Our CAREGivers

A tradition of great CAREGiving

Caring. Compassionate. Capable. Reliable. Dependable. Professional. Trusted. Our CAREGivers are all of these things and more.

At Home Instead Senior Care we employ, train and develop people to become outstanding CAREGivers. The heart and soul of our business, our CAREGivers are local residents of Brisbane's Southern Suburbs & Ipswich, many of whom have cared for an older loved one themselves and have developed a genuine passion and interest in older people. Our CAREGivers are fully insured and undergo an intensive three phase interview process, including no less than six reference checks and a criminal background check.

Our training

Home Instead's exclusive multi-phase training programs equip each new CAREGiver with the skills they need to provide the best care for their clients. These training programs have been specifically created to ensure our employees are well prepared to handle any CAREGiving situation. Our training also provides a pathway for all CAREGivers to obtain a Certificate III in Individual Support. Training topics include effective communication with seniors, activity planning, recognising illnesses and depression, safety, and more.

In 2008, Home Instead Senior Care became the first private provider of home care services to establish a specialist dementia care training program delivered exclusively to its own CAREGivers, which complements other professionally developed in-house training programs provided by Home Instead Senior Care. This particular program allows CAREGivers to:

  • Maintain a safe environment for your loved one.
  • Manage changing behaviours.
  • Provide nutritious meals.
  • Provide effective mind-stimulating activities.
  • Create social interaction.
  • Supervise daily activities, and more.

Learn more about Home Instead's dementia care services.

Relationships first 

Home Instead Senior Care is built on relationships. Relationships come first, and the personal connection between our CAREGivers and our clients is of the utmost importance. We personally match each client with the right CAREGivers to help develop a bond that will foster independence, promote wellbeing and support the senior’s needs with respect, dignity and companionship. The training provided to our CAREGivers, combined with our regular meetings and training program updates, ensures that your loved one will be safe in the hands of a trusted and compassionate professional throughout their service — setting your mind at ease. 


Home Instead CAREGiver since July 2009
GRAD III & Certificate III - Dementia Care Specialist
2012 National CAREGiver of the Year

Deb is a multi-award winning CAREGiver who not only took out the Brisbane South Central CAREGiver of the year award but then went on to win the Home Instead Senior Care National CAREGiver of the Year award for 2012. Deb was also recognised as a finalist in the LASA-Q Excellence In Care Awards 2012.

Deb comes from a close knit family, has five siblings who all get on famously. She is married, the proud mother of two sons and a daughter and has recently become a grandmother. Before working for Home Instead Senior Care Deb did a range of jobs that fitted in with raising her family and helping out in the family business.

Deb got her first experiences of providing care to older people when she assisted with the care of her own mother for many years and is assisting with the care of her father even though he is in a residential care facility.

Deb's highly infectious fun outlook towards life helps our clients find the positives in their daily lives. Living firmly by her motto that 'a smile costs less than a frown' she uses her great sense of humour as a way to break down barriers. Deb feels that the older generation have a very grateful, undemanding way about them and loves to get our clients to share their life stories.

Not afraid of hard work, there is never a job too demanding for Deb and with her highly observant nature she quickly picks up on clients likes and dislikes ensuring they always receive a very high level of personalised care.


Home Instead CAREGiver since January 2008
GRAD III & Certificate III - Dementia Care Specialist
2011 CAREGiver of the Year

Thelma has had a life dedicated to the care of others. As a mother of five children and a grandmother of 17 grandchildren it is easy to understand that family is core to Thelma’s life.

Thelma is a retired RN and thoroughly enjoyed her nursing career before deciding to retire. Having been retired for nine years she was getting restless and thought it would be great to get back into a flexible work situation. One of her daughters spotted our advertisement in the local newspaper and felt the role as a CAREGiver would suit her mother. Thelma decided to apply and the rest as they say is history!

Thelma embraced the new challenge and has completed all the training that has been offered to her, making her one of our highest qualified CAREGivers.
Never short of a humorous anecdote, time spent with Thelma is always fun. There are many different tools that she uses to help her clients enjoy their time with her; she particularly loves the use of music as a way of taking her clients back to their younger years. Thelma finds that music really assists her clients revive old memories that lead them into reminiscing. Thelma also loves to help her clients create life journals or scrapbooks that keep connections to their past available for their families. 

In her role as a CAREGiver she was able to have the work flexibility that allows her to maintain her passion for travel with regular visits to friends in the USA.

In Thelma’s own words she considers her age and life experiences are two of her greatest assets. She finds that since there is often not much difference in the age of the client and herself, she is able to relate to them and create a rapport so she will have a better understanding of their situation and outlook. 

Thelma was the deserved winner of our CAREGiver of The Year 2011.

Thelma maintains that these are the best years of her life and that her role as a Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver plays a big part in this – she continues her career with us by providing after-hours phone support to clients and CAREGivers on weekends.

Marguerita Smallhorn

CAREGiver of the Year 2015

Marguerita was born in Brisbane, Qld, is mother to four, two married and two still at home.  Her introduction into the working world was in commercial studies and business machines, when typewriters and adding machines were the ‘latest inventions for the office’. She then trained as a Dental Nurse and worked in private practice until married and then spent time at home raising her family.

After raising her family, Marguerita was employed by the Qld Govt as a Home Care worker. This role was rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable, but unfortunately, due to restructuring the department became obsolete. Lucky for Home Instead though, as Marguerita found us and has been a dedicated employee and continues to shine as a star player. “I love working with older people, listening and learning about their lives and experiences. I enjoy assisting them to live and laugh and not just exist! I love spending time with my own Mum, who is as sharp as a tack, and although I don’t have many hobbies; I enjoy cooking, baking, art and music. I try to bring a little bit of all of these personal interests into a day’s work, as this is just a ‘normal day’ for me, but can be difficult for an older person.  This is why I love my job and I will continue to be a CAREGiver for Home Instead.”

Marguerita is especially skilled when working with clients with Dementia and high needs; she is patient, intuitive, understanding and very calm. She is highly sought after by clients that may have seen her once or twice and have ‘clicked’ with her. 

Kyle Brigg

CAREGiver of the Quarter May 2015
Cert IV in Aged Care

Kyle Brigg started in the Aged Care industry in 2005, as a cleaner in a Seniors Hostel.  Through watching and learning, he slowly moved into a caring role. Kyle was soon qualified with a Cert III in Aged Care and this year moved on to accept his Cert IV in Aged Care.

Kyle has worked for Home Instead since 2012. His eagerness to learn and desire to provide excellent care to clients’ shows in the glowing feedback we receive. Kyle believes that “Every cloud has a silver lining and I will strive to be that silver glint in a client’s dark cloud of circumstance”. He loves being a substitute for what is lost; a father, a brother, a son, or even a wife or daughter at times. This work has kept him feeling young, strong and capable.   Kyle says “Life is not fair, but I am doing my best to even up the odds.”

Finally, this type of work gives Kyle a sense of family, which is something he had been unfamiliar with. He also enjoys the relationships he has with his clients and appreciates that friendships can develop, despite the generation gap.

Kyle builds these relationships with clients; and they last and last, he has been requested to work with clients after having been observed in action by another family, who also needed care for a loved one.

Kyle is a great Ambassador for Home Instead, he brings courage, talent and humor to the role of CAREGiver.