In December 2021, Cindy left the hectic world of advertising to start a new chapter at our residential care home in Golden Grove.
‘When I started working here, the borders had recently reopened and everyone was in COVID-19 crisis management mode, so it felt a bit disjointing’, she says. ‘Everyone was focussed and alert, but at the same time so supportive of each other and the residents. I set my doubts aside and put my hand up and asked, “What can I do to help?”
Part of her role includes doing site tours for prospective new residents. ‘This is usually the first time I meet them in person. Some people are ready and looking forward to getting day-to-day care; others are uncertain and tentative about what this next chapter will be like. One thing everyone always comments on, is how beautiful the home is. I think the atmosphere and environment we have here is a reassuring surprise to many.’
‘Often when I am showing a family around, I’ll see a resident who might need something. I’ll stop what I am doing on the tour and assist them as best I can. That’s just an instinctive thing for me to do, but it really resonates with the people on the tour. I think it gives them a glimpse into how they will be treated and what it might be like to live here.’
‘I worked in advertising for 25 years, and it was such a competitive “me-first” environment. Coming here has really shifted my outlook. I have more patience and have become more attuned to older people outside of my work. I was at the supermarket recently and there was a woman who needed some assistance, so I helped her take her groceries to her car. Before working for Helping Hand, I wouldn’t have noticed that I could help. I just wasn’t looking.’
‘It’s also changed my relationship with my mum. She’s an independent woman and still drives, so I didn’t really think about her getting older. I am now more aware and see things from a different perspective. My sister is a nurse and I used to wonder how she worked in a healthcare setting. I never thought I would have that compassion and patience in my working life. And it turns out that I do!’
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