It’s that time of year when many of us make resolutions to better ourselves, but rather than self-improvement, aged care workers are being called upon to pledge how they can make a difference to their clients.
The inaugural Change Day Australia, which takes place on 6 March, is aiming to gather 50,000 individual pledges from those interested in making improvements to Australia’s health, ageing and social welfare sectors.
Founder of Change Day Australia, Mary Freer said the campaign was based on a premise that when a lot of people come together to do one small thing each, it changes the world.
“We know people don’t start working in aged care or health or social services because they want to be millionaires. They do really it because they care about other human beings and we want people to get back in touch with that,” said Ms Freer, director of Freerthinking, a health sector consultancy firm.
Change Day was initiated in the UK last year by the country’s National Health Service, and based on its success Ms Freer is coordinating a team of 12 clinicians, health leaders and educators from around the country to run the campaign in Australia. And they want your pledge.
At the time of writing, the campaign had 584 individual pledges from a range of people including geriatricians, aged care service providers, cafeteria staff, cleaners, researchers, consultants and patients.
“As long as you have an idea of something you would like to do that would produce a better outcome for clients, residents and patients then you are absolutely welcome to come on board to make a pledge,” Ms Freer said.
“Instead of looking at whether the systems is broken or needs to be fixed, how long the queue is, or how good funding is, it is about what we can do right now to develop the best services that we can.”
For her part, Ms Freer said she had pledged to offer 20 people to attend one of her workshops on how to use large scale change in a leadership role and on Change Day she would take flowers for all the staff of a local aged care facility where she had family living.
“But my main pledge was that I would give my time for free to get Change Day off the ground and I have open heartedly and whole heartedly done that.”
Stakeholders from the health, aged and social sectors are being encouraged to visit the Change Day website, Twitter or Facebook page to make a pledge, upload a photo or video and spread the word by telling friends and colleagues. Organisations wishing to add their support should email email@example.com.