Guess who’s coming to swimming?

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Inviting others into your home is never easy — which is why Mercy Health Home Care Services is so focussed on building positive relationships between clients and care teams. Mercy Place Mount St Joseph's resident Justine White is one such example, having forged a strong bond with Regional Service Leader Annette Berridge.

Mercy Place Mount St Joseph’s resident Justine White is one such example, having forged a strong bond with Regional Service Leader Annette Berridge. Justine is physically unable to speak, but according to long-time guardian and friend Debbie Read the 39-year-old has a very strong voice. Justine communicates via picture board and “with her eyes”, says Debbie. There is no mistaking how she feels when Annette enters the room: pure joy.

“Juzy’s a force to be reckoned with,” Debbie says. “For her, having a connection with anyone she works with is very, very important — from the person who paints her nails, to her taxi driver, and definitely with her Community Care Workers. To anyone who knows Juzy, it’s pretty obvious how she feels about Annette.”

Justine has lived at Mercy Place Mount St Joseph’s in Young, NSW, for 16 years, and has worked with Annette for four of those. While it’s not part of her job description as Regional Service Leader, Annette can sometimes even be found doing hands-on activities with Juzy, such is the strength of their relationship.

“Annette would do anything for her,” Debbie says. “She always listens to what Juzy wants and needs, responds to her problems, and Annette bent over backwards to help us work our way through her NDIS applications. Annette always goes above and beyond; she even took Juzy to her hydrotherapy session one day and made her feel so special. Juzy came home saying she had the best day ever.”

Justine is anything but limited by her physical disabilities, thanks in part to the support she receives from her team of Community Care Workers. Annette and her team receive equal benefit from their contact with Justine.

“Spending time with Justine is grounding, and makes us realise how we over–complicate our own lives,” Annette says. “She’s inspirational, her smile lights up a room, and watching her in a pool where she can move freely, stand, and walk, is priceless.”

Justine White (centre) enjoying a splash around with her care workers.

Last reviewed November 12, 2018.

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