We recently interviewed our Activities Coordinator from Freedom Aged Care Banora Point to provide some insight on the type of support our residents receive to ensure they are living their lives to the fullest each and every day.
Activities Coordinator, Freedom Aged Care Banora Point, NSW
Describe your job?
As the Activities Coordinator for Freedom Aged Care Banora Point I plan a daily calendar of activities and outings for residents. It’s really varied every day. We do all sorts of things like word games and quizzes, and happy hour every day, mixed in with regular outings for morning tea or lunch, and other outings like assisted shopping. And then we have the bigger special events like 60s casino night, which we had recently and everyone loved. They got all dressed up like it was a night out. We’re going to do another casino night again soon because they had so much fun.
What’s your background?
I started my career as a hairdresser but have been working on and off in the aged care sector for many years in a number of different roles – including running a hair salon at an aged care community. For the last 7 years I’ve been working in the lifestyle area. It’s my job to give residents something to look forward to and to help them connect with each other through social activities, and to help them get back out into the world again. I’m pretty passionate about what I do. It’s more than just a ‘job’ for me.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing the smile on the residents’ faces and the laughter and enjoyment that comes from doing something fun and connecting with other people. You become very close to the residents in this job because you spend so much time together. They trust you and they sometimes confide in you and it’s my job to listen, to reassure them and help them to talk things through. You laugh with them and sometimes you even cry with them. They become part of your family. I love being part of their life. It’s very rewarding.
What’s one of the most rewarding things about your job?
Part of what I do is help people build up their confidence again to help them get back out there in the world when we go on outings. Some residents resist at first because they’ve lost confidence, particularly if there are mobility issues, but when you reassure them that you’ll be there every step of the way and they give it a go and love it, you can just see their spirit soar. Being able make a difference in their life like this is very fulfilling and rewarding.
What are some of the most memorable moments of your career in aged care so far?
Ooh, that’s a hard one because there are just so many and they happen on a daily basis! Every day things happen that are special to me – I might have a resident or their family send me a thank you note saying ‘thank you for being who you are’ and that’s very touching. Or it might be something as simple as taking an ice-cream to one of our high-care residents and eating the ice-cream triggers a memory in them about their childhood and you can see it warm their heart. All of these simple little things add up to become very meaningful.