When Cruz Calero-Mena moved with his family from Sydney to the Central Coast, he had no plans to put his feet up and cruise into retirement.
Instead, the father-of-three had a plan and a vision. Having worked in the caring industry for over 20 years, he was committed to helping people on the Central Coast – in particular, seniors and those living with a disability – get access to the best home care available.
“Home caring is my passion,” says Cruz. “I wanted to work in the community because I felt that clients weren’t always getting the care that they were supposed to receive. I really want to change that.”
Cruz is certainly no stranger to helping people in need. Formerly a support worker, he has spent most of his career working in the aged care and disability sector in Sydney, and has a Bachelor in Community Services and a Master in International Health Management.
After relocating to the Central Coast with his wife and kids, Cruz started looking for an opportunity to better support people in their own homes, using his expertise and many years of on-the-ground experience. This led him to knock on Home Caring’s door as a potential franchisee. The opportunity to partner with the Home Caring brand was a perfect match for Cruz’ passion for delivering excellent home care. He opened Home Caring Central Coast at the end of November, 2019, and hasn’t looked back since.
“I believe Home Caring’s approach to person-centred care is what attracted me,” says Cruz. “It’s a big part of how we can provide such good services to our clients. The brand is made for this type of support in the community, for both NDIS and home care package participants.”
With the support of his wife, Cruz has built a dedicated team of support workers who are not only as passionate as he is about providing great care, but flexible in meeting their client’s needs. “My experience has taught me what kind of carers to hire, and what it actually looks like to provide person-centred care,” says Cruz.
“For example, one of our clients was struggling with domestic cleaning and personal care. The wife was doing everything – on top of trying to give a bath and shower to the husband – but she was struggling. They lived alone and didn’t have relatives or anyone who could offer support. We helped them all the way, from applying for a home care package with the government, through to getting the services they needed.
This process took around six months, and it was worth it. Whenever I go to visit them, they are so pleased that we were able to help them. Our carers always go the extra mile to make sure the client is getting the support they need. When they see something, they’ll always address it. They’re very attentive,” he says.
Raising awareness about home care and the NDIS
One of the biggest things that motivates Cruz and the team at Central Coast Home Caring is the need for more awareness about government funding and what is available to those in need.
As a proud local, Cruz loves living on the Central Coast, hanging out with his kids at the beach and coaching soccer in his spare time (he is also a fitness instructor and sports trainer!). But he also believes there is a lack of understanding about government packages and NDIS funding in his community – and he wants to change that.
“I love the Central Coast; people are easy going, laid back and very open minded, but sometimes they are not aware of what is there for them. They might struggle because they lack support and don’t know what they are entitled to when it comes to home care,” says Cruz.
“That’s where we come in. We go in and explain what they’re entitled to. If they don’t understand how the system works, we explain it to them. It’s a challenge sometimes but it’s well worth it – so that everyone gets the quality of home care they need to live at home.”
As an approved NDIS and home care package provider, Home Caring Central Coast provides high quality, professional home care services to people living in the Central Coast community. Our team of highly qualified support workers is dedicated to providing ‘person-first’ care that is all about the client. Putting people before tasks, we go the extra mile and do everything with compassion, attentiveness and a commitment to excellence.
To find out how we can support you to live independently in your own home, please get in touch.