Blue Care recognises loyal staff

The Queensland group paid tribute to 60 staff for 20 years or more of service, including the remarkable Joan Donald.

Before retiring earlier this year, Joan Donald worked for Blue Care for 32 years straight.

Joan Donald was one of 60 long serving Blue Care staff who received an award at a recognition night in Brisbane for 20 years or more of service.

After a short stint with the Blue Nursing Service in the 1950s, the 78-year-old worked with Blue Care for 32 years before retiring from Ipswich’s Nowlanvil Aged Care Facility in June.

Ms Donald said she had seen a lot of changes in aged care since she began working for Blue Care in the early 1980s.

“Back then, they thought that they would need more hostel accommodation than nursing homes,” she said.

“But then as time went on, in the hostel we were getting people with high care needs. In the latter years, 90 per cent of the people in the hostel were requiring help with showering and assistance with medications.

“The government has been encouraging people to stay in their own homes, so when people come in now, they are really needing high care.”

During her time at Nowlanvil, Ms Donald organised parties and baked ginger bread for residents’ birthdays.

One of her biggest highlights was helping to organise a wedding for two low care residents who found love in later life.

“He bought her a beautiful ring that cost who knows what and then she lost the ring,” said Ms Donald.

“We went through every nook and cranny in the place looking for the ring until someone suggested that it might be in the lining of her reclining chair – and there it was.

“She was crying and he was upset – but anyhow the lost was found.”

All 52 low care residents helped the happy couple celebrate the occasion in what Ms Donald described as a great success.

Blue Care’s acting executive director, Robyn Batten, congratulated Ms Donald and her 59 colleagues for their contribution to the organisation.

“These extraordinary individuals come from across the state, working in a variety of roles including cooks, maintenance workers, managers, personal carers and nurses,” Ms Batten said.

“Staff recognition night is about recognising, not only the work they do, but the spirit and manner in which they contribute to the health and wellbeing of frail aged and vulnerable Australians every day.”

Tags: awards, blue-care, recognition, retention, staff,

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