4 February 2021
#PeopleofArcare: We learn more about Fiona Halpenny, Receptionist at Arcare Sydenham. Fiona has been with Arcare for over seven years now.
Q. What do you enjoy about your role?
I enjoy my role in administration because I get to work with our residents and their loved ones on a daily basis. I get to be the first person a new family meets when they come in to enquire about putting their loved ones into an Arcare Residence. Sometimes, the families can be nervous or worried about the decision and so, making these families feel reassured that their loved ones will be looked after is very important to me. In my role you need to have empathy and passion as you are dealing people from all walks of life. I do my best every day to make sure I am adding value to the residents, team members and their loved ones. We have a great team here at Arcare Sydenham and I am lucky to be part of it.
Q. How would you describe working in aged care?
When I decided to make a career change and move into aged care, I was seeking a compassionate environment where I could help people every day. My role fulfils that and so much more. I have had the opportunity to work at different Arcare residences and have loved the interaction with all the residents, their families and as well as the Arcare team members. It is very rewarding and I must admit it has been the best job I have ever had. I always try to treat each client as how I would treat my own family and I love it.
Q. Fondest memory so far in your Arcare journey?
I have had so many wonderful moments working at Arcare throughout the years, it would be hard to just pick one. My favourite moments are when I am able to make residents smile. Whether that be accompanying them for a walk or sitting with them while they are reminiscing over the good old days. They each have different stories to tell and each one has enriched my life. I have also had the pleasure of working with many different teams along the way. 2020 was a very tough year for everyone but through it all I have felt safe and supported and that comes down to everyone I work with.
Q. What tips or advice would you give to those looking to work in aged care?
If you are caring, passionate and want to support our older generation, there is no better place to make a difference. I joined this career later in my life and many would have viewed it as a big risk. However, it has been one of the best decisions and I have not regretted it for a moment.
Q. What do you do outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family and getting down to the caravan in Portarlington. I love sitting outside on a sunny day and reading a good book. I also go away with a group of Irish girls every October and we always have a good laugh.