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A privilege, not just a job

13th December 2019

After working in aged care throughout her 20’s, Community Coordinator Jade Cook shares what it takes to work in the industry and what keeps bringing her back.

Jade was first introduced to the sector in her teens where she volunteered at the facility her Grandma lived.

With a strong love for family and positive relationships, this role quickly became a paid role and by the age of 20, she was working full time creating social activities and engagement activities for residents in need of care.

“Although a lot of my friends were pursuing careers in business and marketing, a career in aged care sat well with me.”

While aged care can be taxing working long hours and often managing complicated cases, Jade maintains the energy and gratitude for her work she started out with.

“Every resident within our home has lived diverse lives that are full of memories and stories to tell. I’ve learnt a great deal from residents I’ve worked with and feel very lucky to have been involved at important moments of their lives.”

Every person should have access to quality care

Aged care is often not front of mind for people but incredibly important when it is.

“Every person in Australia should have access to the best possible care when it’s needed most. In aged care, we often have the privilege to provide people with care experience that is personable, homely and tailored to their individual needs. And it’s been an honour to do so.”

Reflecting on her time in the sector, Jade is adamant she’s gained far more positive memories than she would have in many other industries.

“I have some friendships with residents from when I first started out 11 years ago. Some of whom I check in on daily basis. We’ve built our relationship over 10 years and created some pretty wonderful connections.

Meaningful experiences

“A few years back, one of our residents wished to marry her partner of 20 years while she was in our care and at a critical time for her, we were able to make that happen.”

One week before the resident passed away from cancer, Jade and her team arranged for the ceremony at Benatas aged care facility, Colton Close, in Melbourne.

“We sent invites on her behalf to some fifty family and friends, and with the assistance of people across her care team, volunteers and local community, we were able to arrange her dress, suit, flowers and celebrant for the day, and set the room up just like a wedding reception.”

“It’s these wonderful experiences that make my job so precious.”

Not-for-profit is paramount

“When it comes to aged care and these experiences for residents, I think it’s important that the services are not-for-profit and serving people’s needs remain the heart of the organisation.”

“It’s been great to be part of an organisation that works towards creating a home for residents and a welcoming environment for us as carers.”

“Yes, it can be stressful, busy and part of the job is mourning those who pass. But receiving a smile from a resident can be the best part of your day.

“It’s about taking the time to get to know those you care for and hearing their stories, because it’s these relationships that enriches our work and gets you through the tough times.”

Jade works as Community Coordinator at residential aged care facility Benetas Colton Close in Glenroy, Melbourne.