Mariah Kendle loves knowing she is helping to brighten the lives of elderly people on a daily basis. Here’s why she enjoys her career.

Before Mariah Kendle started working in aged care, she had a completely different perception of the older generation.

But as she began to connect with her residents, she discovered older people had so much to offer.

Number one – they’re super interesting.

As a Personal Care Assistant (PCA), Mariah loves listening to residents’ life stories and hearing what it was like to live through everything from a war to polio.

Secondly – they’re fun.

“I was thrown off the first time I heard my residents swear or talk about inappropriate things,” Mariah says. “But we’re all the same, they’re just further along on the journey. A lot of people think that aged care can be quite boring, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a lot of work, yes, but it’s actually really fun.”

Wind back the clock and Mariah was a busy mum of two who had always worked in hospitality.

When COVID hit, she decided it was time for a change. She wanted to find something that would allow her to juggle parenting with study and work commitments.

“At first, I wanted to go into nursing, but with two children it was a little bit too much to commit to and I noticed that the aged care sector was always looking for staff,” she says. “I saw an aged care provider partnering with Chisholm for a traineeship and I knew that was perfect for me.”

Mariah loved that she could earn an income while completing her Certificate III in Individual Support. The flexibility of online learning was also extremely appealing.

“I have a special needs child, so it makes studying a little more challenging,” she says. “Having the flexibility to do Zoom classes and knowing the teacher was more than happy for my son to be running around in the background made everything so much easier.”

Mariah found the Chisholm community to be very encouraging. If self-doubt ever crept in, her teacher was always there to offer support.

“There were times when I thought that I wasn’t smart enough and my teacher took the time to reword things in a different way,” says Mariah. “Any time I needed to email her, she emailed me right back. Having that support network was something I had never had before.”

It turns out that any self-doubt was completely unwarranted – Mariah did so well at Chisholm, she was recognised as Trainee of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

Nowadays, Mariah couldn’t be happier with her career choice.

Every day on the job is different and rewarding, whether she’s helping residents to get bathed and dressed, feeding them or keeping them company.

Mariah encouraged others who were contemplating a career in nursing to consider aged care.

“A lot of people want to bypass aged care, but I honestly feel like it’s the best place to start because it gives you all of your foundations for the medical field and you get that sense of helping people,” she says. “I think a lot of parents would do this work if they knew they could juggle study around time with the kids. And that’s exactly what I was able to do.”