Arma Dacyon is counting down the days until she starts her new role as clinical manager in what will be the brand new care centre at William Sanders Retirement Village.
In the meantime she has been training up and working part time at Ryman’s Edmund Hillary village in Remuera and figuring out how best to commute to the Devonport site from her home near the Auckland Botanical Gardens in Manurewa.
“One idea was to get the train to Britomart and take the ferry. My husband said I could just run from the ferry terminal to the village because I do lots of marathons,” she laughs.
He may have been joking but the fact that Arma runs lots of marathons is no joke.
Since she took up the hobby in 2016 she has run 27 half marathons, six full marathons and even one ultra marathon!
“It was 102km in Tarawera and it took 22 hours,” says Arma with a big grin. “I just love to run!”
When she is in peak training mode Arma can be found getting up at 4.30am to run for two hours before leaving home at 7am to start work at 8am.
When she gets home at 4.30pm she then takes the dog for a walk, prepares dinner, and then goes for another hour-long run before getting to bed at 10pm!
This is someone who doesn’t watch much television!
“I find that after a stressful time at work it’s a good way to deal with it, although I don’t do this schedule all the time,” she adds.
Her love of running is quite infectious and she has managed to persuade a group of friends to join a hiking group. She is still working on her 16-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son though!
Arma came to New Zealand in 2009 from the Philippines, believing it would be a better place to bring up her family.
Coming from a family of nurses back home she had worked in the Foundation Hospital in Palawan as a Registered Nurse, but Arma had to start all over again once in New Zealand and found herself picking kiwifruit in Tauranga for her first year here.
“After 18 months my family followed. I didn’t know anyone when I first came here.”
She eventually found caregiving work in a private residential home and quickly progressed to the position of nurse manager on the hospital side.
Next came a role as a needs assessor for the DHB, which took her to various other care establishments and brought Ryman onto her radar.
“I would visit Edmund Hillary to assess people living in the townhouses and straightaway I got all these positive vibes.
“People would tell me how much they love the place, how good the food is and how much they love the staff.
“I thought I’d be really happy to be working in a Ryman village,” she says.
Since then she has attended the annual Ryman conference and the head office in Christchurch and has been even more impressed with the company and its ethos.
“I like the camaraderie and the nature of the Ryman values, about everything having to be ‘good enough for mum’.
“I was impressed with the myRyman innovation and the way the company has invested in technology to improve practice and also give staff more time to spend with residents.
“Now I can’t wait to get started at William Sanders, to meet the residents there and work with Murray as we set up a new culture there.
“It will be well worth the wait!”
It’s been a big month for two Ryman Healthcare dementia advocates, with presentations at two high profile conferences an...