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.

Michael Zoumaras, Allied Health and Wellness Manager at Altaira and a LASA Next Gen Ambassador in South Australia.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself

I love my sports, mainly soccer and footy. My love of sport is what initially drove me towards a career in physiotherapy. I have an extensive background in Occupational Health but have also worked across other fields including Aged Care, Community Care, and Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. Last year I was approached and offered the opportunity to help with Altaira’s expansion into Allied Health as the Allied Health & Wellness Operations Manager. I loved my previous job and had a promotion opportunity there, but I felt I needed to take myself out of my comfort zone and venture into a new field of physiotherapy within the aged care sector.

 

What is your favourite thing about working in aged care or what is your favourite memory?

My favourite part of aged care is promoting active rehabilitation and being able to see the difference that physiotherapy can make in the lives of elderly people. In the community sector, these interventions can help people by implementing fall prevention strategies, teaching balance rehabilitation and applying principles of general strength training to help older people maintain functional independence. This can allow them to maintain independent living in their own homes for as long as possible. In the residential care sector, the focus is again on active rehabilitation and helping people maintain their current level of function so they can age gracefully and remain as mobile and healthy as possible into their golden years.

 

What are your proudest achievements in the aged services industry so far?

My proudest achievement so far would be the creation of the Allied Health & Wellness Centre at Altaira. Our Director Jelena Giro, who is also a LASA Next Gen Ambassador, and the executive leadership team trusted my vision and expertise throughout the process and I’m very proud of the service offering we’ve created. I’m thankful that I was provided with the opportunity to be a key driver in that.

This opportunity has helped me to develop my leadership skills and thankfully put me in touch with other LASA Next Gen Ambassadors. It has been wonderful to see the care, passion and innovation in our sector from other young industry leaders, and I feel truly privileged to be a part of the positive changes that are currently occurring in aged care.

 

What do you wish other people knew about aged care?

Unfortunately, there is currently a negative perception around what working in aged care entails, and I can speak from personal experience that once you are working in the sector, you realise how special it is to work in. My hope is that we can attract more people into the sector and show them that the perception does not match the reality when it comes to working in aged care. Older people are such an asset to our community and being able to provide individualised treatment with meaningful outcomes really does make a difference in their lives. It is so heartening to see and makes aged care such an enriching and rewarding career path to follow.

 

Michael is a LASA Next Gen Ambassador and Allied Health and Wellness Operations Manager at Altaira. Read more about our Ambassadors here.