Celebrating our Nurses this International Nurses Day

Every year on 12 May, we take a moment to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work our caring and compassionate nurses on International Nurses Day.

Coorparoo Aged Care’s AN-ACC Coordinator, Cherry Patel, joined the Coorparoo team in December 2019, and shares with us what inspired her to enter nursing and what she loves most about working at the home.

Cherry decided to pursue a career in nursing after coming to Australia from India in 2009. In India she practiced as a Doctor of Homeopathy for several years working also in a Multi Specialist Hospital.

Moving to Australia Cherry decided to do her Bachelor of Nursing at QUT graduating in 2012. Cherry then gained experience, working as a nurse in several Queensland health-based hospitals as well as a Clinical Nurse position in other aged care facilities. Cherry was also the school nurse at the Brisbane Grammer School filling in as a Casual when needed.

Cherry was hired by Coorparoo Aged Care as a Clinical Nurse and ACFI Coordinator in December 2019. Since the changes in funding, she now works closely with the manager as the AN-ACC Coordinator.

Cherry is a valued member of our clinical team working with nurses and care staff to ensure that resident care is delivered in a safe and efficient manner.

Cherry states that she enjoys being able to make a difference in the lives of older people. She is a dedicated professional and will not compromise on the care of the residents. Her co-workers find her an excellent role model and she has a happy cheerful disposition.

When asked what challenging part of the role as a nurse is, Cherry says that ensuring all residents and families are being supported while working within the Aged Care Standards.

Family is important

Strong family connections are important in our lives, and as we grow older, having a close-knit family becomes even more special. Coorparoo resident, Joyce Stubbings, shares with us what life was like growing up with her family in rural Queensland to owning a dairy farm with her husband, and the bond she shares with her five sons.

Joyce was born in the small town of Allora, Queensland. Growing up on a farm, her early memories involved playing with her five younger brothers and sisters in a creek they had within the property. ‘We were allowed to go and paddle in the shallow water, but we had to stay away from a waterhole that was very deep,’ she recalls.

Joyce lived in a farming community and remembers helping her father from a young age. ‘My chores were to gather the eggs, wash them, and polish them,’ she says. Joyce’s mum worked as a nurse at Allora Hospital, and despite her busy job, Joyce said she always found time to make the school uniforms for her and her siblings. Joyce went to school in Toowoomba, and she remembers how important the uniforms were for them. ‘At inter school athletics days all students were judged on their uniforms, and additional uniform points were given to each student,’ she says. ‘The school with the most points would be the overall winner. I remember my mum making all our school uniforms.’

As a child, Joyce said she enjoyed skipping and playing Chinese Checkers with her family in the evenings. She also recalled the important life lessons her parents instilled in her and her siblings. ‘They taught us right from wrong, and to respect others and their belongings,’ she says.

After finishing school, Joyce became a teacher and worked in schools within small country towns. It is around this time that she met her husband Aaron, at a dance in Dayboro. They married, moved to a dairy farm in Lamington, and had five sons together. Joyce recalls that life wasn’t easy after she tragically lost her husband to a farming accident when the boys were young. The insurance allowed her to keep the farm, and they all worked hard to keep it going.

Joyce’s sons are now all grown up with families of their own. She has 12 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, with another on the way, due May 2024. ‘I have watched my sons grow up, get married, and have their own families,’ Joyce says. ‘My sons have all brought lovely daughters-in-law into my life. They all keep in touch with me and support me, which I cherish. Family is important.’

At Coorparoo, Joyce continues to celebrate milestone events with her family such as her 90th birthday pictured on the side, along with fellow residents and staff. ‘I am very happy and feel very safe and very well cared for here,’ says Joyce. ‘I appreciate the care and attention I receive and enjoy the interactions I have with other residents and staff.’

Companionship at Coorparoo

At Coorparoo Aged Care, we love animals. We welcome pets into our home as it helps residents with their mental health by decreasing stress and anxiety, helps to combat loneliness and brings a lot of joy.

Coorparoo Aged Care Facility Manager, Debbie McPhee, brings in her Pembroke Corgi, Gus, to the home daily. Gus has grown up coming to work at Coorparoo with Debbie every day and knows all the residents very well. He even accompanies Debbie on tours for prospective residents helping to show them around the home.

Pets are a valuable asset to our Coorparoo community and many residents have to leave pets at home when they enter aged care which is why we encourage families of residents to bring them into the home to visit residents.

For Coorparoo Aged Care resident, Maya, her love for pets was a large consideration for her when she moved to Coorparoo. ‘I have had a lot of pets and have loved them all. My last dog was a mixed breed with some Bull Terrier in her. Her name was Shane,’ says Maya.

Maya lived in Indonesia for a period of time throughout her life and says that while she lived there, her dogs had to have regular rabies injections.

When asked what she likes most about being able to have pets visit her at the home, Maya replies, ‘I love it when the dogs come to visit. It reminds me of my own many years ago and the joy I got from them.’

‘My own dog can no longer come in (she is looked after by friends who don’t live close) so the next best thing is Gus coming to see me,’ says Maya.

Aged Care Employee Day 2023

On this special occasion of Aged Care Employee Day, we celebrate Australia’s residential, home and community aged care workers. This year’s theme #ThanksForCaring recognises everyone involved in caring for older Australians. This year, we asked our wonderful Personal Care Assistant, Tashi Dema, to share her aged care journey and what working at Coorparoo Aged Care means to her.

Why did you want to pursue a career in aged care?

I have always wanted to be around elderly people and help them to live their best life. I find it very rewarding to work as an aged care assistant. I moved from my country Bhutan in 2022 to find a better life. I was lucky to get a job in the housekeeping department of Coorparoo Aged Care and while I worked and studied a Certificate III in Aged Care. I was lucky to do my placement at Coorparoo and was then offered a job as a Personal Care worker.

What do you like most about your role and working at Coorparoo?

I like the opportunity to build relationships with the residents and provide companionship, support and assistance to those who may be vulnerable and in need of the extra care I can provide for them.

What is most challenging about working in aged care?

The most challenging aspect of the job is managing the emotional toll that comes with witnessing the decline or loss of independence and mobility of the residents. It can be challenging to see people you have formed a connection with struggle with their health and pass away.

What is a special memory you have from working at Coorparoo?

Meeting and connecting with residents from varied walks of life and sharing conversations, laughs and moments of personal connections.

Good food means good mood at Coorparoo

For many of us, enjoying our food is more than just fulfilling our hunger, it’s about the experience, the joy, and the relaxing comfort we feel when we eat. For residents at Coorparoo Aged Care, not only do they get to enjoy the delicious and nutritious food from the menu as created by Head Chef, Karl, and the kitchen team, but they also get to help craft the menu so that every meal is catered to their preferences.

Chef Karl is assisted by Chef Ramesh and a fabulous team of kitchen staff. All food is cooked fresh on the premises daily. Along with a choice of different meal options every day, the menu rotates every four weeks, so that there is a variety for residents. Feedback is also welcomed at resident meetings at which Chef Karl attends so that residents can enjoy the best quality food every day.

The menu is annually reviewed by a dietician to ensure that there is a variety of meals with different colours, textures, and flavours.

For Coorparoo Aged Care resident, Marion Henzel, having freshly cooked meals which are also prepared onsite was a large factor is choosing to live at Coorparoo. ‘There is fresh fruit salad available each evening. It is important to ensure we all keep healthy and enjoy our meals,’ says Marion.

‘I find all the meals enjoyable, but my favourites are the barramundi and vegetables and the corned beef with parsley sauce,’ she says. ‘The kitchen also provides lovely high teas and food for special events which are organised by the lifestyle team.’

To find out more about nutritional wellness at our home, please speak to our friendly team on 07 3153 6000.