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Get to know Linda & Mr Lam
Linda & Mr Lam's answers below have been transcribed from the carecareers TV ads and Q&A videos they appear in.
Get to know Linda
How did you first enter the sector?
I saw an ad in the local paper and said “Hmm, sounds like it suit me. I’ve never ever worked in a hospital, I might give myself a go, see how I cope with it”. Firstly I wanted to change careers, secondly, the ad said I needed a nursing background and I’ve got it, and the ad also said I have to bi-lingual.
I have all these skills, I can fully utilise these skills, so I said "that’s good". I learned all these skills and have these skills and I can fully utilise them, why not apply for it?
Is working in the sector different to how you previously perceived?
Yes it’s different. In previous jobs it needed more technical skill, but this job is more interpersonal. For example, in a hospital you look after someone only within the time that they are there. Once they leave the hospital, you stop the relationship. In this job you keep following-up, it’s a continuous job.
One of my clients has been with me for ten years. I’m still going to him.
Who do you think is best suited to working in the sector?
Have a lovely heart, most important. Skill yes, it’s better to offer skill as well, but we train our staff. We are facing the elderly and they are all different characters. Some of them have had very tough life experience and you have to fully understand why they behave like that, and you’ve got accept it.
What has the work taught you about yourself, others, and people your work supports?
I say, it really inspired me a lot, for instance, by interacting with different elderly, their life experience, the way they face difficulty. You’ve got to be very flexible at the time you deal with them. I learn a lot from them. After working in this industry, I’ve found I’m more positive towards life, even when problems come up I always look at them in a positive way.
Get to know Mr Lam
(1915 - 2010)
What do you like most about working with Linda?
I feel Linda is attentive, cooperative and very communicative. The shock, suffering and depression I endured after my wife passed away has been lifted by Linda and the workers. The caring, love and spirit from the volunteer workers have helped me resolve many psychological issues. And receive the warmth from human beings.
How has it been being involved with the carecareers TV shoot?
Regarding this TV shoot, I can’t say the length of it is short, nor is it too long. It’s enough for me to have the opportunity to express my years of life experience and my understanding of society. The fact that I can have this team of workers helping the elderly express their true feelings, and the brilliant director, I am very pleased with.
But I have two things to say. Firstly, I speak on my own behalf. I feel honoured to be involved in this rare opportunity. Elderly people like me who’ve reached 90 plus years in age have been discarded by society and there is no space left for me. My passion to help society has never stopped, even after I turned 60 years old I still wanted to contribute. But this opportunity given to me is so rare and meaningful, I want to fully involve my self in the process. The filming crew asked all the right questions during the interview.
Secondly, in a multi-cultural country like Australia, I was expecting it to be racist towards minorities before I arrived, however after being here for 15 years I now think Australia sees all cultures the same, and the focus on elderly care is very complete. I have lived in four different countries and my last stop was Australia. I say Australia in general treats its elderly well and should be proud of its elderly care service as I am getting its benefit.
If you were to employ your own paid care worker, what qualities would you seek in them to support you?
The qualities your team possess are what I am after. But the time is limited to heal my emptiness because there are only a few hours consultation each week, and my children need to work. I think my view would represent half of the elderly population.
Besides the usual physical aspect of disabled elderly care, the ability to fulfil the psychological need is extremely important. In other words, combining the physical care and the mental care is the best. Your team have the qualities, but just wish it would be longer. Aside from the physical care, love towards the elderly is important as well.