Supporting people to live independently in their own community was always at the front of mind for Juniper Community Physiotherapist Nikita Vyas even before she decided to study her bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy.

“I always wanted to try and help people, and when I was growing up, I was engaged in lots of sports and I always saw lots of physios coming in and when I grew up, I thought I wanted to become a person that could help others,” Nikita explained.

“I think I knew right from the beginning that I wanted to be a physio and I really wanted to do something in the healthcare field, wanted a hands-on connection with people when I help them.

“I love that we are supporting people to be independent and to gain back their strength, mobility and function, so that is something I wanted to do.”

Growing up with her grandparents living close by, Nikita understood from an early age how important it was for older people to stay independent and connected to their local community.

“I was always around my grandparents, so I saw how important it was to be independent and for them to be able to do simple functions for daily tasks,” she said.

So when it came to finding a job after she graduated, aged care seemed the perfect fit.

“My first physiotherapy role was in aged care, then I have also worked in various aspects of physiotherapy which involved injury management, but aged care is something that I’m really passionate about,” she said.

Having been a physiotherapist in Juniper’s Home and Community Care team for the past 12 months, Nikita has found many rewards in her role to help older people stay at home for longer, so that they can continue living a happy, fulfilled life in their local community.

“I’ve always thought, my values, my passions and my principles are much more connected when I’m working in aged care, and the older people I work with, I find them very welcoming in general,” she said.

“Yes, some people are in pain, and some people need help, but I have always had a good rapport with older people, which makes it such a rewarding job.”

Among her regular Home Care clients is John, 80, who was in need of a physiotherapist to provide him with guidance and support following a spate of falls.

“One of my goals for John is to strengthen his legs,” she said.

“He’s had several falls already this year and we want to decrease his falls risk. We want to help him be aware of his surroundings so he knows what to do in the event that he may be at risk of a fall.”

So far, John has seen a huge improvement, so much so that he felt the need to reach out to Juniper to let them know just how far he has come.

“The Juniper team have been marvelous,” he said.

“I am very grateful for the care and support Nikita has given me, it’s the best I could hope for.”

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