Kelmscott resident and qualified carer Claudia Rebelo is just one of the dedicated care staff who will forfeit Christmas day with her husband and two young daughters to help care for the dozens of residents at local aged care home Mercy Place Villa Maria in Lesmurdie.
“I love my job and so spending Christmas day with residents isn’t really like working, it’s an honour to be here to care for those seniors who are unable to be with their families,” says Mrs Rebelo, who originally hails from Portugal.
“Although some of our residents celebrate Christmas with their own families, there are many who don’t have anyone to go home to and it’s just wonderful to be there for them, particularly as I think of them in many ways as part of my own family, they are beautiful people.
“I’m actually going to bring my two daughters in to see the residents for a short time in the afternoon, they love my two and four-year-old, and in fact my girls love spending time with the residents and feel in many ways that they have over a dozen grandparents.”
Mrs Rebelo will be one of a number of staff members who will work on Christmas day, including nurses, cooks and kitchen helpers, all of whom will be focused on ensuring that residents enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch as well as tending to their daily care needs on December 25.
Mercy Place Villa Maria Service Manager, John Herbert, says that in many ways the local care staff were the unsung heroes of the community during the festive season.
“When most people are opening presents on Christmas day, tucking into Christmas lunch, pouring a celebratory drink or enjoying family company, Mercy Place Villa Maria staff will be caring for others in their usual dedicated way,” he said.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have so many committed and dedicated staff who are only too happy to go the extra mile to care for our residents and also help to inject a little Christmas spirit into their day.”
Mercy Health is a Catholic community not for profit provider of care, founded by the Sisters of Mercy and grounded in a 2000-year history of caring for those in need. The organisation is a national service provider of health and aged care throughout Victoria, Southern New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
In Western Australia, the organisation cares for over 300 people across six residential homes, with 78 independent living units.