Kaloma Home for the Aged is changing the face of aged care, but it’s also doing wonders when it comes to making deams come true.
Jacinta Dennison, 26, loves people and loves caring for them. So perhaps it’s no surprise that she now finds herself working alongside the dedicated team at Kaloma.
We know not everyone believes in fate, but Jacinta’s story may at least make you think twice. Jacinta is a born and bred Toomelah girl until moving to Warwick a few years ago. However last year her much loved grandmother Barbara Dennision fell ill and Jacinta came home to care for her. It also coincided, or as fate may have it, with an Army ‘invasion’ which has changed Jacinta’s life.
More than 200 Army personnel came to Toomelah in May to upgrade facilities, to train residents in areas ranging from building trades to catering and vehicle maintenance, and to build “enthusiasm and hope for the future” within the community. It did that and more for Jacinta who joined a hospitality course.
Which is where fate played a hand again. One of the guest speakers was Kaloma CEO, Penni Roberts, who said she was drawn to this “shy, nervous young woman who I knew had something to say”. To be more precise, she wanted to ask questions, about looking after the elderly.
“I have been always interested in caring for people, and my grandmother always said I should get into aged care,” Jacinta said.
Her grandmother’s illness made all those question more relevant. “I just saw something in Jacinta,” Penni said, and that led her to offering her a job.
She began work in September last year. Sadly her grandmother died shortly after. Jacinta can’t keep the tears from her eyes.
What Penni assures us is that she would be proud of her granddaughter. “She is made for this job, she cares and she is doing such an excellent job,” Penni said. “She is just a delight. The residents love her, the staff love, what more could you ask.”
Jacinta is about to re-start a Certificate III in Aged Care. Penni believes she can complete that in around six months. But that won’t be the end of her study. Jacinta wants to become a nurse.
“I think Jacinta is just a great success story,” Penni said.
However while fate may have played a hand, it can also use a helping had. Kaloma Home for the Aged has helped hundreds of “local” students with work placements who are completing study in aged care and nursing over the years.
But there’s also a vital and important benefit to Kaloma and its residents.
They find out firsthand who is passionate and up to the job of making a care facility a home.
People just like Jacinta.