It is more important than ever to celebrate the outstanding work of all people working in the aged care sector in light of the ongoing health pandemic, aged care provider peak bodies say.
This Friday social media posts and events around the country will acknowledge the contribution and dedication of all people working in aged care as the sector marks Aged Care Employee Day.
The awareness day, which is held on 7 August annually, was launched by NSW aged care provider the Whiddon Group in 2018 to thank all aged care staff for providing care and support to older Australians (read more here).
Maree Timchur, who is in charge of resident and family liaison at Churches of Christ’s Moonah Park Aged Care Service in Mitchelton, Queensland, is among more than 350,000 aged care workers nationally.
In her role, Ms Timchur is responsible for connecting residents with their families and loved ones through video conferencing, phone calls and face-to-face visits.
“I have a new found appreciation for aged care. I’m a people person, and it’s been great to interact with everyone and listening to resident stories,” Ms Timchur said.
“It gives me purpose to be here. I teach residents how to use iPads, download games, and just talk to them. It’s more than a 9 to 5 job for me.”
Leading Age Services Australia CEO Sean Rooney said while COVID-19 has brought many challenges to the aged care sector, staff have shown their ongoing commitment.
“Many staff are regarded as heroes and so many are quiet achievers – but everyone is courageous and brave at this time, as they work for the welfare of older Australians,” Mr Rooney told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“It is their devotion and compassion in what are often challenging but also very rewarding roles that makes a huge difference in the lives of older Australians,” he said.
LASA has united with fellow peak bodies Aged and Community Services Australia, Aged Care Guild, Catholic Health Australia, Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia and UnitingCare Australia to celebrate aged care workers.
ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow called on the whole community to thank aged care workers, all of whom care very deeply.
“They are doing fabulous and heroic work on the frontline of the most challenging period in our lifetimes,” Ms Sparrow said.
The peaks commended aged care staff for their invaluable contribution, professionalism and putting themselves on the frontline.
“They truly are our national treasures and everyday heroes making a difference,” said Claerwen Little, national director of UnitingCare Australia.
Aged care providers and individuals are encouraged to post videos, stories and photographs on social media to recognise aged care employees, using the hashtag #AECD2020.
Visit the Aged Care Employee Day website here.