Our LASA Next Gen Ambassadors are incredibly passionate about the age services industry; from our front-line staff to those in our business teams, and those in hospitality; they love being part of our age services sector and supporting our workplaces through this period of unprecedented growth and change and into the future. Our Ambassadors are helping LASA Next Gen to promote the changing face of aged care and highlight how our industry is dynamic, innovative and life-changing.
But, who are they?
Meet Nicole Platell, Physiotherapist at Curtin Heritage Living and a LASA Next Gen Ambassador in WA. Learn a bit more about her and her love for our age services industry!
Tell us a bit about yourself
I have been working in the aged care sector as a Physiotherapist for 4 years having come from a hospital and private practice setting prior to this. Whilst undertaking my Physiotherapy training I never imagined that I would find myself working with the elderly. I had preconceived ideas about the industry and did not believe that it was a suitable fit for me. Boy was I wrong! Working in aged care has provided me with more job satisfaction, more career growth, more learning opportunities and more skill development than I ever thought possible.
What is your favourite thing about working in aged care or what is your favourite memory?
Without a doubt my favourite part about working in aged care is the relationships that I am able to form with my residents. Knowing that I am able to positively impact someone’s day with a simple conversation over a cup of tea or a walk outside in the garden is truly rewarding. Working as part of a larger therapy team with an ongoing focus on innovation and improving our residents quality of life is both fun and exciting. It is incredibly fulfilling to work with like minded people who all have the common goal of allowing our residents to age gracefully and with dignity. From a professional point of view working in aged care also allows me to practice and develop my skills in a complex setting.
A special memory that I will always cherish involves a resident who loved to play scrabble. She had severe arthritis in her fingers and was unable to hold and manipulate the scrabble tiles, something which she found to be embarrassing. As a result of this she no longer wanted to play. Through a bit of persistence and training I taught her how to use a scrabble app on her i-pad. From here I could assist her to play with other people from all over the world. I was lucky enough to play against her on multiple occasions and even though I didn’t win a single game it was these special moments that I will always remember her by.
What are your proudest achievements in the aged services industry so far?
Being nominated in the Rising Star category at the 2019 LASA Excellence in Aged Services Awards was a significant achievement for me. To have been nominated by my workplace was a special reminder that therapy is a valued service offered within the aged care sector.
As a Physiotherapist in aged care my proudest moments revolve around successful rehabilitation and helping an individual to regain their ability to walk again. This in turn prevents the need for a wheelchair. Allowing someone to re-establish their sense of independence and freedom is life changing for them and humbling for me. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride knowing that I played a role in allowing these individuals to age healthily.
What do you wish other people knew about aged care?
I wish that other people knew how fun aged care could be! I wish they knew how much diversity the industry had to offer. Every day at work is different, exiting, rewarding and challenging in its own way. You get to join in on the activities and the festivities and before you know it you’re a part of the family. Their smiles are contagious, and knowing that you have contributed to the joy that day is the best feeling ever 😊
Nicole is a Physiotherapist at Curtin Heritage Living and a LASA Next Gen Ambassador in WA. Connect with her on LinkedIn.