It’s a welcome homecoming for Grace Joel’s new Resthome Unit Coordinator, April Ladia.
April is returning to Ryman Healthcare’s St Heliers village eight years after she began her New Zealand working life there in 2011.
“It’s like coming home!” she says. “It’s really nice to be back, about half the staff I knew then are still here so there have been lots of hugs! And the great thing is there’s a lot of expertise to call upon too.”
April worked in a large hospital in Manila before heading to New Zealand with her twin sister Apple, who is a caregiver at one of Ryman’s villages in Christchurch.
Working as a caregiver was also how April started her Kiwi career.
She worked in several different care roles at Ryman’s Edmund Hillary Retirement Village.
For the last couple of years, April has been clinical manager in a private resthome/hospital and with all that extra knowledge and experience she is excited to share her learnings at Grace Joel.
“It was great to work in a clinical lead role as I was keen to keep developing professionally having worked for five years as a registered nurse.
“It was a busy role as the facility was very new so there was a lot of recruiting and admitting residents at the same time. I learned a lot!”
When the chance came up to return to Grace Joel, April’s response was clear.
“I grabbed the opportunity,” she says.
There have been a few changes in the two years since she left Ryman, particularly with the company’s award-winning in-house electronic care application, myRyman Care.
This involves a tablet located in every resident’s room which is used to manage care assessments, care plans, care delivery and evaluations, and progress notes.
This means nurses and caregivers can update residents’ records in real time and the time saved by going paperless means the staff can spend more quality time building relationships and trust with their residents.
April, who had previously only used it for staff rostering, has been impressed with the advances made in such a short time.
“Now, it means staff can work at the same time without waiting for the other to finish which has increased the efficiency a lot.”
April says myRyman Care also enables staff to complete a detailed individualised care plan and receive prompts each day setting out which tasks need to be ticked off during each shift.
“It’s a great guide for the caregivers and registered nurses on exactly how to look after our residents on a daily basis and what their requirements are.”
Another improvement, says April, is the Delicious menu upgrade which was designed to offer more choice at mealtimes.
“The dining experience gives a whole new different image of what aged care is and provides more options to the residents. It’s been exciting to witness!” she says.
One thing she is glad hasn’t changed is the pretty floral uniform designed by Annah Stretton which April only got to wear for a few months before she left.
“It’s so nice to be putting that on again but this time as a unit coordinator.”
April says it has been quite humbling to hear the feedback given by relatives about the high standard of care their loved ones have received at Grace Joel.
“We have received heaps of compliments specifically around the cares that were provided to their mum or dad.
“I am glad and proud to say that this team’s compassion, care and kindness is very evident and a testament to how well the team here in Hauraki know their residents and their families.
“I am grateful indeed to be part of this family again.”