Julie Pollard says she has been privileged to work for VMCH for the past three years. Starting as a lifestyle assistant, she is now proud to hold the position of Lifestyle Coordinator.
Julie doesn’t consider her job as work. It’s her passion. She likens what she does to the expression: ‘‘it’s easy to sell something you believe in.’ She believes in Providence, and she believes she is truly following her passion.
What do you enjoy about working at Providence?
Where do I start! The challenge driven through a passion for holistic care enables me to encourage residents to live and laugh, enriching their lives through art, craft, outings, games, trivia, the list goes on!
What do you love about your job?
A smile is infectious, bringing a smile each day to just one person, makes me feel I have accomplished what I have set out to do.
Have any resident stories particularly touched you?
There are so many occasions when residents touch my heart, but two come to mind. I stopped by to visit a lady who was in palliative care, before I went home. She was surrounded by family as passing was imminent. When I was there, she opened her eyes and asked when I am dressing up in my Welsh national costume again, as she was Welsh. The fact that she remembered this, and me, was so touching.
Another time, a lady who had dementia in its final stages would come to life when asked to dance. Sometimes not waiting to be approached, she would wave in eagerness to be on the dance floor when performers visited. This lady had lost the ability to speak except for a kiss on the hand and to say, ‘I love you’. But when she danced, she would lead and talk about her and her husband dancing together back in Scotland.
Why am I passionate about what I do?
VMCH Providence has strong values that I and many of the staff, connect with. VMCH, and I, believe that our older generation still has a voice, and if they do not, then we are to be their advocate. They had a past, and just because their minds or bodies are now failing them, they still need to be heard. Respect and compassion are only two of the important qualities that a care worker should hold.
What did you do before you joined VMCH
Prior to VMCH I had my own café, which became a meeting place for young and old. I held activities during the school holidays for families, parents and grandparents, for them to bring the ‘littlies’. I feel that lifestyle in residential aged care is a continuation of that work, and the cafe was a stepping stone.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy going to see movies, attend rock and roll classes. I’m a member of the local amateur group called Moonlite Theatre and I enjoy the great outdoors.
I also have three boys, Leigh, Tyson and Luke, who I adore. As a teenager I had many operations which supposedly left me not being able to have children. I was so glad to prove them wrong! I also recently remarried a wonderful man, Tony. It is like being married to my best friend.