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 Paul Forrest, Residential Aged Care PT/OT State Manager for Plena Healthcare and a LASA Next Gen Ambassador in Western Australia . Learn a bit more about him and his love for our age services industry.

 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Paul Forrest and I am the WA RAC PT/OT State Manager for Plena Healthcare.

 

I am a Physiotherapist that started working in the aged care sector 7 years ago and have travelled from Melbourne back to Perth with the company. I am passionate about aged care, promoting the aged care industry and helping younger leaders develop. Outside of work I love weekends at the beach, any type of sport, reading a book and spending time with my family that includes our daughter who is 1 ½ years old.

 

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

This is an easy question! The people and interactions that you get to have with them.

 

I love the ability to be able to get to know each resident and building the rapport before developing their goals. Learning someone’s story is something I will never get tired of. The amazing stories of taking a chance on a move to a new country, crazy risk taking adventures, over coming hardship and the passing on of knowledge is a gift I treasure.

 

My favourite memory is working with a client in the community in Victoria. He was the most respectful gentleman, and over the first few weeks we developed a strong rapport. We managed to achieve his functional goals and promote his independence which he was incredibly happy about however I used to come home each day and tell my then fiancée about his life he shared with his wife and how much he missed her since her passing. He passed on simple messages about marriage and helped me develop my priorities in my life. When it came to my wedding the gentleman arranged a small present that I still treasure to this day. Most importantly, I still speak about him regularly with my wife and share the stories that he told me with my daughter. The ability to form such a strong bond is something that I feel only aged care can provide and something that enriches me.

 

3. What are your proudest achievement/s in the age services industry so far?

I am personally proud of my development as a physiotherapist, leader and person. I fell into my aged care role as I was burnt out from private practice physiotherapy and didn’t know what to expect. Since then I have grown personally and professionally which has resulted in starting up the WA branch of our team and growing to a team of 50 PT/OTs in WA in less than 4 years. I honestly believe that our team members receive a high level of support and training which increases the level of service to each client that we see. The additional training and support will also help retain younger leaders within aged care and they will help shape and drive the future of aged care moving forward.

 

4. What do you wish other people knew about Age Services?

Although the relationships you form are the highlight of your day, they aren’t the only positive to aged care. Aged care provides the largest range of a Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy case load that I can imagine from neuro/cardio/musculo/chronic and acute conditions, often all rolled into one presentation. This range of caseload allows for great development of your skill-set and development as a therapist. The additional leadership opportunities are a bonus that can really drive your career forward.

 

Paul is a National LASA Next Gen Ambassador Council and WA Residential Aged Care PT/OT State Manager for Plena Healthcare. Read more about our Ambassadors here.