Our McKenzie People: Loretta, PCA


McKenzie team member Loretta Farmer, a PCA at Charlesbrook, shares her rewarding story, showing that caring for others becomes so much more than just a job.

Several days ago I was meal assisting Sue*, who was dining at the same table with residents Barbara*, Joan* and Cath*. As I was assisting Sue, I decided to play a simple game with all of them.

This game entailed asking questions like:
What food do you least like to eat and why?
What food do you love and why?
As well as taking turns trying to learn and remember each other’s names. It was hilarious!

Even though Barbara had her hearing aids in, I had to stand up and speak directly into her ear. Barbara still couldn’t hear some of the words, so to assist further I wrote the questions on a spare napkin. This simple initiative meant Barbara was able to participate and join in the fun.

As the game progressed the stories that followed from the questions were hysterical. I even shared stories about my own phobia of eggs. It was the nicest meal assist session amongst a group of ladies I’ve ever had.

After their lunch, the dessert on offer was ice cream and fruit. A few of the women enjoyed this dessert, whilst there were others who didn’t like what was on offer. In order to create a pleasant experience for everyone I came back to make them tea and coffee whilst offering a selection of biscuits to compliment the beverage. Oh how they loved that!

So much so, that Joan hugged me on her way out telling me how much fun lunch had been.
I informed her that she would see me again on Sunday.

Days passed and before we knew it Sunday had come around. Just before lunch, I visited Cath’s room and asked her if she wanted to come out for lunch. She agreed.

While we waited for lunch I sat next to Cath and asked her how she was finding life in her new surroundings. This kicked off a lovely conversation about Cath’s life including that she once worked as a carer. Oh my heart, just melted.

While she dined with her friends we laughed and laughed.

On my way out at the end of my shift, Cath was enjoying some entertainment being put on by the Lifestyle team. I told her I was leaving and that I would see her again on Sunday. She thanked me for keeping her company and for the lovely chat. I thanked her for the laughs we shared during lunch with her friends.

This simple interaction we experienced provides a beautiful insight into why the work we do in aged care is so much more than just a job. Sometimes, asking a few basic questions at lunch can turn a dining experience into a special moment that builds relationships and creates lasting memories with those around us.

*Resident’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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