The one thing that the management team at Ryman Healthcare’s Hilda Ross Retirement Village have in common is a passion for delivering the best in aged care.
Two of the team, Assistant Manager Sue Wickham, and Facilities Manager Vicki Webb, have notched up nearly 20 years each, and still get a buzz from seeing their residents happy.
Vicki, who began as a Unit Coordinator before becoming Deputy Manager and Village Manager for a time says: “I feel good about the fact we have made someone else’s life better.
It’s important to remember that our residents were like you or I and now they’re here to live the rest of their lives to the best of their ability, and our role is to facilitate that”.
Leading the team is Izak Luther, who previously worked at Ryman’s Jean Sandel Village in New Plymouth.
He has seen first-hand how Ryman uses the benchmark of ‘is it good enough for mum and dad?’
“Ryman looks after their residents, and they take the care aspect exceptionally seriously which is what I love.”
Izak is proud to say he has been ‘fully Rymanised’, and proud that his team is too.
“I’d compare it to being in a close family, who you rely on to have your back daily and where everybody stands together.”
While it’s a given that the care is taken very seriously, the atmosphere at the village is friendly and lighthearted with the odd ‘dad joke’ thrown in and that clearly comes from the top down.
“Izak has a very good sense of humour,” says Sue. “But what I really appreciate is the fact he makes a point of seeing all the staff. He goes around each unit and speaks to the staff daily.”
Vicki adds, “Knowing that he takes that time with everybody means they feel supported. If there’s a problem, there is someone there who is empathetic, who will listen, and who will help, and that’s across the board.
“We have a very good management team. And we were pleased when Charmaine stepped into the Clinical Manager role because she works so well with everyone.”
Before taking on that role, Charmaine Lim-Capendit was Hospital Unit Coordinator for a year but had worked her way up from a Caregiver since 2008 in another facility in Huntly.
“I love working with older people because I feel like I’m going back in time,” she says.
“When you hear stories about their experiences in the second world war, and hear their wisdom from the past, I find it really amazing.”
Sujata Rai, Hospital Unit Coordinator, has worked in aged care since 2017 and agrees with Charmaine.
“It’s a truly rewarding job, seeing that you make a difference to one of our most vulnerable groups in society.
“And I love listening to the stories and memories of our residents.”
With eight years in aged care, three of them as Special Care Unit Coordinator at the village, Sam Manson says she values her role.
“I think there is a lot of stigmas around aged care, and I love coming to work and supporting older people and their families”.
Serviced Apartment Unit Coordinator Anu Matthews and Resthome Unit Coordinator GR Taala have both worked at Hilda Ross for four years.
Anu says she hasn’t considered anything other than aged care since.
“It’s that satisfaction of knowing you have made somebody happy, that’s my reward,” she says.
Coming from a family of nurses in the Philippines, caring has always come naturally to GR, who treats his residents like his own family members.
“We’re the ones who would look after our relatives, and it’s good knowing we’re making a difference here too for people in their later years.”