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Colleen's helping residents feel young at heart

TAFE NSW Coomealla

Colleen's helping residents feel young at heart

With employment opportunities in the aged care industry expected to grow strongly over the next five years, there is no better time for job seekers to be considering a rewarding career caring and providing quality of life for the ageing population.

According to Australian Government Jobs Outlook data, the number of aged and disabled carers in Australia is expected to increase by 39% by 2023, providing around 179,000 job openings over this time. McCrindle research suggests, that in the next 30 years there will be 1.2 million more people aged over 85 than there are today, and the average older Australian will live 5 years longer than today which equates to adding 6 million more years of care just for the increased number of people over 85 and to manage their increased life expectancy.

Mildura resident, Colleen Lewis, is taking advantage of new opportunities in the aged care industry. After working in the industry for many years, she chose to broaden her skills by studying a Diploma of Leisure and Health at TAFE NSW Coomealla.

“I moved into a new role as the Lifestyle Coordinator at Princes Court Community Living in Mildura and realised I needed to improve my skills. Not only was it the perfect time for me to study, but TAFE NSW Coomealla was conveniently located close to home, which is important to me,” Ms Lewis said.

“My role involves developing resident care plans, day-to-day activities for residents to keep them active and engaged, arranging volunteers for activities, holding resident and family meetings and much more.

“The course has equipped me with a better understanding and hands-on skills of how to work with residents and staff. I’ve learnt new and creative ideas for activities and formed good working relationships with others in the industry.

“Being able to brighten someone’s day by doing the simplest of things, is so rewarding.”

Princes Court Community Living Acting Director of Nursing, Sue Zariko, said Colleen has lifted the lifestyle program at Princes Court and is enriching residents lives everyday.

“Colleen has also worked on a number of projects outside her role and has organised information sessions with organisations such as Victoria Police, Vision Australia and Beyond Blue to inform the residents and their families on services that are available to them.

“TAFE NSW is an outstanding education provider and Colleen’s skills have developed as a result of the knowledge that she has gained. The educational resources have also benefited Colleen and supported her to perform her important role,” Ms Zariko said.

TAFE NSW Community Services Teacher, Sharon Fleming, said Colleen was a conscientious student who worked hard in all areas of the course.

“She is the perfect example of students coming to TAFE NSW to get the skills needed to get ahead in a career they love,” Ms Fleming said.

To find out more about Community Services courses available at TAFE NSW Coomealla visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.

Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Media Officer, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.