Carers Mary Rogers and Ivy Lim were just two of the dedicated care staff who chose to work on Christmas Day in 2022, helping to care for dozens of residents at a local aged care home.
25 December prompted both English-born Mary and Ivy, who was born and raised in the Philippines, to dedicate their time to seniors at Mercy Place Mont Clare in Claremont (WA), along with their co-workers and fellow carers.
“When you spend five days a week with the residents, you know their needs and you develop a very special bond, which is why I love spending time with my ‘second family’ on Christmas Day,” says Ivy, who has worked at the popular western suburbs aged care home for almost five years, and whose family all remain in the Philippines.
“Although some of our residents celebrate Christmas with their own families, there are many who, like me, don’t have any family here in Perth, so it’s just wonderful to be there for them, particularly as I think of them in many ways as part of my own family.”
“My family is spread all around the world, in England, New Zealand and America, so it’s actually really lovely to spend time with the residents at Mont Clare on Christmas Day,” adds Mary, who grew up in London.
“I think many of the staff who work at Christmas know what it’s like to have family overseas, and that’s why we choose to spend time with the seniors.
Spending time with Mercy Place residents “is a way of giving back”
“On top of that. there’s also something special about being with the residents on Christmas Day; it’s a way to give back and I felt really fortunate to be able to be there for them when they needed help and support to enjoy the day.”
Ivy and Mary were two of a handful of staff members who worked on Christmas Day, including nurses, carers, cooks and kitchen helpers, all of whom were focused on ensuring that residents enjoyed a traditional Christmas lunch as well as tending to their daily care needs.
Mercy Place Mont Clare General Manager, Dorothy Wijangco, says in many ways the local care staff are the unsung heroes of the community during the festive season.
“When most people were opening presents, and tucked into Christmas lunch while a celebratory drink or enjoying family company, a number of Mercy Health staff was caring for others in their usual dedicated way,” she says.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have many committed and dedicated staff that are only too happy to go the extra mile to care for our residents and also help inject a little Christmas spirit into their day.”