Meet Frances. Frances is the friendly face that welcomes new residents into AnglicareSA’s Westbourne Park residential aged care site.
Given the role of Resident Companion, for the last four months Frances has been helping newcomers to the site make a smooth the transition into living at Westbourne Park.
“I like to show them where everything is,” Frances said, with a bright smile and beaming pride in her official title. “I help them settle in from a resident’s point of view and do everything from going on the bus with them, where to find things, or just talking.
“My dinner table is known as the Happy Table because everyone is included, and people know they can sit and talk and be welcomed.”
A resident at the site for just a year herself, Frances was approached by the Customer Wellness team who were looking do develop the role of Resident Companion.
Customer Wellness Coordinator Jennifer Pilling said the role was also about having someone that would be with residents who did not want to engage in activities and yet felt lonely or agitated.
“It was obvious that Frances would be ideal in this role, and she has taken to it with enthusiasm,” Jennifer said.
“Frances has been doing this role for a little more than four months now and we did an evaluation recently of the role and the other residents rated her highly.
“They said she was a wonderful friendly face that was always welcoming and gave them comfort when they needed it.”
Frances is relishing her role and describes it is as her “church work” where she also volunteers her time to helping others.
Her commitment and efforts were recently recognised as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day activities where she was one of several residents who were acknowledged with Certificates of Merit for their volunteer roles within the site.