Good News Story: What it means to provide the care older Australian’s deserve

Jan and Sue sit down for this Good News Story to discuss what it’s like when organisations have the opportunity to provide the level of care their residents deserve. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

Jan: What’s it’s all about is not about necessarily just individual people.

Sue: No.

Jan: It’s about a change in general, where you’re looking at people who don’t understand and you watch the light bulbs go off in their brain and you see it

Sue: Oh yeah.

Jan: And it’s . . .

Sue: And they do go off.

Jan: They do. You can almost see this boom, you know. And you talk to them and when you get there with them and you have different residents, residents who at one stage will not admit they’ve got pain.

Sue: Yeah.

Jan: You’ve got residents who will not admit that they need some help. And you sit there with them and you talk to them and they say, “Oh no, darling, the nurses are too busy. They’re too busy to do that. They’ve got enough to do.”

But then you talk to them and you say, “But this is what we’re here, this is why we’re here. We’re here to help you. We want to make something better for you.”

So by doing that, we go in-depth into assessments, and we find out. We see those little deficits that they’ve got, which may not mean much to most people. But for someone who is older, the difference is phenomenal. Just going in to do something little for these people may not increase their life span, may not bring their kids in to visit them anymore. It may not have that. But it has for them that extra little thing that goes from “I’m in a nursing home. I’m waiting for God,” to “I love this place. This is where I want to be. I don’t want to leave here. I get great care. I get people who look after me, people who care about me.” And so many people you hear, “This is my family,” isn’t it?

Sue: Yeah, yeah. But they’re from . . .

Jan: “These are my people. They’re me. They’re my family.”

Sue: They’re from a generation that’s very stoic.

Jan: Exactly.

Sue: They don’t want to be a bother to anybody. They don’t feel that they deserve . . .

Jan: That’s right.

Sue: . . . the care that we have to provide to them, and they really don’t want to be a bother, and they don’t complain.

Jan: Yeah.

Sue: And yet you can see from day to day . . .

Jan: Yeah, that the look on their faces, their . . .

Sue: Yeah. They struggle to do things day to day.

Jan: That’s right. And it’s the little things.

Sue: Yeah.

Jan: Those tiny little things like, “How about we just give your back a wash? That nice soothing massage on that knee of yours that has got that pain? How about a little bit of a heat pad? How about we just give you a little bit of Panadol?”

Sue: Yep, that works.

Jan: And that can make someone who is pretty well depressed, is lying there thinking, “This is it. This is my life. I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m here. I’m waiting for God.” To being, “Do you know what? There is something out there that makes me feel good.” And that’s what makes this job more worthwhile than anything else we do. It’s a lot.

Sue: The difference is they wake up and they think, “I’m still here. Why am I still here?”

Jan: Exactly.

Sue: And then you put the interventions into place.

Jan: And it works.

Sue: And they wake up and say, “Thank God I’m still here.”

Jan: Yes.

Sue: Yes.

Jan: That’s it. That’s exactly it.

Sue: Absolutely. The attitude.

Jan: From being, “Why am I here?” to “Thank you, I’m still here.”

Sue: “Thank God I’m still here.”

Jan: And that’s a huge, big difference in people’s lives.

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