Sometimes, at work, the most important thing is what you know. Sometimes, it’s what sort of person you are. Working at Ashley Aged care in Reservoir, Emma Maher has discovered that she has exactly the right temperament and personal qualities that make her a brilliant aged care volunteer.
“Emma is caring, kind-hearted, willing and she has the most wonderful smile,” says Shenay, Emma’s supervisor. “The residents and the staff have really warmed to her.”
The same sentiment is echoed by other staff members who have had close contact with Emma over the last 15 weeks of her volunteer work. “The residents love having her here and her youth is a big asset. They look at her and see their own granddaughters,” they say.
While many students in the Y Challenge class initially lacked the confidence to hit the ground running, Emma just jumped right in and was rewarded with an immediate placement.
What does Emma do? Well, it’s quite a list. Of course there is sometimes a bit of cleaning, but once the staff realised how capable she was, they soon gave her more challenging responsibilities. Emma runs the Bingo and word games. She takes arts and crafts sessions. She takes the residents for walks beyond the facility. She has helped with cooking lessons, assisting the residents in making some lovely chocolate truffles. She has also helped with the beauty treatments. She serves refreshments during happy hour as residents sink into the big comfy chairs and watch movies on the big screen.
Emma is given options by her supervisors and the great thing about her is that she is willing to challenge herself and is also clever enough to ask for help or guidance when things get tricky.
While many Y Challenge supervisors have taken an interest in the WRSC volunteers and asked them about their future plans, supervisor Shenay has taken this interest a stage further. Discovering that Emma has an interest in gaining qualifications in Aged Care and making a career of it, Shenay has taken the time to talk about her own career path through FYI Training in Epping.
The certificate in Aged Care Lifestyle can be undertaken as an evening course over six months, allowing the students to take paid work during the day to support themselves. Emma’s eyes light up with plans as she listens to Shenay. What an incredible success this placement was!
– Report by Lillian Leptos