Stacey Sincock – From Support Worker to HealthTech Advocate
She was a very young support worker in an organisation of fixed mind-set people. With little experience and her superiors having no faith in her capability she was given a big challenge.
If she could build a relationship with a grouchy man in need of care — that other workers found very difficult to deal with—she would be given the chance to follow her passion. And unlike the other support workers, she was able to build the relationship with the so-called ‘difficult case’. The two of them became more than just support worker and person being supported, they were friends— the man even attending her 21st birthday party.
Stacey Sincock began her career in the disability and aged care industries at the age of 18 by mere chance. Having her first child not long after that meant she needed a flexible job and one that fulfilled her passion for working with people and helping others.
“It’s rewarding to know you’re making a difference in someone’s life,” she said.
Stacey found herself with the gift of being able to build trusting relationships with people quicker than most. With a deep desire to make a difference in someone’s life, being a carer made sense. Life as a carer was not the easiest job. Sometimes the people she was responsible for supporting would be unreceptive, aggressive and hard to work with. Being a care recipient is a position that many of us never expect to find ourselves in, to suddenly become dependent on a stranger for mundane tasks like showering, which is why trust is so important. If there is no connection between provider and the individual being supported, neither is likely to thrive.
“It’s all about building a partnership,” said Stacey.
Stacey’s love for people led her to work in residential facilities that cared for individuals living with dementia and Alzheimers. There she was able to see the new personality of a person living with the disease, and able to create a relationship that was often completely different compared to anything their family had seen before.
“I loved the challenge of taking great care of people living with dementia and Alzheimers disease and making them feel safe,” she said.
After 20 years of being a support worker, team leader, coordinator, and administrator in the health sector, she decided she needed a change of scenery. So she became a customer support agent for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Even though she was no longer at the frontline of care delivery, she was still helping people living with a disability with the rollout of the newly released NDIS (scheme).
“I was talking to people constantly on how to navigate the scheme and how I could support them. I loved it.”
Transition to the NDIS was not straightforward. Recipients were required to negotiate their own plans, set goals and adjust to a completely new model of funding.
Then one day, Joseph Mercorella—CEO and co-founder of Lumary—gave her a call. He was developing a digital solution to make giving care to members of the disability and aged care community easier and he wanted her to join the company as an expert in the field.
“Lumary in its early stage needed someone that was committed for the long term,” he said. “This person needed to thrive in and support a fast-growing and fluid environment.”
Joseph needed someone who could proactively influence a positive team culture in-line with the company’s mission through leading by example and conducting themselves in a manner of honesty, integrity and care. Stacey ticked every single one of those boxes.
Lumary’s mission to provide ‘better wellbeing through technology’ falls in line with the philosophy of helping others that’s at the core of Stacey’s heart and soul, especially people in the disability and aged communities.
“I was hesitant at first,” said Stacey. “But I am so glad I took the plunge!”
Since joining Lumary, Stacey has been able to draw on her years of experience in the healthcare industry, becoming a valuable analyst for the software application and identifying how it can expand to improve efficiency for users.
She is essential when it comes to understanding the new rules being implemented by the NDIA for healthcare organisations and care recipients, making the complex and often confusing changes digestible to the Lumary system implementation team.
“It’s about seeking out that information and working things out with our partners [healthcare organisations] to ensure that it’s correct, and gaining information from them to be able to ensure we are building the correct product with the correct procedures that work for them.”
Stacey believes the first step to improving the industry is educating support workers to be accountable for how they practice their care, as well as educating the public on changing the language they use when talking about the people that are a part of these communities.
“It’s not the disability that is their road block, it’s the environment and perspectives created by others that’s restricting them.”
Recently, Stacey joined the sales team at Lumary, becoming an advocate not only for the disability and aged community but also demonstrating how the application will be beneficial to healthcare providers, support workers and most importantly care recipients. As a former care worker and enthusiast for participants having choice and control in their care, she understands there is a better way to achieve it.