Marieann is the Lifestyle Coordinator at Casa Damore and has been with Vacenti for six and a half years. She has been in the lifestyle department for 25 years and entered this sector during her time as a Registered Nurse in aged care.
On her ward, a dementia unit where she was previously working, the staff were the lifestyle team, and she realised she loved the Lifestyle, lifestyle! She saw it was time for a change when she saw the great need in her country town for the aging population and she felt she could best service people in an alternative sector to nursing. It was then an ad for a lifestyle officer caught her attention and she applied, completing her diploma in leisure and health. She then transitioned from nursing to lifestyle and loves the role.
Her favourite moment was when a resident who did not speak was introduced to her dog while visiting the facility. As the dog popped up and put its paws on the chair, she turned and said “Hello beautiful”, Marieann had been there for a year and never her heard her say a word.
Overall, it is seeing the residents enjoy themselves, and how they become family, as they connect Marieann gains the ability to know them and therefore understand their needs sometimes before they ask.
To be able to work in this industry, you must be able to communicate, care, be outgoing, be able to take the bad and make it good. Learning to laugh, the ability to laugh at yourself and at a situation goes a long way as does the ability to read the moment, read the room, and have an awareness of your residents.
Her future aspirations are to keep doing what she loves doing, supporting the residents, looking after their needs, living one day at a time and seeing where life takes her.