Holiday in the sun for nurses and residents

Four nurses and five residents from Bethel Nursing Home in inner-western Sydney boarded a plane to sunny Noosa recently for four days of shopping, sight seeing and dining out.

Asenaca Ralulu and Radha Ram are two AINs who accompanied and cared for the residents on their recent trip.

Asenanca said 24-hour care is hard challenging work, but also great fun.

Radha said all residents really looked forward to holidays. ‘At the nursing home some of the residents can be slow to get ready in the mornings, but when we are on holiday they’re so excited and so quick to shower and get ready because they want to go out. It’s a lot of fun to watch that kind of excitement.’

Bethel has been taking residents on holidays for 14 years, as part of the social activities program. Nurses who accompany the residents are paid normal wages plus all expenses.

Radha said: ‘We started doing short trips within NSW, to places like Kangaroo Valley and Nelson Bay, which we could drive to and stay for a couple of nights. The residents had bigger and better ideas and encouraged the nursing home to consider interstate trips.’

A trial trip to the Gold Coast went so well it was followed by holidays in Tasmania, Melbourne, Coffs Harbour and now Noosa.

‘While visiting the ginger factory in Noosa, we bumped into another group of nurses and residents from a home in Brisbane and they couldn’t believe we had come all the way from Sydney,’ Radha said.

Asenaca said residents enjoyed shopping trips to local markets and shopping centres as well as sight seeing and dining out. ‘Most of all they enjoyed the beautiful fresh air and the sunshine.’

Both women agree that accompanying residents on holidays is a rewarding experience. Asenaca said: ‘We appreciate that management and families trust us to take good care of the residents.’

Radha added: ‘Sometimes we take it for granted that we are able to go on holiday with our families at any time – but these people can’t because they need nurses to go with them. Families thank us for taking their relatives on holiday because they are unable to.

‘One resident started crying on the last day when we had to come home. She just wanted to stay one more day.’