Today we are happy to introduce Shawn, our Lifestyle Coordinator at Lorocco. Shawn has a diverse career background but has been with Vacenti for 2 years, 8 years in the Lifestyle department and 10 years in aged care. He is completing his Certificate 4 in leisure and health with extensive training in dementia through Dementia Australia and Latrobe University. Shawn has a passion and interest in working with Dementia sufferers and working with older people. The job brings rewarding experiences as he helps older people live fulfilled lives and assists with experiencing a quality of life in the later stages of a person’s journey.
The job requires having empathy and being aware of resident’s personalities in particular understanding and knowing a person’s triggers. Logistically organising activities requires looking at all aspects that will be entertaining for each resident and being aware of cultural and spiritual beliefs to determine whether an activity would be appropriate or not. It involves looking at the cohort as well as individual residents and their families and personal triggers.
A strong bond is formed with the family of the resident and strong clear communication skills are required to engage with families to explain the why, when, and how of care and all experiences at the facility. This also assists in the transition from a home environment into a care environment. Excellent nonverbal communication is needed to be able to gauge a resident’s mood and gain trust, being authentic and honest in his care approach, being calm and having the ability to diffuse a situation is needed.
This career path is not just a job for Shawn but a driving passion to understand dementia to be able to best care for residents, applying a holistic approach and keep them mobile and moving for as long as possible, even when they are not aware of it. He finds it a privilege to be with them until the end and help with their needs.
His favourite memory was on a scenic drive when they went past a house where a resident was born. He was able to speak with the new owner of the house and the resident was thrilled to be able to see it again and explain where she was born in the house and her memories of her time there. It was a special moment, and he was so happy he could make that happen, he watches for opportunities to do this for our residents.
Looking towards the future Shawn has an interest in gaining a degree in diversional therapy and the opportunity to become a regional Lifestyle Coordinator would be a career challenge.