Enjoyable time with aged care
AFTER a career of 22 years in aged care, Christine Holder has retired from Biggenden Lions Community Care.
When she first came back to Biggenden in 1995, Mrs Holder said she heard about the "carers” from her elderly Aunt Lily
"She was rather vague about the subject but said if I wanted some part-time work it might be the job for me,” she said.
"This service is rather unique as it is the only one in Australia which has been set up by Biggenden Lions Club committee.”
Mrs Holder said the suggestion came from the town's GP at the time, Dr Peter Miller, as Biggenden had an elderly population.
"It was new ground for the club and the instructions were fairly general,” she said.
"The main aim was to look after frail, aged people in their own homes.
"This was especially beneficial for Biggenden as we did not have an aged care facility.”
Mrs Holder approached then co-ordinator Heather Ferling and was advised she was looking for someone to do meals at the weekends.
"We supplied lunch to four or five clients at that time,” she said.
After a couple of months, the position of administrator assistant became available so Mrs Holder applied for this and started working in April 1996.
She said over the years the service had cared for more than 70 elderly clients and employed more than 30 carers.
"It has always been our aim to give the recipients and their families peace of mind,” she said.
Mrs Holder said "today we are much more structured, being inspected by the department regularly and regulated by the Commonwealth Government”.
"Today, funding is lacking and waiting times are so much longer,” she said.
"My Aunt Lily was assessed one day and as we had a vacancy went straight on to a package.
"Now it is virtually a year and 108,000 people on the waiting list.”
Mrs Holder said another change is the office work is computerised but current co-ordinator Leesa Sharps is experienced with the medical and office requirements.
"As a Lions Club member, I hope we can continue to provide this valuable service to the people of Biggenden,” she said.
"During my 22 years, I've really enjoyed my time with the service, the company of the girls and interaction with the clients.”