a full-time position as a case manager in 2008.
“I wasn’t getting to know the people or their stories in the nursing home, so I thought working here, I’d be more in touch with what our clients were thinking and doing,” Mary said.
As a case manager with annecto, Mary’s main role is to support her clients in many ways including phoning them up just for a chat, assessing what services they may need, or advocating on their behalf.
“That can be with telemarketers or energy companies to change providers if needed and managing their bills,” she said.
Mary also keeps in touch with support workers and other services, such as the Aged Care Assessment Team, about how people are doing at home and generally keeping her finger on the pulse. One of the most enjoyable aspects of her job is the interaction with her colleagues.
“I work with an amazing team,” she said.
“We can bounce off each other if something tricky comes up. I also enjoy listening to my clients’ stories and hearing about what makes them tick.And connecting them with the wider community.”
There’s also a sense of achievement through helping people.
“There was a male client of mine who was adamant he could look after his own personal care, but he couldn’t,” Mary said.
“In the end, we had to sit down with him and nut out his concerns about asking for some help. It turned out he wanted someone who was older and from the same background, and once we found someone who fitted that, he happily accepted the services.
“Because of annecto’s person-centred approaches, we are looking outside the square and not categorising or pigeon holing people. We are able to be more compassionate about how we treat older people.”
This article appeared in the Sunraysia Daily newspaper on 4-3-17.