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Angie's brand of special care

Angie main

One of the many highlights of working in the special care unit at Hilda Ross for unit coordinator Sukhveer Sidhu (Angie) came in the form of a thank you card from the grandchildren of one of the residents.

“It said ‘I love you looking after my nana’ and it brought smiles to our faces and gave us more energy to do our work,” says Angie, smiling again at the memory.

There are many rewarding moments like that which have made Angie love her job at the village, first as a caregiver, then a registered nurse and now as the unit coordinator.

“People think working in the special care unit is really busy and you deal with a lot of challenging behaviour but having experienced working there as a caregiver and a registered nurse I don’t feel like I’m working in a different area.

“These are residents that just need a little bit more support.

“They have memory loss but they remember our faces and some remember our names. When I come to work in the morning and I spend time with them it’s a really nice feeling that I’m helping them and keeping them engaged in a nice conversation.”

Angie has a soft spot for one resident who moved into the unit the same time she started working there.

“She recognises my name and face and now we’re quite close.

“If I’m away for a few days she notices!”

A big part of Angie’s role is supporting the residents’ families too.

“When their family members come they are very concerned about how we are going to look after them,” she says.

“We hold information sessions for relatives to reassure them and to explain what they will experience when they come to the unit.

“For example, if they come to visit and mum is still in her dressing gown it doesn’t mean she’s not being showered, just that she felt like wearing her dressing gown that day, and we have respected her decision and don’t want to add anything to distress her!”

It can be particularly hard for relatives if the resident fails to recognise them when they visit.

“Again, we try to reassure them and we might suggest that they come back in five minutes and try again and often they do recognise them then.”

Part of the reason Angie has worked hard to progress at Ryman is so that she can be more involved in the residents’ care and supporting their relatives too.

The unit has installed a call bell system which allows staff to intervene only when necessary, therefore allowing residents more independence, and a system has been set up between the nurses and the night manager to keep the flow of information up to date.

Angie is also extremely loyal and thankful to both Wendy the village manager and Ryman for showing faith in her abilities.

She believes Ryman is leading the aged care sector because they invest in their staff and are always sharing information in order to improve the delivery of care.

“The webinar I attended recently was so good because we were all working together for one thing – to provide the residents with the best care.

“It filled me with pride and I felt so pleased to be working with Ryman because they are very supportive of their staff.

“I feel lucky to have been supported and encouraged to improve myself.”​​

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