A woman has paid tribute to staff at a Sunshine Coast aged care centre who are looking after her mother.
A woman has paid tribute to staff at a Sunshine Coast aged care centre who are looking after her mother. Patrick Gorbunovs

'Respect, affection': Daughter's tribute to aged care staff

WE SEE so many horrendous stories of elder abuse that often suspicion is a driving force in our deliberations at an incredibly stressful time in our life as to where to home our family member.

The trauma of having to introduce someone to a safer, more secure and professionally managed environment, takes a massive toll on those who make the ultimate decision. It becomes essential for the welfare of both sides of the equation - carer and the one unable to cope with living an independent life safely.

I have developed a huge amount of respect and even affection, for those employees at Carramar, Tewantin, who are ultimately responsible for the welfare of my 97-year-old mother.

One cannot but become very aware of the range of personalities with whom carers and nurses must interact on a 24-hour basis. As a visitor, whose purpose is to visit a family member, the secure unit can be quite a traumatic place.

The range of needs, mental awareness, physical requirements, temperaments and health issues is mind boggling.

Yet, the staff are amazing. They are professional and knowledgeable regarding their charges. It is one thing to be a teacher, as I was, in a roughly parallel position, yet one there knows that there will be a transition to independence.

As a carer for these dear ones, this will never come.

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The staff provide for physical comfort, when we cannot do so. They laugh, joke, sooth, seek to understand vagaries and still provide an environment where we, as family can feel comfortable and welcome.

There is an unspoken agreement, to retain dignity for the residents. Many things occur which require nerves of steel, patience, calmness, a sense of humour and one of occasion.

I consider myself to be a hard worker, compassionate and caring, yet my admiration sits very solidly with these staff members. I do not think, with multiple tertiary qualifications, that I could succeed where these people do.

Mum feels safe, she feels valued and she is cared for with respect.

There is no staged, nor artificial setting.

I feel confident that mum is comfortable, and as happy as her particular situation permits.

So, this is my tribute to the carers and nurses in Cartwright unit at Carramar. My empathy too for fellow visitors, we share a unique bond.

I feel that we are fortunate that we can be confident that there is laughter, care, hugs, songs and even a dance.

You are valued, and your job is a vital one. Be proud of yourselves.