An initiative of industry peak body Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), Humans of Aged Care (HOAC) highlights the diversity of those working in aged care from cooks and cleaners, to clinical staff and nurses, as well as young carers like 22-year-old Danica Langford-Lenane.
“Many people say: ‘I don't know how you do that job,’ but I just can't even begin to tell them how amazing my job is,” Ms Langford-Lenane says.
Lifestyle Manager at CaSPA Care in South Melbourne, Vicki Fraser is also featured, and is passionate about her role in organising events, classes and activities for residents.
“I’m 100 percent dedicated to embracing these wonderful people and giving them a purpose for getting out of bed. I genuinely feel privileged to work in a job which I truly love, with people I deeply care for and respect and can honestly say I love getting up each day and coming to work,” she says.
Both Ms Langford-Lenane and Ms Fraser were nominated for HOAC in recognition of their care for residents in their respective residential care facilities.
“I'm not just a glorified bum wiper,” Ms Langford-Lenane says. “I'm a shoulder to cry on when you can't remember, or when you forget how to speak.”
“I'm the one who will listen to your stories and jokes - even if you've already told me the same one five times today, I'll still laugh! I'll be the one to make you feel beautiful and give you your dignity when you can't do your hair. I'll be there when you haven't had visitors in weeks.”
ACSA Chief Executive Officer Pat Sparrow says HOAC shines a light on stories and relationships between older people and the staff that rarely get told.
She says concerns about the lack of the balance in the media portrayal of aged care relate to the fact that many good news stories get lost amidst negative attention.
“We feel that as an industry we have a strong story to tell about the positive contribution of individuals in aged care and the importance of this quality care-giving to the community,” Ms Sparrow says.
“Our hope is telling these stories will help put some balance back into the public portrayal of our industry.”
Ms Sparrow says the industry is made up of thousands of people like Ms Langford-Lenane and Ms Fraser who enrich the lives of those around them in small but important ways every day.
“Those stories deserve to be told,” she says.
“It is time for the community to be reminded that there is a lot that is good and uplifting about aged care.”
Visit www.humansofagedcare.com.au to nominate an individual you would like to see recognised and have their story told.
They could be anyone delivering care as a care worker or anyone that works in an aged care facility (cook, cleaner, administrator, manager, etc.), an unpaid carer or volunteer, a resident or individual receiving care, or family members who are passionate about ensuring their loved ones continue to live happy fulfilled lives.