Staff profile – Lyn Alexander

Lyn has enjoyed many different roles at Carinya Respite Service in Lysterfield over the last 11 years. Today, as Lifestyle and Respite Coordinator, Lyn’s role includes the assessment of all carers and their loved ones living with dementia and the day-t0-day running of the program.

Why did you choose to work at VMCH?

I was looking for a new challenge and liked the idea of working for a program where clients still lived at home rather than in residential care.

What makes Carinya so unique?

Like many other services, Carinya offers day programs and community access programs. But our uniqueness lies in the flexibility of our overnight respite with regular planned and unplanned respite for shorter stays (one to two nights) or longer stays (one to two weeks). We also support working carers with longer day respite options where carers can bring their loved ones in on their way to work and pick up them after dinner.

How important is respite for carers?

Respite is about giving the carers a much-needed break. Carinya looks after their loved ones so they can recharge their batteries and come back refreshed to continue with their caring role.

Have any particular carer/care recipient stories touched you?

Quite a few years ago we had a client in our Out and About program who used to work as a bus driver. I had managed to organise a tour of the bus depot where he had previously worked. The joy on his face when we got to the depot and found some of the men he had worked with was just something I will never forget.

What more do you think could be done to support people living with dementia and their carers?

I would like to see clients accessing these types of services earlier in their diagnosis. In the past we have had clients in our care for up to nine years. Now clients come so late, their stay is so much shorter, generally 12-18 months. This seems to be a trend now with all services not just VMCH.

What is your future wish for the people we support through Carinya?

For us to be able to continue to provide a unique and excellent service to people living with dementia well into the future.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy walking, reading and yoga. Yoga is “my time” when I don’t have to think about anything. I love to travel and have been lucky to visit many different countries over the last 10 years. But most of all I love spending time with my family and my two little grandchildren.