Ten years ago I stepped into the aged care workforce as a personal care worker; I was studying occupational therapy (OT) at University at the time and wanted more experience in the health care sector. Whilst I knew I would love being a personal carer, I was pretty certain at the time that a career in aged care as an OT probably wasn’t for me; how so WRONG was I!
After a while of working as a personal carer, I started to develop a deeper love for aged care work and in some way addicted to the feeling that came with helping vulnerable older people who were living with the challenges that come with ageing. I loved seeing a smile on their faces and being part of the reason why!
After some time working as a carer, I started to see gaps in the system and in-particularly, a lack of understanding around dementia care. I noticed that ongoing dementia training and support was not offered as regularly as it needed to be to provide HIGH quality care and support. Dementia is a very complex condition and as a carer there were many situations whereby I didn't feel adequately educated and supported to be able to provide the care people living with dementia deserve; I quickly learnt that many of my colleagues were in the same boat!
I strongly feel that like us younger people, older adults and in-particularly those with dementia, have the right, and need, to continue to live a positive and purposeful life up until their final breath. I want to help change society’s perception of ageing and dementia, and do my best to support older people to live the life they want and deserve, even when they experience hurdles along the way.
I believe that a huge part of the equation in helping older people achieve their best quality of life, is the carers, family members and support people around them. I believe that to provide good quality dementia care, caregivers need to not only have access to proper up-tp-date education, but also have access to ongoing support; caring for someone with dementia is an incredibly tough gig. I want to support carers by helping them develop the practical tools and knowledge to feel confident and supported in their caring role.
Ageing doesn’t have to be something that we dread; I truly believe that some of our best years are still ahead and I want to be able to support older people and their caregivers to be able to continue to see that.
I am only a phone call away and always happy to chat over the phone to see if there is anything that I can support you, your client, or your family with!
Holistic Occupational Therapy