Over the past few years, Julie Smith’s experience both as a Registered Nurse at Resthaven and as a family member, has given her a well-rounded view of Resthaven Craigmore.
Julie began working for Resthaven Craigmore in 2018, primarily as a Documentation Nurse, after an already impressive nursing career surpassing 40 years.
‘I started my career working in hospitals, and eventually moved into aged care after having my children and craving a change in pace’, Julie says.
‘I truly believe I was meant to make my way into aged care.’
‘I have always loved caring for older people and getting to know them – there has always been a lot of respect and interest there for me.’
Soon after discovering her passion for the aged care industry, Julie’s mum was diagnosed with dementia. While hesitant, Julie knew she would soon have to consider residential care.
‘People don’t often realise how hard it is to make the decision that their parents need residential care. I was struggling a lot with the idea of letting go and worrying if she was going to receive the care and respect that she deserves.’
‘After looking at Resthaven Craigmore, I discovered they were looking for a Registered Nurse – I ended up getting that job!’
‘My role at Resthaven Craigmore allows me to speak with residents on a personal level and help make them feel comfortable and genuinely cared for.’
‘I predominantly work with those who have recently been admitted and I have the responsibility to develop a specialised, individual care plan for them.’
‘The care planning process involves extensive chats with each resident and their families. This especially important, as I know through my own personal experience with Mum.’
Since working with Resthaven, Julie felt more comfortable in arranging a respite stay for her mother, to see how she would go.
‘My Mum was wary at first, but after picking her up from her first respite stay, I could see her joking around with the staff.’
‘She just had this huge smile on her face, and I could tell the environment made her comfortable and happy.’
After one more respite stay, there was a vacancy, and Julie’s Mum happily moved in.
‘I feel spoilt to be able to work where my Mum is. The guilt I was feeling when looking into residential care for her has completely gone.’
‘With my experience as a staff member and a family member, I know with my whole heart what an incredible environment we have here – and it’s not just from a site level, but the upper management genuinely cares about people, and it isn’t all about money.’
Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of older people and their carers, being one of only a select few aged care providers in Australia offering the full range of aged care service options.
A not for profit, South Australian aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church, Resthaven’s residential and in-home care and support options are offered throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Riverland, Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula and the Limestone Coast.