The rewards of a client’s welcome
Posted on April 19, 2023
As a seasoned physiotherapist with a decade of experience working in aged care, Juniper Allied Health Manager Shaun Lee wants to change any misconceptions about working in Community and Home Care by highlighting the tremendous rewards and benefits of the job.
From flexibility and variety of work to building genuine relationships with clients by getting to know their interests, goals and hobbies, Shaun believes an allied health career in aged care is both rewarding and diverse.
“It’s a great feeling when a client really welcomes you into their life,” Shaun said.
“It’s so rewarding to play a key part in supporting someone to stay independent and keep living at home doing the things they love. It’s really rewarding to be able to walk with them on that journey.”
“You see such positive changes because the clients we see are still active members in their community, you get to see them improve and achieve things that they haven’t been able to do.
“For example, one of our physiotherapists, Robert Moore, recently took clients to the beach, and walking on soft sand wasn’t something they have been able to do for a long time, so he worked with them to help them achieve it.”
Working at Juniper for the past six years has provided Shaun with the opportunity to progress his own career, having gone from physiotherapist to managing a team of allied health staff including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists.
Graduating from Curtin University in 2013, Shaun jumped straight into his first physiotherapy role within the aged care sector.
“I worked for a national organisation that had contracts with residential facilities, so I was going between three or four facilities at the time,” he said.
“I was in that role for a year and then I progressed quite quickly and became a Senior Physiotherapist for WA.
“My job was 90 per cent clinical and the rest was mentoring and supervising a team of physios, OTs and podiatrists. I did that role for about 15 months before taking another break and heading back home to Mauritius, where my family is from.”
After taking a year-long hiatus to support the family business in Mauritius, Shaun began searching for his next career opportunity ahead of returning to Perth.
“I decided I wanted a change from working in the residential aged care space, and I really wanted to use my experience and skills in a transitional care or community setting,” he explained.
“It just so happened that Juniper got the contract for a new Transitional Care Facility, Charles Jenkins, and I applied for it and had the right experience, so I was offered the role in 2017 working as the physio.”
Shaun’s enthusiasm for the role didn’t go unnoticed – so much so that he was soon given the opportunity to step up as acting manager overseeing the Charles Jenkins Allied Health team.
“My manager at the time at Charles Jenkins had a lot of trust in me and whenever she’d go on leave she’d appoint me as the 2IC, so I would often step up and cover her,” he said.
“It made me realise that I was ready to take the next step in my physiotherapy career, I really wanted to progress into a manager role where I could oversee a team.”
With support from his manager at the time, Juniper’s Director of Retirement Living and Home Care Angie Slater heard word of Shaun’s eagerness to progress his career and offered him the opportunity to manage an Allied Health team that included occupational therapists and physios within Juniper’s Home and Community Care services.
“Juniper has really supported me to take the next steps in my career, and now I’m looking to expand my team so we can continue to grow our home care services to support more older people in their homes and community,” Shaun said.
Juniper is currently looking for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists to join Juniper’s Home and Community Care Team. For more information, contact Juniper Senior Recruitment Advisor Zorica Tamehana at Zorica.Tamehana@juniper.org.au or visit www.juniper.org.au/careers and apply for a position.