In her role as Diversional Therapist, Lauren brings enthusiasm, creativity and zest for life to the Glengara Care community. She organises a creative array of activities to enhance residents’ emotional and physical wellbeing, including bingo mornings (a resident favourite), balloon tennis, craft activities and trips along the Central Coast.
As well as being driven by the desire “to make residents happy”, she says that “above all it’s about having fun – it’s such a simple but incredibly powerful notion, with the potential to make such a difference in people’s lives.’’
Lauren joined the Glengara Care team in late 2020, having secured Level 3 Certification in both Aged Care and Home and Community Care in 2013. Since then, she has worked as an Assistant in Nursing and completed extra qualifications in Leisure and Health, as well as Home and Community Care.
As a self-professed “people person” who takes an optimistic “glass half full” approach to life, Lauren says the best part of her role is “the residents. Definitely the residents and getting to know them.
“I’m interested in people and love hearing their stories. The Glengara Care community is filled with people who’ve led such interesting lives. One of our residents built the first computer in the UK, another was a pilot. Another gentleman was a pharmacist, while one was a fireman. I love hearing their stories and am always here for them if they want to stop and chat for half an hour.”
Lauren has always had a “special connection with the older generation”. As a child, she enjoyed visiting her grandmother at a nursing home and seeing the diversional therapists at work. “I used to love watching them interacting with the residents,” she says. “They would be able to get a smile out of people who didn’t tend to react or respond much with others.”
Now, it’s Lauren’s job to bring joy and raise smiles from the community. “I always say if I can’t make a resident smile that day, I haven’t done my job properly.”
She does this by devising a variety of events and activities that are tailored to residents’ needs, including options that are appropriate for all levels of cognitive ability and physical mobility. She says the most valuable part of her role is helping the residents be “happy, connected to the community, and connected to each other.