Edith – Residential aged care worker

In most health sectors, aged care workers carry many stigmas they must overcome. Generally, a career in the aged care industry was once considered an uncomplicated role in looking after elderly Australians. However, as in any health care sector manoeuvring in today’s modern pandemic ages, a career in aged care is believed to be more valuable and can continue to be rewarding.

Edith Stuart has been in the aged care sector for a long time. She obtained her nursing qualifications at the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Community College in 1999. Through her courage and determination, she was involved with the Federal Government’s decision in introducing the accreditation-based qualification assurance system announced by Aged Care Minister Brownyn Bishop. Edith joined KOPWA as a personal carer almost six years ago. Voluntarily adding to her many tasks, Edith initiated the organising and managing of the incontinence pads for our residents. Her desire to help ease the process for all relevant care staff was invaluable. Management at KOPWA immensely recognises Edith for her leadership in taking on additional responsibilities. Her story reflects that no task in aged care is insignificant, and teamwork is encouraged.

Edith attributed her leadership and initiation to her innate orderly European spirit. Edith does not like attention but often gives the utmost engagement to our elderly residents. This bubbly, small-statured KOPWA staff always shows up to work with bright coloured hair clips and a smile on her face. Her little gestures are subtle and thoughtful. Edith often suggests interesting objects with which residents can hold and create fun activities. She recognises that in carrying out our moral obligations, we can create small and little pleasures for those who need them; The reactions are her rewards.

Edith enjoys and functions well in a coordinated environment. In the old facility, storage rooms were scarce. Deliveries would often end up in small and difficult-to-access storage rooms. Despite their necessities, such as incontinence pads, some items were considered difficult to store due to their daily use. Hence, these were often not correctly stored. Edith took it upon herself and rearranged the incontinence pads in an orderly manner that was easy for staff to retrieve. She extended her goodwill gesture to ensure that all residents had the appropriate number and required pad types for in excess of a week. This practice was carried into the newly constructed facility. Edith was a problem solver in the initial phase of undertaking this new voluntary duty. She created an inventory logbook and monitored the pad levels, ensuring all residents had excess pads to last more than a week. This proved highly important during the pandemic lockdowns when Australia saw a shortage of truck drivers and only the delivery of essential items. Our residents were never short of incontinence pads. Edith has humbly built trust between management, suppliers, and delivery companies and is grateful to have that sense of achievement. She has bold plans to grow the use of storage rooms in the new facility for other necessary items and to encourage other staff to be part of KOPWA’s continual care and growth for our residents.

KOPWA values every staff member and aims to create a sustainable and healthy workplace. For more details on KOPWA services or to join us, please contact 9412 0284.