When Paul Masterman decided he wanted to work in the aged care industry, all he needed was the perfect opportunity.
A clinical psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in public hospitals and private practice, the Tweeds Head local is no stranger to caring for people’s health and wellbeing.
But as he journeyed with his own parents and their health issues, Paul realised that aged care was a growing area of need. “Dementia became an area of interest of me from a psychological perspective – looking at how things change, the relationships that are impacted and how people adjust,” he says. “I decided I wanted to move into aged care and work more intensively in that area, but there’s limited opportunities for that in psychology – especially in a residential setting.”
The perfect opportunity
Paul developed a passion for helping the senior community living on NSW’s far north coast – an area he has long called home – but he lacked the right opportunity. “Friends of mine, who were involved in large franchise businesses, suggested I look at the Franchise Council of Australia. That’s how I found Home Caring,” he says.
“They offered an opportunity to do a 50/50 joint venture, which a lot of companies don’t offer. That’s what attracted me to open my own home caring business.”
At the end of 2018, Paul took the exciting step of becoming Home Caring’s second franchisee by offering home care services to seniors and people living with disability in Ballina and Tweed Heads. Helping others drove him to succeed, as well as a belief that at home care and disability services are the best way to promote empowerment and dignity.
“There was a fair amount of excitement and apprehension around starting up a new business, but I had lots of support from the team. The model was well fleshed out, and I enjoyed the challenge of a new learning curve,” says Paul.
“Overall, it’s been a positive experience to take the time and do it this way. Connecting into the care community has also been great.”
The rewards of running your own business
Today Paul enjoys working his own hours in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, surrounded by beaches, organic farms and a strong local culture of health and wellbeing. Running his own business has given him time to spend with his family and dogs (as well as play gigs on the Sunshine Coast as a professional musician!)
But Paul hasn’t left his passion for mental health behind. One of his specialties at Home Caring is helping people who live with chronic or persistent pain, using research into the role our nervous system plays in managing long-term pain, creating positive change and improving quality of life.
Paul also still sees individual clients, sometimes travelling hundreds of kilometres a day to from Southport in Queensland to Ballina in New South Wales. “Although I see them in a case management role, I still offer 25 years of working experience in psychology,” says Paul. “People raise certain issues, and I find I can provide some pretty informed advice about how to manage those particular issues, or I can work with the support coordinators and point people in the right direction.”
Partnering with Home Caring has also opened Paul up to fresh challenges. He enjoys managing his own team and employs people from the local community based on their character – carers who are “down to earth, who get along with people while maintaining a professional attitude.”
“There are moments where you’ll call a client and they’ll say we’re so lucky to have Callum coming around, or they’ll say, ‘it’s so good to be getting out in the community, I haven’t done it in six months,’” says Paul.
“As long as what we’re doing adds value and they’re getting the service that they want, we’re happy. A favourite part of the job is having the client come back and say their experience was a good one, that they’re getting the help they want. That’s what it’s all about.”