“When I left school, I knew I really wanted to do something that involved working with the elderly. It was either that, or to be an air hostess. Obviously, they are very different, but I went with my gut, and I haven’t regretted it,” says Rae-Marie.
Rae-Marie celebrates 30 years with Catholic Healthcare this year. Rae-Marie is an Assistant in Nursing at The Haven in Wagga Wagga.
Rae-Marie works part-time and is a local to Wagga Wagga, formerly living and commuting from the nearby town of Coolamon in past years. Rae-Marie is responsible for administering personal care duties, such as assisting with showering and dressing the residents, as well as organising meals like morning tea and afternoon tea.
“The residents are a close bunch up here. With approximately 50 residents we have a family-like community. It really is a haven,” says Rae-Marie.
“For sure, I have seen a lot of changes in my 30 years – to staff, to residents, to the Home in general. But I’ve appreciated working in this environment the entire time and that is testament to how well Catholic Healthcare operates as an organisation.
“There are so many different Homes around, each with their own character, and The Haven definitely has its own special quality. I think that is what is unique about Catholic Healthcare Homes, that they all retain their own uniqueness in a way.”
The Haven was Wagga Wagga’s first aged care residence, established in 1947 and has a rich history. Catholic Healthcare took over the management of the Home in 2018.
“I naturally have a lot of respect for the elderly. Without this, you couldn’t do what I do – it is definitely hard work,” says Rae-Marie.
During the lockdown period Rae-Marie has also been there to support the residents, emotionally, and to help them stay connected to their loved ones.
“We’ve encouraged the residents to keep in touch with friends and family via Skype, Facetime and Zoom – this has really buoyed their spirits.”
Rae-Marie hopes to continue to work for many more years to come and to continue to thrive in her role.