In celebration of Aged Care Employee day on August 7, each day this week we're sharing the stories of some of our incredible staff.
Today, we’re meeting Martin Bleesing. Martin’s role as a Client Concierge makes him the first point of contact for anybody looking to access or upgrade their package with Community Gateway.
What is your role at CG?
I’ve been with Community Gateway for about 18-months now, but my current role at Community Gateway is a new one – Client Concierge. I’m the first point of contact for anybody looking to get a new Home Care Package or upgrade their current one with Community Gateway. I point them in the right direction and allow them to discover what we can offer them, the services we provide, the social support options. I give them a bit of insight into what a Home Care package looks like and how it can support them in their journey.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me involves a lot of emails and phone calls. If anything relates to my clients, I make sure there’s transparency for them. I always call them, even if I’m too busy, just to let them know when they can expect to hear from me. I think communication is the most important thing for our clients and I like to make them feel informed so they’re not left in the lurch.
What do you love most about your job?
The thing I love most about my job is talking to our clients and building rapport with them. Having conversations with them on how we can best support them.
I’m close to the same age as a lot of our clients so often find so much similarity with them.
What makes Community Gateway different?
I do my best to assure our clients that [Community Gateway] are not only going to provide the support they want, but also the support they need to promote their ongoing independence, goals and healthcare needs. It’s not our place to go in and tell that person what they are capable of doing, it’s to assist them with those things that they can’t do or need help doing and work with the things they can.
What type of person do you need to be to work in Aged Care?
I think you have to be understanding, nurturing and have good communication skills and the ability to build rapport with people. While trying to understand someone’s healthcare needs, we might end up having a conversation about their dog or grandchildren. I think people find it really important to realise that the person they are speaking to actually cares.
What does Aged Care mean to you?
Aged Care to me is the time of a person’s life, where they need to be supported in whatever journey/direction they choose – it could be in a facility like a nursing home, or staying in their own home. Aged Care is, overall, the ability to live as independently as you’d like to, for as long as possible.
Do you think Aged Care employees receive enough recognition?
There’s definitely not enough recognition for the good things that Aged Care Employees do. Aged Care workers don’t just go in and clean people’s home or provide personal care. They are giving that person dignity and choice by asking how they like to be towel dried or how they would like the domestic assistance done. They provide mental stimulation by chatting to the person while hanging out the washing. They’re keeping them company and even educating them while they do meal preparation. They are so much more than what they get given credit for and Aged Care Employee Day is a great step forward in recognising that.