A family legacy of providing the best of care
Baptcare has been a part of Strathalan Registered Nurse, Sharon Devlin’s life ever since she could remember. From her grandparents to her children, Baptcare has been an integral part of growing up and growing older for her entire family.
Sharon first remembers Baptcare from when she was 13 years old, living a few streets away from the Macleod Strathalan residential aged care community. Sharon and a friend would help out at the community where her mum worked, by volunteering her time on weekends to assist in caring for the residents.
“We would make afternoon tea and take it to the residents with a bikkie, then wash all the dishes by hand. We would then go and visit a resident living in an Independent Living Unit, who didn’t have any family and talk to her,” Sharon said.
Sharon’s mother was Baptcare Strathalan’s Nurse in Charge at the time, and was admired by the residents for her lovely demeanour and passion to help people in the community. Sharon was proud of her mother and admired her work so much that it inspired her to finish school and study a Diploma of Nursing.
“I thought how good it would be to be in a job where people appreciated you,” Sharon said.
Sharon graduated in 1983 and spent a number of years gaining experience in hospital wards all across Victoria and after having her two children, applied for a job at Strathalan as a nurse. It was a special time for Sharon’s family as her grandmother had been living at Strathalan for a number of years prior, receiving care for Alzheimer’s. As a result, Sharon’s grandmother not only received care from her daughter, but from her granddaughter as well.
Sharon’s unwavering dedication to her job and her residents led her to work across many different departments in her career. She never said no to a challenge and was always up for helping out her fellow co-workers. Sharon dabbled in areas such as Hostel Supervisor, Aged Care Package Coordinator, assisted in injections for the diabetics… you name it, Sharon had done it!
Sharon’s position at Strathalan became incredibly important when her mother later moved into Strathalan with advanced Alzheimer’s. Her mother was able to be cared for by her colleagues and Sharon was able to check in as well. A year later, Sharon’s father also moved into the community and they were both able to receive care together.
“I felt like the luckiest daughter in the world. To be able to watch over the care of my parents, being nursed by the most beautiful nurses and my colleagues who I trusted, was invaluable. I was in my own workplace and I could visit and spend time with my parents before and after my shifts.”
Sharon’s parents were soon moved into her department of high care.
“I was able to feed mum, tuck her into bed, kiss dad goodnight. When dad was dying, I was able to push mum and dad’s beds together. I placed their hands together and they held hands. Dad passed away holding mums hand,” Sharon reflected.
Baptcare has been a constant in Sharon’s life as she continues to support the rest of her family, carrying on the best of care legacy passed on from her mother.
“Mum worked weekends for 20 years, which meant two cars, holidays and for me to be able to go to university and study to become a nurse,” Sharon said.
Sharon’s career has come full circle now. Since her parents moved, she has been leasing her parent’s home to other nurses from Strathalan. Sharon continues to be an inspiration to her colleagues and is committed to providing the best possible care like her family before her.
Contact: Annemarie Watt