Jeanine is our Advocate in the Mid West, who lives and works in beachside Geraldton. Her background in nursing and previous work in managing aged care facilities and services in town makes her a very valuable contact to support local older people.
Jeanine is based at our Advocare office on Foreshore Drive near the Hive community hub down on the water. She lives a few minutes out of town and loves nothing more than a beach walk and watching a spectacular Geraldton sunset over the ocean with her husband (pictured below).
For the last nine months, Jeanine has leveraged off her broad knowledge base to assist local people seeking assistance with their aged care rights and needs in town and in the remote, surrounding areas in the Mid West.
Her background is in nursing and she’s worked in the aged care sector for many years, including in remote Aboriginal communities in Kintore (Pintupi Walungurru) in the Northern Territory and Kiwirrkurra in WA – one of the most remote in Australia. She also adds the roles of early childhood educator and hairdresser to her toolkit.
In Geraldton, Jeanine previously managed a four-bed respite centre, a Home Care Package program for 80 clients, a Commonwealth-funded social/group day respite centre, and an independent retirement village.
It made perfect sense for Jeanine to join the Advocare team. “Over the years I have supported and advocated for clients and families so they can gain the support they need as well as being able to make informed decisions and explore their options”.
A lean look at Mid West services
Jeanine encounters difficulties faced by regional communities every day, and they’re quite different to those experienced in Perth or other regions, particularly in aged care services.
“For a start, respite services in the region are a big challenge as there’s only one bed in the Mid West and this is for high-care consumers. It’s always booked out and there are no emergency bookings. Families are forced to send their loved ones to Perth in an emergency.
Add to that the one low-care facility is currently closed due to being under new management and staff shortages in the area; the regional hospital is too small, there’s a shortage of doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals; and there are no volunteer services for transport or social support for isolated older people.”
She explains, “If you’re a client living in our rural remote areas in the Mid West there are no service providers operating in the area, which ultimately means older people cannot access home care packages. For those people looking for residential care, there are just three facilities in the region, so families have no alternative than to go to Perth for residential care or to wait in limbo on a long waitlist.”
It’s easy to see how being an older person who calls the Mid West ‘home’ could be excused for feeling a little adrift at sea in services-land, despite living in one of the most picturesque parts of the country.
Based in Geraldton, Jeanine is a vital link for Advocare. Not only does she support the rights of local older people, but she also sees firsthand where the biggest future investment needs to be made to allow her fellow community members to stay where they belong and love, as they age.
“I’m a good listener and enjoy seeing the best positive outcomes for aged clients in our community.”
Call 1800 655 566 to chat to our Advocate Jeanine or, to make an in-person appointment at the Advocare office at 14 Foreshore Drive, Geraldton.