The Garrawarra Centre
“My role as a Diversional Therapist is primarily to coordinate leisure and lifestyle activities for our residents. We give them something beyond their clinical diagnosis, to remind them that they’re all individuals. We have Recreational Lifestyle Officers who work in each cottage and I help mentor and support them. That’s what I like about my job, I can either work on the floor or work behind the scenes to help other people.
In the last couple of years I have also been involved in providing funeral services for residents who pass away with no family to arrange one. It was kind of born out of necessity. We didn’t want to send somebody off who we knew didn’t have family to either not have a funeral or have a funeral not attended. Management thought it would be a nice way to round off that circle of care, saying; ‘we’ve cared for this person for the last couple of years, we know they don’t have family or friends, who are we then if we’re not their family’.
It is a completely different road I thought I would never go down. I pick out the coffin, the flowers, the songs and deliver a speech. Olsens funerals, our local contact, has been very good in supporting us. We also have a morning tea for staff, to reflect and share. It’s a nice way of acknowledging staff as well and saying thank you on the residents’ behalf.”