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Sydneysiders welcome first Nurse Next Door service

After migrating to Australia from Jordan at 18 years of age, Amal Eneziet felt it was her calling to assist others living in her community.

“It was a challenge not having any family here,” the former disability support worker told Aged Care Insite.

“But I noticed that I really enjoyed taking care of people, and I wanted to help even more people and join something bigger.”

Almost 10 years later, the 32-year-old Bankstown resident has opened Sydney’s first Nurse Next Door home care service, which gives 24/7 home care to people of all ages and medical needs.

“We don’t say no to anyone,” said Amal.

“We had, for example, a younger client who had a breast augmentation and she wanted some help because she didn’t have any family in Australia, so we sent her a caregiver.”

The number of older Australians accessing home care has almost surpassed the number of people living in residential care, according to recent figures from the Productivity Commission.

During 2020-21, the number of people receiving a home care package increased by 61,562 from the previous year.

Since opening up in December, Amal says the home care service has received high levels of community interest.

“There are some providers that offer community nurses or NDIS support, and others that do caregiving and home care for older people, but we do all of them together,” she said.

“So if someone had their mum coming out of the hospital, for example, we can send both a nurse and a caregiver.”

Australia’s aged sector has been severely affected by the spread of the Omicron variant, with residential homes across NSW and Victoria battling hundreds of active outbreaks each week.

Home care services have been equally impacted, with many providers struggling to meet people's critical needs with limited staff.

According to Amal, many of her new clients have mentioned the lack of available combined nursing and caregiving services that are currently available in NSW.

“I’ve been in that situation before where I needed some help and I couldn’t find it, so I understand people’s frustrations when they don't have that help," she said.

"Because of covid and the risk of people going in hospitals, doctors are also afraid that patients will come and contract the virus.

"Our nurses can go in and check on our clients in the comfort of their own home, so they don’t have to worry.”

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