Aged Care Day is this Saturday, August 7. In celebration, we’re meeting humans of Community Gateway who make a difference in the lives of older Australians every day.
Aimee Raikes is one such person. She has worked with Community Gateway for two years and recently took on the role of Mentor, “It’s so important to be respectful and listen. Find out what that person really wants, be courteous of that and let them know that we are there to support them. Our job is to help and make sure they have someone they can call on and trust.”
What is your role at Community Gateway?
When I first started at Community Gateway in Wellbeing, I was doing home visits, support work and providing domestic assistance. For the last year I’ve been running Programs from the Wollongong Hub and recently I took on the role of Mentor.
What does a Mentor do exactly?
I basically work one-on-one with clients with a focus on their individual goals. For example, if someone wanted to learn how to use an iPad, we would work out what things they need to achieve that goal and continue to work with them to do so.
What attracted you to Aged Care and why do you love it?
I just love being around people and having the ability to help them. The best part of my job is being around our clients and making them laugh.
Why do you think it’s important to make your clients laugh?
I’m aware that not everyone has family around them and many people can be quite alone. Making people happy can really brighten their day and help them forget about the struggles they are dealing with. If I can do that for one person during the time we spend together, it’s one more person smiling in the world.
What is the most important thing to know when we care for older Australians?
It’s so important to be respectful and listen. Find out what that person really wants, be courteous of that and let them know that we are there to support them. Our job is to help and make sure they have someone they can call on and trust.
What does Aged Care Employee Day mean to you?
It’s a nice thing to be recognised and thanked for the work you do. We don’t generally hear it enough in our line of work so I think we could definitely hear that more often. Even if a client asks for you personally – that’s a lovely thing to hear and makes you feel appreciated in some way.
What do you think we could do better to care for our older Australians?
I think the most important thing is good communication, especially if someone isn’t happy with the service they are receiving. I’d always encourage them to talk to the provider, let them know what’s going wrong and the things that could be improved. We won’t get better without that feedback and understanding from both sides.