For Hannah Sidoti, working in aged care is more than a job – it’s a calling.
“I’ve always really connected with (the) elderly, she explains. “I understand them. I have this fondness for them. And I just like being around them.”
As a nurse at Hope Aged Care, Hannah spends her professional life caring for the people she says she feels “so connected with”. A typical day might see her administering medications, maintaining personal hygiene and seeing to a host of other medical issues common to the elderly. But Hannah says there’s a lot more to her job than tending to her residents’ physical and medical needs.
“We’re here to bring joy to them,” she says. “We have fun.”
Asked what she loves most about the job, Hannah says it's the quieter moments – when her nursing duties are fulfilled and her medical training can take a back seat. “Having the time to sit with (the residents), have coffee – I love that,” she says.
“Sometimes we get photos out and reminisce (about) back when they were in Greece or in Italy,” she adds, while other times they’ll play music. “We do little sing-alongs, and they dance. It’s really nice to enjoy the better times for them, maybe (from) when they were in their home country.”
For Hannah, creating a personal bond with her residents is as important as making sure everyone is fit and healthy. Admittedly, this makes her own days more fulfilling – but she says there are practical benefits to this social approach too.
Like anybody, aged care residents can have good days and bad days. “Maybe they’re missing their family,” Hannah says, “and you have to sort of step in and fill that void for them.” There are no medical textbooks that can teach you how to be someone’s friend. Which is why nurses like Hannah are so important to ensuring Hope Aged Care’s residents lead happy and fulfilling lives.
“It’s a great job,” Hannah says. “It brings joy to me. And I bring joy to them. I’m here Monday to Friday. (The residents) always see me, they know who I am. We’re like a little family.”