In celebration of Diversional Recreation Therapy (May 10 – 16 ) this year, Arcare Aged Care is delighted to interview Kayla Garside, Vice President of Diversional Recreation Therapy Australia, and Lifestyle Coordinator at Arcare Waterview.
What is your name and role at Arcare?
My name is Kayla Garside and I am the Lifestyle Coordinator at Arcare Waterview.
How long have you been working at Arcare?
I have been working at Arcare since the opening of Arcare Waterside which is coming up to seven years.
What did you study? How long have you been working in diversional therapy?
I studied a Bachelor of Health Science specialising in Recreation Therapy and graduated from Western Sydney University.
How are you involved in Diversional Recreation Therapy Australia?
I have been a member since I was a student at University, joining in 2006. Once I graduated, I joined the marketing committee and ran a network group in St. George and Sutherland Shire for many years. I joined the DRTA board as the Victorian Rep in 2019 and became Vice President this year. I also represent the association at the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA).
In your own words, what is diversional therapy and why is it so important?
At the heart of Diversional Therapy is the belief that leisure and recreation are the right of all people. With this in mind, Diversional Therapists design activities to support, challenge and enhance the psychological, spiritual, social, emotional and physical wellbeing of individuals. Diversional Therapy is a holistic and non-pharmacological approach to health and wellbeing.
What do you enjoy about your role as a lifestyle coordinator/diversional therapist and working in aged care?
Making someone’s final years some of their best. There is nothing better than seeing someone really live their life to the fullest and knowing that you helped them find that happiness.
What is a memorable moment or story you recall working at your residence with either a resident or a team member?
After seven years, it’s hard to pick just one, possibly helping resident Lorna Sweet reignite her passion for ballet was a special moment for me. Watching her participate in her first class since she was a young woman was an honour to witness.
What pearls of wisdom or words of encouragement do you live by?
I actually have a few sayings I tell myself almost each day that all really tie in with each other and some of these are:
- ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’; and
- ‘If it’s important to the resident, then it’s important to me. So I won’t let no be my first response to a resident’s leisure needs. No matter how big the task may be, I will think outside the box and try my best to make it happen’.