Research tells us the majority of Australians would rather receive support or care in their own home than in a facility. As the population continues to age, and with the expansion of the NDIS, this will create increasing demand for home care services such as Nurse Next Door.
Nurse Next Door aims to help older people, and people living with disabilities, to stay at home as long as possible by injecting fun into their everyday care. The care is personalised and, rather than simply taking care of the essentials, is built around the hobbies and interests of clients to support both independence and joy.
It was this commitment to improving people’s lives that first attracted Lauren Macdonald and Glen Parsons to the brand.
Lauren had worked for a brief period in residential aged care and she was keen to continue in a similar field that was less task-based and more focused on the people. She had also learned about the value of home care from her experiences with her grandmother, who passed away at home at the age of 95.
“I really admired how caregivers and nurses took care of her in a way that promoted her independence,” Lauren says. “I saw how support could be tailored, and how she could still have choices. I wanted to be part of that.”
For Glen, who previously worked in Human Resources and Management, it was all about his love of helping people.
“I feel really passionate about inclusion, particularly for people with disabilities,” he says. “I saw Nurse Next Door as a great opportunity to create a real sense of community and inclusivity.”
It was also an opportunity for them to work together.
“We share the same passions, we’re like-minded and we really enjoyed working together in the past,” Glen says. “Now we have the perk of spending more quality time with each other.”
Finding the Right Business
Once Lauren and Glen’s had decided on the type of business they’d like to run, they considered a number of alternatives. From the start, Nurse Next Door’s brand image caught their eye.
“The bright pink suggested a really fresh approach to the market,” Glen says.
Naturally, they wanted to invest in a business with the potential for sustainable growth. They were reassured that, while the brand is relatively new to Australia, it has been operating successfully for over 20 years in Canada. After doing their due diligence, they were confident that Nurse Next Door was the right choice.
The training was particularly important for Lauren.
“I’d been out of the workforce for eight years while the children were young and didn’t even know how to use a computer,” she says. “Following our three-month Foundations Training we had a five-day Immersions Week training session at HeartQuarters in Melbourne. I had all the help I needed with getting my head around the systems. After that, if I had any questions, Amber and Matt were always there to help.”
Amber Biesse and Matt Fitton are the founders and Master Franchisors of Nurse Next Door in Australia – and Lauren describes them as ‘too good to be true’.
“They were running territories themselves and knew what was needed to get started and build the momentum,” she says. “Their genuine commitment to continuous support and improvement is a big plus for the system.”
A Balanced Lifestyle
Lauren and Glen’s franchise is based on the Gold Coast, serving the population from Broadbeach to Tweed Heads and through the Northern Rivers of NSW to Lismore, including Springbrook and the surrounding areas.
“Even though we’re running a pretty big business we have more time with our family,” Glen says. “I drop my son off to school now, and we can both be there when they need us, and for those important moments in their lives.”
They also appreciate the opportunity for growth.
“When you’re working as an employee you can only make so much money,” Glen says. “Nurse Next Door gives us the potential to grow our business as much as we want. The work can be hard but it’s financially rewarding and, more importantly, it’s always fulfilling.”