Sunday 7 August is Aged Care Employee Day, a day to recognise those who work in the industry, including the more than 1900 people employed with leading South Australian aged care provider ACH Group.
ACH Group CEO Frank Weits said Aged Care Employee Day is an important day not only for the sector, but 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,” he said.
“Aged Care Employee Day celebrates everyone who is involved in supporting older people who receive aged care services and recognises the incredible work they do.
“I thank all the staff at ACH Group for their care, commitment and passion.”
ACH Group will celebrate Aged Care Employee Day delivering gifts to each of its employees.
Included in the 1900 staff is Lynn Coleshill who has worked at ACH Group’s West Park Residential Care Home in Goolwa – on South Australia’s south coast - for more than 34 years, 20 years of which she has been the home’s Manager.
Lynn said supporting residents to live well and achieve their goals, receiving positive feedback from their families, and the comradery between staff are key to keeping her inspired and motivated.
One of Lynn’s favourite memories is when a resident, who had previously been in the air force, had the chance 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. There have been many residents who have blossomed when living at West Park,” she said.
West Park employees about 90 staff. Lynn thinks there are a couple of personality traits that are important for those working in aged care.
“I look for people with genuine empathy for older people and who have patience. They need to have good communication and effective listening skills and understand how to prioritise their work.”
As can be imagined, over the 34 years that Lynn has worked in aged care the sector has changed immensely.
“Time doesn’t stand still in aged care. Working as a team is vital to being able to adapt to the changes and challenges. No doubt, this year has been very challenging with COVID but the residents and staff are so resilient. Staff have great satisfaction knowing they are supporting residents, and they are doing such an amazing job.”
Lynn said West Park holds a special place in the local community.
“Residents and staff have been part of the Goolwa Christmas pageant each year. Every Christmas the residents and staff hold a toy drive and donate the toys to disadvantaged children, last year donating the presents to Goolwa Primary School to distribute. There is a dedicated group of local volunteers who give up their time to support residents and staff. West Park is part of Goolwa’s community.”