Samantha wouldn’t want to do anything else
There is little doubt that it takes a special kind of human to be an effective Personal Care Assistant in aged care. There are people built for desk jobs. And others primed for manual labour. And then there are those selfless humans whose job it is to simply make other more needy people feel love, warmth, comfort, security and happiness.
Palm Lake Care is lucky to have many dedicated PCAs assisting our residents across our four locations on a daily basis. At Palm Lake Care Bethania, Samantha Lane is one of those people. A mother of four children, Sam will be the first to tell you that she loves helping others – especially the elderly – and that “care” just might be her middle name.
“I have a big heart for our older citizens,” Sam explains. “They’ve done their time raising families and now they need to be cared for themselves. The elderly might feel vulnerable but it’s important to me that they enjoy this stage of their lives.”
Sam has spent the past five years working at Palm Lake Care and says every day is different. She works across Bethania’s main aged caring community as well as in ‘Memory Lanes’, the specialist memory support village which is home to Bethania’s most needy residents who have dementia. She might find herself assisting residents at mealtimes and with showering, for example, or she might simply be the respectful ear that someone needs on any particular day.
“It’s hard not to get attached to the residents,” Sam admits. “They are like family.”
Sam says such is the bond she shares with the residents under her care, she finds herself staying in contact with family members of residents who have passed on – her respect is that deep.
“Most shifts, I leave feeling really good about myself,” Sam reveals.
And it’s the little things that matter most to her. Sam tells a story about a new resident who was finding it hard to adjust to his new home. Sam says other staff tried to get through to the gentleman without luck. But she persevered. And persevered some more. She sat with the man on many occasions, building up a connection with him. Sam says one of her most memorable days at work was the “breakthrough” moment she had with that resident who opened up to her and has since completely adjusted to his wonderful new life in our aged caring community.
So what does it take to enjoy a career like Sam’s? It’s the obvious answer but Sam says you’ve got to be caring. Full stop. And a little bit of understanding and patience will go a long way. As will a listening ear.
“It’s such a great job – I wouldn’t do anything else,” Sam says.