Meet Our Team: Emma Gray, Care Manager

About Our Team

As a family-owned company, The CareSide sprouted from entrepreneurial roots in 2017 with a simple goal: deliver the best home care in Australia at the most affordable prices. Today, we’re a national provider with an ever-growing care footprint—and an ever-growing team of diverse, mission-driven professionals who are sincerely passionate about providing the highest quality care possible. 

Emma Gray is one of those professionals. She’s been a Care Manager at The CareSide since the start of 2023, when she decided it was time to find a role that provided schedule flexibility, a more supportive work environment, and an opportunity to build genuine relationships with care recipients. Read on to learn more about Emma and what makes being a Care Manager at The CareSide so special. 

Meet our Team: Emma Gray, Care Manager at The CareSide

Share a bit about yourself. What’s your story, and what brought you to home care?

Emma: While studying a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) at Curtin University, I spent time as a support worker for a home care provider. I enjoyed that role immensely and it gave me a great foundation for my nursing career. After graduation, I completed my Graduate Program in Neurological and Spinal Rehabilitation at Fiona Stanley Hospital before transferring to the Emergency Department. I enjoyed working in ED and the clinical skills and experience were invaluable, but by the start of 2023, I started to feel burnt out with the constantly rotating day/night shift work and the demands of working in such an acute clinical setting. 

The lack of continuity of care in the Emergency Department was also a negative aspect. One of my favourite parts of nursing was the relationships I built with my patients, especially in rehabilitation where patients tended to stay for extended periods of time. I got great satisfaction from caring for people and feeling like I could make a positive difference in what would ordinarily be a very scary and stressful time in their lives. I wanted to continue working with patients but was ultimately searching for a role with more flexible hours and better support from my peers and management. After reflecting on my past roles as a support worker, I decided to pursue a career in home care as a Registered Nurse. 

Why did you join The CareSide?

Emma: I joined The CareSide in February 2023 when I was looking to take a step away from clinical nursing—however, I still wanted to be involved in patient care. The Care Manager role at The CareSide gave me a chance to be involved in all sectors of client care, and it afforded the continuity of care that my previous roles lacked. 

The supportive team and management environment at The CareSide also stood out to me. I was very appreciative of the company’s culture, as well as the flexibility that came with the Care Manager role. It allowed me to balance working hours, in-office work and from-home work with visiting clients and potential clients.  

Meet Our Team: Emma Gray says her favourite part of working at The CareSide is the supportive team environment.

What’s your favourite part about your job? What’s the most demanding part?

Emma: It’s hard to choose just one, but I think my favourite part of working at The CareSide is my colleagues and the supportive office environment. I also really enjoy visiting my clients and getting to know them better. The most difficult part of the Care Manager role is that it can be very busy and demanding—I always endeavour to stay on top of my time management and make lots of to-do lists! Plus, my Regional Manager is a great support and is always there to assist me when I need it. 

What’s your favourite part about working at The CareSide?

Emma: The work environment is very supportive and inclusive. We have created an excellent team environment and help each other whenever needed. 

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Emma: When I arrive at the office, I check all of my messages from clients and carers and try to get back to them or address anything that needs to be done. Then I check in with rostering and  make sure all of my client shifts for the day are confirmed; if necessary, I assist with finding replacement carers if anyone has called in sick or is unable to attend. 

After checking my emails—which can range from Occupational Therapy reports to client requests—I begin updating care plans, checking in with my clients and carers, managing invoices and assisting with anything else that pops up. Other days, I am out of the office visiting clients and potential clients. 

Meet Our Team: Emma Gray says in a perfect world, all Australians could receive the care they need to remain in the comfort of their own homes.

In a perfect world, what does the future of home care look like? 

Emma: In a perfect world, the future of home care means all Australians aged 65 and above can receive all of the care and support they need to remain in their homes. Unfortunately, home care funding as it stands has limits and exclusions. One of the hardest parts of the Care Manager role is when my clients need more care than their funding allows or when they require equipment that is not covered by the funding. In a perfect world, all Australians could receive the care and support they need to remain in their homes safely and comfortably. 

Can you share an inspiring or /touching story about one of your clients? 

Emma: One of my lovely clients had been with a previous provider for several years, and during that time, they’d expressed a desire for an electric scooter so they could access the community and increase their independence. The Occupational Therapist (OT) who assessed the situation deemed a mobility scooter inappropriate despite a doctor’s letter in support as well as the necessary cognitive assessments. When the client questioned the decision, the previous provider refused to give reasoning or send a copy of the OT’s report. 

Then this client transferred to The CareSide, where another OT attended for a review and completed a trial of the scooter. The trial was successful—the electric scooter was recommended and delivered to my delighted client. Finally, after more than a year of effort, my client was able to use an electric scooter to leave their house. They informed me that their newfound independence and ability to leave home has exponentially increased their quality of life and safety.

Meet Our Team: Emma Gray shares a story about her client who needed an electric scooter to live a more independent life.

What improvements or changes would you like to see in the home care industry? 

Emma: I’d like increased funding that allows for more Australians to be supported and remain in their own homes. Beyond that, I would also like to see an increase in the aged care workforce to provide the care and support to aged care clients. 

We wrote an article for Aged Care Insite about how technology can help the aged care labour shortage. Has technology played a role in your job? How has it changed during your career?

Emma: We live in an ever-advancing and innovative technological world. In the aged care sector, technology will never completely overtake the necessity of face-to-face interaction and care. However, as mentioned in the article, there is a mass workforce shortage. The current workforce is stretched thin, overworked, burnt out, under-skilled and under-appreciated. While this labour crisis will not be completely solved by digitisation, implementing new technologies could help relieve some of the pressure. 

At The CareSide, our CEO has developed software to automate all administrative processes. It works to streamline all aspects of the organisation and saves our team so much time on previously very time-consuming tasks. The CareSide’s technology connects all aspects of the business including sales, administration, finance, management and recruitment, allowing for more cohesion and collaboration—which ultimately increases our capacity to better support our clients and carers. 

If you weren’t a support worker/Care Manager at The CareSide, what would you be up to? 

Emma: If I was not a Care Manager with The CareSide, I would probably go back to University to complete my Masters in Midwifery and work as a Midwife. Before finding this role, that was always my desired career pathway. 

What’s one thing you’d like everyone to know about support workers? 

Emma: Support workers are incredibly hard-working and make such a difference in the quality of life of their clients. I want our support workers to know how appreciative we are of their efforts. 

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