Aged Care Employee Day 2023

We caught up with our wonderful Personal Care Assistant, Will, and asked him what he loves most about working in aged care and at Woodford Manor.

On this special occasion of Aged Care Employee Day, we celebrate Australia’s residential, home and community aged care workers. This year’s theme #ThanksForCaring recognises everyone involved in caring for older Australians. This year, we asked our wonderful Personal Care Assistant, Will Heagney, to share his aged care journey and what working at Woodford Manor Aged Care means to him.

Why did you want to pursue a career in aged care?

I lived with my Nanna for many years and was around her friends a lot and found I got on better with elderly people than I did my own age. I like to make a difference and if I can make just one resident feel happy, I know I am doing a good job. I started working at Woodford Manor back in 2016 and I left in 2018 as I wanted to try a trade. I found I missed aged care too much and a trade wasn’t what I wanted to do as a career. I returned to Woodford Manor in 2022.

What do you like most about your role and working at Woodford Manor?

I returned to Woodford Manor as it’s not just an aged care facility, it’s like a home. I find that the staff that get employed all have a passion for the elderly and are great to work with. I find management very approachable and very understanding with personal issues we may have.

My favourite area would have to be memory support. We can enter a different reality and work with the residents on a different level. Dementia can be a terrible disease and I do my best to support the residents, their families, and staff.

What can be challenging about working in aged care?

Building trust with the residents. I sit and chat about their past so I can understand their needs and what I can do to make their stay the best I can. I treat everyone as adults, encourage as much independence as possible and feel I am a good advocate for all my residents.

Culture can be a barrier. I often Google certain cultures so I can go into their room and say hello in their language. Some residents have been teaching me their culture too.

Losing a resident that you became close to because they are like family, and a piece of you goes with them. Watching family members lose their mum or dad can be extremely heart breaking but us staff must be professional with a passing, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t walk away and don’t shed a small tear.

What is a special memory you have from working at Woodford Manor?

I have one resident that just loves telling jokes and hearing them too. I tell her jokes and she is always so proud when I come back to work, and she tells me she remembered all the jokes I told her and that she has told her family. She looks up jokes, so she has some to tell me, while I am doing care duties. There is always so much laughter, it really brightens my day and hers. This resident often asks about my daughter, Mia Rose.

I also have a very manly man in one of my areas at the home, and I sit and tell him manly jokes. It’s so nice to see him laugh and have a man-to-man conversation.

Aged Care can be very rewarding and sad at the same time but as long as you have passion for the elderly that’s all that matters.


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