Royal Freemasons Clinical Nurse Consultant Clare Wanjau loves caring for the elderly in their homes so they can continue to live independently.
Growing up in Kenya, Clare Wanjau dreamed about helping people through healthcare. Her favourite television program was Grey’s Anatomy, and Clare says it inspired her future career in nursing.
When she was 20 years old, Clare moved to Australia to study nursing and five years later she completed a Bachelor of Nursing at RMIT University.
In 2019, Clare began working in home care as a Clinical Nurse Consultant at Royal Freemasons in Melbourne’s south-east.
In Kenyan culture, Clare says the community cares for older people in their homes and this motivated her career decision to specialise in home care.
“In Kenya, we don’t have nursing homes — the community takes care of the elderly. We check in on them. If you have a neighbour who is older, it becomes a responsibility for the entire community. If you have a barbeque, you take food to them,” she says.
Clare enjoys working with older people in their homes to improve their quality of life and to help maintain their independence.
“My role involves discussing ways in which their lives can be empowered through healthcare services, and how to improve their health while staying at home.”
She has learned many life lessons from working with older people.
“I always ask them, ‘What advice would you give your younger self or to us?’ Most of them say the importance of the learning process, as opposed to just waking up one day having achieved everything. They also say the importance of hard work and consistency,” Clare says.
“I like having conversations with older people — they had a very different way of life. I enjoy their stories about how life was after the war and how life has changed. During the pandemic, many of them couldn’t grasp why we found it difficult to be at home.
“I think we could learn to appreciate how good we have it, because they had it quite tough — they didn’t have so many resources back in the day, from a health perspective.”
One of her favourite parts of her job is the relationships she builds with her clients.
“I love the way my clients dress up when I visit, they are so adorable — they will sometimes put on a pocket square and a tie. I tell them, ‘You are dressed up and you look so good!’ and they will say, ‘I knew you were coming.’ You might be their only visitor in a week, so they really look forward to you going there.”
Clare says she also enjoys the team environment at Royal Freemasons.
“I love the team, it is a really friendly environment. The community is great, and I have been empowered a lot.”
If you would like to join our passionate care team, visit: royalfreemasons.org.au/employment-opportunities/ or call 1300 623 642