Juniper golden girl celebrates 50 years - Juniper

Juniper golden girl celebrates 50 years

For half a century, Joyce Ashworth has worked through more aged care changes than any of her colleagues – but one thing that hasn’t changed – her heart of gold.

The 77-year-old said she fell in love with aged care during high school and has no plans on retiring anytime soon.

“I used to clean an aged care home when I was at school, and I remember it so well because it was where I fell in love with it all. I joined Juniper when I was in my 20s and 50 years later, I am still here, and I still love my job as much as I did when I started,” said Joyce.

Joyce has worked across five different Juniper homes and has ticked off being a carer, cook, laundry assistant, occupational therapist assistant, supervisor, administration assistant, and volunteer.

“I don’t plan on retiring any time soon, I want to work forever. I love Juniper, and I love being based at Juniper Chrystal Halliday Residential Aged Care Home. If I can do my job and carry my own weight load, I will continue to work and volunteer,” said Joyce.

Joyce said she has made lifelong friends working at Juniper, and looking back over the past 50 years makes her smile.

“I still catch up with all my work friends and one of them I have done lotto with for 35 years. My close friends have all come from Juniper, they are my family, and they are my life,” said Joyce.

Not only is Joyce Juniper’s longest-serving staff member, but she is also being crowned Juniper’s longest-serving volunteer.

“When I started working for Juniper, I also volunteered on my days off. I used to take people shopping, to weddings, to social events, to garden shows, to pretty much anywhere they needed. I have organised volunteer buses and even ran craft fetes to raise money for the residents,” added Joyce.

Joyce now volunteers part-time at Juniper Chrystal Halliday in administration and calls herself the jack of all trades.

“I have worked here for long enough to know the ins and outs of everything. My husband is now in aged care, I am fortunate enough to use my experience to help new families with their loved ones,” said Joyce.

“I am looking forward to celebrating this milestone with those closest to me. I am so grateful for my family for fitting in with my work for the past 50 years.  There were times that my girls and granddaughters had to come to work with me, and now my granddaughter works for Juniper,” said Joyce.