12 March 2021

Dedicated assignments get personal

Lily and Pauline

Lily and Pauline are a carer and resident at Arcare Reservoir in Victoria who have a bond that is apparent as soon as you enter the room. Looking around Pauline’s room, pictures of her baby granddaughter reveal just how deep their bond is; her granddaughter is named after Lily.

‘I treat her like my own mum. She sees me everyday and that developed trust,’ Lily tells us. For residents such as Pauline, the consistency of a dedicated carer is imperative. Gaining trust and a deeper understanding of the nuances of someone whose health has rendered them differently abled, helps them continue to live with dignity. ‘She has her ups and downs,’ Lily says. ‘It’s incredibly hard for her some days. I’m there to remind her of the things she loves, to firstly care for her, but to also remind her of her spirit.’

As Lily’s photo is being taken, Pauline is giggling, which sparks Lily’s laughter. Although Pauline’s medical condition makes it hard for her to do many things, Lily fosters the things she can do – laugh, smile and be understood by her carer everyday.

Arcare’s Dedicated Assignments is a leading model of care and the most important way we support the development and deepening of committed relationships. We understand that consistency and commitment are key to fostering trusting relationships between residents, employees and families.

Central to this is a holistic philosophy that shifts from mainstream ideas surrounding ageing to a celebration of longevity through nurturing the mind, body and spirit. Our team is supported to reflect on these values and how our own actions can contribute to this strength-based approach to celebrating old age.

‘It is within the context of this approach that staff are able to recognise residents’ assertions of self determination leading to the reduction of power imbalances and deeper and more satisfying relations for everyone,’ says Daniella Greenwood, co-creator of our Dedicated Assignments vision.

We are proud to champion this approach and regularly discuss it through national and international conferences. We believe that this approach needs reflection, discussion – and importantly – action. For us, the answers lie in the vibrant results of deepening relationships such as Lily and Pauline’s within our community.