We continue our 'Meet the team' series and this time we have interviewed our Regional Industry Manager for Victoria, Tanya.
Our industry team is responsible for educating the medical community on Freedom's home care community model. Click here to read about our Activities Coordinator.
Industry Liaison Team Leader for Victoria
Describe your job?
My job is to educate the medical community about the Freedom home care community model, so people needing aged care can be aware of all the options available and make an informed decision when they are no longer able to live in their own homes.
What’s your background?
I started as a personal carer and then became a registered nurse, which I’ve been for 16 years. I’ve always worked in aged care and have spent some time teaching nursing at RMIT. I knew right from the beginning that aged care is where I wanted to be. Ever since I was a kid I always had a deep respect and interest in elderly people, I think we have so much to learn from them. Even my mother says now that aged care is where I was always meant to be!
What’s a typical day for you?
No two days are alike! I’m out and about most of the time. There are regular visits to GPs, and hospitals and rehab centres where I meet with discharge planners to educate them on the Freedom home care model and keep them up-to-date on what’s happening in our communities. Sometimes I’ll do a pre-care assessment of a potential resident at the hospital. Or I might be doing a pre-care assessment in someone’s home. There’s a lot of driving and working from the car! But I love that. I love being ‘out and about’ and being ‘hands-on.’ Sitting inside four walls all day every day is not for me.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love what I do so much. Listening to the residents' stories is so amazing. I really believe that I have the best job in the entire world. I believe 100% in Freedom home care community model and it makes me so happy to be able to educate people about this alternative. Often when we take someone on a tour of one of our communities, when it starts they are very fearful or non responsive because the idea of aged care to them if terrifying. But when they see how different a home care community it is - that they can still have their own life, they still have choices and their own home - their energy changes completely and they get excited about moving in.
Often after they move in they start re-gaining weight and interacting with people again. I remember the daughter of one resident who said to me, ‘mum won’t do any of those social things, she likes to keep to herself’ and now since moving in she’s one of the most social residents we have! It’s really rewarding to see them flourish and thrive.
What’s your motto?
When I was teaching nursing I used to tell my students that every patient in aged care was or is someone’s mother or father, daughter or son, or brother or sister and that our job as nurses is to treat them with the same love, care and respect as if they were our own mother or father. You have to have passion in this job – it’s way more than just a ‘job.’ Instilling that passion was one of the most exciting things about teaching. In my job now, I feel privileged to be able to be in the residents' lives, to listen to their stories, to let them know that they are not forgotten, that they are still valued and respected.