Getting to know Karen
Karen McPherson is our Home Care Manager for the South West region. She has been with Acacia Living Group for two and a half years and is passionate about helping her clients stay comfortable in their homes supported by our home care services.
We chat with Karen about her role, experiences, tips and personal hobbies.
Karen, what does your role entail?
My role as Manager allows me to represent my clients. A Care Manager is the coordinator of services on behalf of the client who may need help with health care, nursing, social support, personal care and just someone to chat to. My goal is to keep my clients comfortable and capable in their own homes. I manage their budgets and I become their voice. I help them organise their Care Plan with all involved (families and Care Workers).
How long have you been in this industry for?
I have been part of aged care for at least 10 years. I hold a Diploma in OSH and also Quality Auditing. I started out as Senior Customer Services Officer, then worked my way to become a Housing Support Office with the Department of Housing (over 55s) for five years. I then moved to another provider as a Manager of an over 55s complex in Dalyellup and now I am with Acacia Living Group (where I’ve been for two and half years so far!)
What do you find most fulfilling about the role?
I get to work in a great part of WA (which I also call home!) The job allows me to move around and meet some very interesting people and professionals. I am especially grateful for my wonderful staff. People who work in the Aged Care industry have a unique empathy – not only with the people they care for – but with their fellow workers. I believe that you learn something from everyone you meet.
Are there challenges you face in this role?
Helping the client communicate with their families is a big one. Sometimes we don’t hear our loved ones any more and it’s easy to ignore the people we love and this makes us forget the real things in life that the family member wants.
At times, I have to stop people and remind them of what that big picture is for their loved ones. Sometimes those people don’t want to hear it and that can be tough.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
Wow, here we go! I love to renovate. I have been on my own now for seven years and during this time I have almost renovated my home. I like to do all the labouring myself – would you believe I love painting?!
I also volunteer in the kitchen at the local Footy Club as I thoroughly enjoy it. However, my main passion is my family! I have two sons and two wonderful daughter-in-laws and a wedding next year to help guide (but not interfere, haha!) I also have three fur babies.
Any final words, tips for prospective clients/families?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It doesn’t matter how strange you think they are, it’s better to ask now and have the answers!
Shop around and check those prices and make sure the service provider can offer what you need. The choice is ultimately yours - but I can say that here at Acacia Living Group we will do our best to match other provider’s offers!
Do you or someone you know need a little help at home?
Acacia Living Group delivers Home Care services across the Perth Metro, Eastern Hills, Wheatbelt, Mid West and South West regions. For more information speak to your local provider today.