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Christmas Cracker Caregiver Competition Entries
Meet winner, Lois Cossey, and the seven other wonderful caregivers nominated for the INsite/NZACA Christmas Cracker Caregiver Competition.
WINNER: LOIS COSSEY (Selwyn Oaks Retirement Village)
When I think about the word caregiver and what that means, I think about Lois. She has worked us for 24 years, having worked in every area of our facility – at all levels of care – showing total compassion and love throughout this time and continuing to do so.
Nothing is ever too much for Lois. It’s always, “Sure that’s fine, I will do that,” “Do you mind if I take that home and fix it?” “Yep, sure, happy to do that for you,” and, “Yes, no problem training the new staff.”
Not forgetting too that Lois is always there for her work colleagues, taking them to the doctors, covering their shifts at short notice. She helps others in as many ways as she can and does even more for our residents. She treats them as her family. Being a local girl she has grown up with many of our residents’ families, and always puts their needs and concerns first and always takes the time to talk and listen. She looks out for everyone.
We at Selwyn Oaks Retirement Village are privileged to have her as one of our caregivers. As a new manager I have nothing but praise for her acceptance and helpfulness towards the new team during our early days. It is rare that you meet someone who is totally selfless in all regards. Each day we are blessed to have her working for us. She is the epitome of the perfect caregiver. I can’t think of anyone more deserving.
Carol Andrews, manager – Selwyn Oaks
RUNNER-UP: SULITA ALEFOSIO (Pacific Homecare, Papatoetoe)
Sulita Alefosio has been a caregiver with Pacific Homecare for over three years. She works full-time, assisting seven elderly and disabled clients.
One of Sulita’s clients, Miriama Tuialii, says, “Sulita is marvellous. I feel so well looked after and cared for. She has a lot of consideration for an oldy goldy like me. I have a lot of trust in her. Sometimes she does things for me beyond her duty. She sees things that need to be done and does them. She never has to be asked. I can’t do many physical things for myself, so she really helps me, but she does so in a nice way that makes me feel still feel good about myself. In the mornings I sit in my room and say a prayer. Sometimes Sulita will come in and give me a cuddle and join me. All of these things mean I still have a good life. That is what is important.”
HIGHLY COMMENDED: ORLANDO OLVINA (Hodgson House Aged Care Centre, Tauranga)
Perhaps we could describe Orlando as a ‘favourite’ of the residents at Hodgson House. Orlando has been with Hodgson House from 2009.Orlando is the ‘can-do guy’ of the place. He works in most of the wings as a caregiver. Is a male caregiver a problem for some residents? “He is not a male caregiver, he is “Orlando” so that is OK!” we hear from the residents.
Apart from caregiving, Orlando took up other responsibilities as coordinator of the inco pads distribution system. He also is a well-known entertainer as a vocalist and has performed at residents’ functions. Every home should have a “can-do guy”!
- Joop Wieringa, manager, Hodgson House
HIGHLY COMMENDED: ANN DERHAM (Torbay Rest Home)
Ann Derham is a ‘cracker’ in our facility. Ann always puts the residents’ needs first. An example of this is she never goes home until every resident is settled and their needs are met. Ann qualified as an on-site assessor for the Aged Care Education (ACE) course, supporting and assessing many staff through the ACE course. Ann leads the other staff to provide a very high standard of care. She is particularly successful in using validation therapy with residents with dementia and teaches staff to successfully use the therapy. Ann plans special events and leads staff in entertaining residents. Ann has worked at Torbay Rest Home for 18 years and we think she deserves an award as an outstanding caregiver.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: KRISHNA CHAND (Pacific Homecare, Papatoetoe)
Krishna Chand is a full-time caregiver caring for six elderly and disabled clients. He is a humble man with an ethos and values that are important today. Krishna says his work ethic is based on the cultural values of his home country.
“In our culture we have a lot of respect for our old people and we care for them when they get sick or old. My father was sick while I was living in New Zealand so I missed looking after him. That motivated me to do this kind of work and care for others. The cultural values of Pacific Homecare, which are love, care and professionalism, relate to all the clients I work with. We give love and receive love back as well. With professionalism, I am continuing to learn new skills in the field and through training, and that is great.”
Krishna received the most appreciation cards of any caregiver employed by Pacific Homecare in 2011. Having been recognised by his clients for his excellent work, Krishna was awarded Employee of the Month for September 2011.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: WENDY ROBINSON (Hodgson House Aged Care Centre, Tauranga)
Wendy has been working as a caregiver (healthcare assistant) at Hodgson House (Anglican Care) for close to four years. Wendy is totally dedicated to her job. She has a real love for ‘her’ residents, and always goes the extra mile. Her very positive personality lifts up the wing. We always know when she is around. Nothing is a problem. “Let’s do it” is her motto. Wendy is well and truly multi-skilled. Apart from caregiving, she steps in to assist the divisional therapist when there are activities to be organised and carried out. She delighted our residents by performing with her group as a belly dancer! Our Wendy is a STAR!
- Joop Wieringa, manager, Hodgson House
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LORRAINE PARTRIDGE (Freeling Holt House)
Let me introduce our recently immigrated English healthcare assistant, Lorraine. We are very happy she has chosen to work with us and, although a relative newcomer, she has become an invaluable employee. Lorraine comes with a huge heart and huge 30-years-plus experience as a carer in the UK. She has been permanently on staff for just a few months but has taken the shifts usually hard to cover – the split shifts covering both the busy periods in the day, early morning and early evening. She is a personal favourite of many of our residents and she has a kind nature for the ones who make the least noise. A no-nonsense approach to her daily tasks is just one of her qualities. As a registered nurse you know you can trust her to alert you to anything of consequence and have full faith in her abilities.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LUCINDA KING (Freeling Holt House)
Our healthcare assistant Lucinda King is one of a kind. Her manner, tone and caring attitude make her a pleasure to work with; she does our facility proud. We are a very busy private hospital with many residents extremely unwell on a daily basis, suffering from complex end-stage disease processes. Lucinda’s calm and caring manner exudes confidence to her patients, especially when they are upset or stressed. Lucinda has been with us for just on two years now; she is a valued member of the night duty team, and is well liked and well respected by her peers. She works tirelessly and goes beyond the call of duty wherever necessary. She is a true gem and well deserves any recognition for her attributes.
- Tina Boulton, Helen Lovell clinical manager
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