Athena Ermides (NIMAC), Kath Lawrie (De Paul Villa, Gold Coast), Sandra Gunner, (Noosa Care Inc), Debbie Biles (Leinster Place, Mercy Aged Care, Rockhampton); Lyn Turner, (National Care Solutions)
For the 6th year in 2014, we have very proudly honoured contributors to the aged care industry with the bestowing of the “Above and Beyond Award”. Our Award promotes and recognises someone or an organisation within the aged care industry that contributes to the quality of life of older people through innovative practices for staff and residents alike. The award also acknowledges efforts to increase public confidence and community involvement in aged and community services in a positive manner.
The 2014 recipients of the National Care Solutions and NIMAC Award were worthy recipients with the panel having much difficulty in deciding the winners. In the end as well as awarding the 2 main winners with their certificates and their $500 prize money the panel also awarded an honourable mention to Kath Lawrie from De Paul Villa in Ashmore.
Sandra Gunner from Noosa Care, nominated by Megan D’Elton, CEO NoosaCare Inc. is one of our winners. Sandra, a Registered Nurse arrived at NoosaCare approximately 10 years ago as educator. It was obvious that Dementia Care was her passion and making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia was her drive. Sandra has always actively engaged with the Board to ensure her objectives and ideals for better care for residents living with dementia are enacted.
Sandra is now the Group Care Manager for Noosa Care and is responsible for the care of the 215 residents and 237 care staff, as well as many other areas, but her passion for assisting those living with dementia is still of utmost importance. Her passion for Aged Care is immense and has a positive impact on staff and residents alike.
Debbie Biles from Leinster Place at Mercy Aged Care, Rockhampton is also a winner. Debbie was nominated by her supervisor, Robyn Tetteroo. Debbie is a Team Leader working in Azar House, the dementia unit at Leinster Place. Debbie has worked for Mercy Aged Care for over 30 years.
Since 2011 Debbie has engaged family members, members of the community, local organizations, local businesses, local media and staff working at Leinster Place to participate in many events aimed at presenting people diagnosed with dementia in a positive light. Debbie’s goal has been to take away any stigma attached to a diagnosis of dementia with a philosophy that the outside can be brought in to ensure people with dementia can still enjoy life when they are no longer able to venture out.
Debbie’s vision was to initially raise the awareness of dementia within the local community and to demonstrate that a diagnosis of dementia, as challenging as that is for those diagnosed, their families and friends, does not mean that life no longer offers joy or laughter. Debbie has certainly gone far “Above and Beyond”, with her commitment to demonstrating that life with dementia is a life worth living and still contains joy and laughter.
Kath Lawrie won an Honourable Mention and was nominated by her manager Julie Madden from De Paul Villa. In the submission Julie outlined the many and varied ways Kath goes about her current position as Director of Care at De Paul Villa, which demonstrated the “Above and Beyond” effort she puts into her position. This includes it seems, many different ways of presenting proposed new initiatives so that they are achievable within the restricted financial realms of residential aged care. New activities such as “Arm Chair travel days” for all residents, training for staff with many and varied outcomes and effective innovative pain management for residents are just a few of the initiatives the application outlined.