After another tough year dealing with COVID-19, Aged Care Employee Day is the perfect time for care workers to get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
This Sunday, August 7, is a time for the industry and the wider community to tell aged care workers “thanks for caring”.
Providers, residents, home care recipients and families will be expressing their thanks through a range of events over the day, including morning teas and barbecues.
With Aged Care Employee Day entering its fourth year, the Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul Sadler, said this is an important day for aged care staff that “often [go] above and beyond the call of duty” – especially over the pandemic.
“Aged care workers have faced the most challenging of conditions during this pandemic and were tested to their limits with the COVID-19 Omicron wave over summer. Many lived on-site to continue providing essential care to their loved older residents while colleagues were struck down with COVID or forced to isolate.
“We want residents and clients, their families and friends, to join us in saying ‘thank you for a job well done’ and recognising the hard work of aged care staff in caring for our loved ones.”
Some aged care providers are already showing their support and appreciation for their dedicated workforce.
Carinity is acknowledging and celebrating its staff for Aged Care Employee Day by highlighting some of its most dedicated employees, like Lifestyle Coordinator Breda Brennan and Clinical Nurse Consultant Aleena Baby.
Ms Brennan, who works at Carinity Home Care Rockhampton, was inspired to work with older people after helping and learning from her grandparents.
“It takes a very special person to work in aged care to gain the trust of some of our most vulnerable and walk the journey with them. Some of us have been lucky enough to care for our clients during their final days and that gives you great pride in the roles that we do.
“I love being able to have a chat with clients and try and brighten their day a little. For some of our clients, I may be the only person they speak to in that week. It makes my day when I get off the phone and the client says that they are feeling so much better.”
Ms Baby was inspired to become a Registered Nurse (RN) in aged care because of the biggest role model in her life – her mother.
Ms Baby explained that her role as a RN has been incredibly rewarding and challenging.
“I very much enjoy talking with the residents and when I see a smile on their faces,” said Ms Baby.
Heidi Dowse, Executive Manager of Carinity Aged Care, said staff have been incredibly selfless while providing care to older Australians.
“Our professional, compassionate and diligent staff have continued their fantastic care for our residents during a very difficult time, going above and beyond to deliver the best of care for these seniors,” said Ms Dowse.
“I thank them for their exemplary commitment to support some of their community’s most vulnerable people, while helping them to live with purpose every day.”
Chief Executive Officer of ACH Group, Frank Weits, thanked the more than 1,900 people working for the South Australian based provider.
Mr Weits said that Aged Care Employee Day isn’t only for the sector to recognise the hard work of the aged care workforce, but also the wider community.
“Almost every Australian will cross paths with aged care services within their lifetime and therefore many will meet, or be cared for, by the passionate people in the sector,” said Mr Weits.
ACH is recognising its staff by providing each of its employees with a gift to say #thanksforcaring.
The organisation has also recognised a long-standing aged care worker of 34 years, for 20 years of which she was Manager of the ACH Group West Park Residential Care Home in Goolwa, Lynn Coleshill.
Ms Coleshill said supporting residents to achieve their goals and live well, as well as the mateship with her fellow workers, has kept her inspired and motivated within the industry for the last three decades and more.
One of her fondest memories of working in aged care was when she supported a resident who was a former airforce serviceman to go flying again.
“Caring for residents requires a holistic approach, it’s about providing clinical care but also looking at their individual wellbeing needs and supporting the residents to remain socially, physically, and mentally active,” Ms Coleshill said.
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