The life lessons we have learnt from seniors

March 4, 2024

The NSW Seniors Festival will run from 11 – 24 March 2024. It celebrates the role and contributions of older adults to our local communities. It’s the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, with over 500,000 people attending each year. To mark this significant event, we asked some CatholicCare staff to share what they have learnt from working with seniors. Their insights are profound and inspiring. Enjoy!

“Our seniors are well seasoned in their life experiences. They can teach us a lot about how to face life’s ups and downs, particularly as they are at an age when they are often facing multiple health issues. The seniors I work with have taught me how to take things one day at a time, as we don’t know what tomorrow holds. They have taught me to be thankful for what we have, rather than dwell on what we no longer have or can no longer do due to ageing. The seniors I have worked with have taught me to be joyful regardless of circumstances. They remind me how the Apostle Paul said to be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. I like to think that our seniors are showing us the ropes in how to age gracefully. Praise God for the opportunity to serve seniors and to grow together with them on our life journeys!”
Chee Chan, Activity Support Partner

“I find that the elderly keep me on my toes. They have encouraged me to become tech savvy as they are always asking me to Google things for them! They are full of knowledge and have great stories to tell. They take my mind back to the days of when I would visit my own grandparents and listen to their stories. Society at times portrays the elderly as being silly and forgetful. This isn’t correct. So many of our seniors are highly intelligent, funny, and full of great stories. The other day my client wanted to get rid of some old clothes, and in the process of supporting her to do this we ended up having a fashion parade! We both laughed as she told me which outfits would look good on me and many stories were shared.”
Kathleen Trott, Activity Support Partner

“In my journey working with seniors, I’ve been honoured to serve in frontline aged care roles, where I had the opportunity to provide one-to-one social, emotional, and spiritual support in various care homes and retirement communities. It was during these moments, in the midst of their vulnerability, that I had the chance to learn directly from seniors. As I was there for them, creating a space for them to reminisce about the roller coaster of life, I discovered a recurring theme. Time and time again, the most cherished memories were those of meaningful relationships – with family, close friends, and loved ones. This underscores the importance of making love and connection a central part of our lives as we grow old.”
Shane Watson, Manager Services for Seniors

 “Working with seniors is an honour.  During our Memory Innovations Centre (MIC) programs our clients display enthusiasm, wit and wisdom as they engage in exercise and stimulating activities to promote good physical health and improved cognitive abilities. Although I’m the facilitator, education is a two-way street … we learn new concepts, laugh, explore new ideas and respectfully support each other!  In this community, I have learned that experience is to be valued and age is definitely no barrier.”
Jacqui Paradise, Allied Health Assistant

“Working with seniors has taught me to enjoy life and to appreciate the present moment. I have learnt how important our Let’s Get Moving, Brain Games and Arts Smarts programs are for assisting holistically with the ageing process. Seniors have taught me the importance of social connection, particularly for those who have lost a partner, and how important it is to connect with people who are going through similar things.”
Jessica Margules, Client Liaison Administration Officer

Click here to view the events you can take part in at this year’s Seniors Festival.

For more information about CatholicCare’s aged care services, email info@catholiccaredbb.org.au, call 1800 324 924 or visit www.catholiccaredbb.org.au/aged-care-support-services.

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