A new storytelling platform for the aged care industry, Humans of Aged Care, launches nationally today as a way of sharing and celebrating personal experiences of the positive aspects of aged care and giving a stronger voice to the remarkable individuals and stories that make up the sector in Australia.
The platform launches with a dedicated website www.humansofagedcare.com.au highlighting the many uplifting stories of human connection that so often remain untold in Australia’s aged care sector.
“Humans of Aged Care tells the community about the positive stories in aged care – about people, and the relationships that exist between older people and the staff that rarely get told,” said ACSA CEO, Pat Sparrow.
The many profiles and stories shared through Humans of Aged Care will also highlight the diversity of those working in aged care from cooks and cleaners, to clinical staff and nurses, as well as young carers like 22-year-old Danica Langford-Lenane:
Speaking about her work as a personal carer for older Australians in residential care in Taralga, New South Wales, Ms. Langford-Lenane said:
“Many people say: ‘I don’t know how you do that job,’ but I just can’t even begin to tell them how amazing my job is.'”
Another featured “Human of Aged Care” is Vicki Fraser a Lifestyle Manager at CaSPA Care in South Melbourne, and passionate about her role organising events, classes and activities for residents:
“I’m 100 per cent dedicated to embracing these wonderful people and giving them a purpose for getting out of bed. I genuinely feel privileged to work in a job which I truly love, with people I deeply care for and respect and can honestly say I love getting up each day and coming to work.”
Both Ms. Langford-Lenane and Ms. Fraser were nominated for Humans of Aged Care in recognition of their care for residents in their respective residential care facilities.
“I’m not just a glorified bum wiper,” says Ms. Langford-Lenane of her job. “I’m a shoulder to cry on when you can’t remember, or when you forget how to speak. I’m the one who will listen to your stories and jokes – even if you’ve already told me the same one five times today, I’ll still laugh! I’ll be the one to make you feel beautiful and give you your dignity when you can’t do your hair. I’ll be there when you haven’t had visitors in weeks.”
Developed by not-for-profit aged care peak body, Aged & Community Services Australia, the Humans of Aged Care (HOAC) website is supported by an ongoing social media campaign that will continue to give national profile to individuals and stories through images, written profiles and short videos in their own words.
“The objective of HOAC is to remind the community about all the good stories in aged care. This platform provides a place to honour those individuals, whether personal carers, volunteers, cleaners, cooks, clinical staff, family members – indeed anyone involved in aged care, whether at home or in residential care. Our hope is telling these stories will help put some balance back into the public portrayal of our industry.”
Recent empirical data supports the view that a majority of residents have positive experiences of aged care, as indicated by Consumer Experience Reports conducted by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. Over 15,000 interviews highlight the fact that the experience of the staff and services in residential aged care is rated positively with over 90 per cent of residents happy across 10 domains most or all of the time.
“We feel that as an industry we have a strong story to tell about the positive contribution of individuals in aged care and the importance of this quality care-giving to the community.”
Ms. Sparrow said the industry is made up of thousands and thousands of people like Danica and Vicki working in aged care who enrich the lives of those around them in small but important ways every day:
Visit www.humansofagedcare.com.au to nominate an individual you would like to see recognised and have their story told. A ‘Human’ of Aged Care can be anyone delivering care as a care worker or anyone that works in an aged care facility (cook, cleaner, administrator, manager, etc.), an unpaid carer or volunteer, or any resident or individual receiving care and their family members who are passionate about ensuring their loved ones continue to live happy fulfilled lives.
“It is time for the community to be reminded that there is a lot that is good and uplifting about aged care,” said Ms. Sparrow.