Why Care about Aged and Dementia Care? The stories of our Unsung Heroes


Why Care about Aged and Dementia Care? The stories of our Unsung Heroes


With aged care a headline issue in the upcoming election, it’s time to hear from real people with real lives about why good care really matters.

This Monday, May 9, is a rare opportunity to learn about the lives of valuable Australians who deserve high quality care which puts their well-being and happiness centre stage.

The new edition of digital magazine Unsung Heroes is being launched, packed with moving profiles from residents and carers at NewDirectionCare Bellmere in Queensland.

NewDirection Care Bellmere (NDC) is a world-first aged care facility providing residents with a level of care unmatched in traditional aged care operations. NDC is setting a new standard for aged and dementia care and its founder and CEO Natasha Chadwick says this is a right for every Australian.

“We really need to change this industry,” says Natasha who is the 2021 InnovAgeing Aged Care Innovator of the Year and 2019 Telstra Businesswoman of the Year. “It’s not just service providers, like myself, that need to change, it’s the whole industry.”

“I’m calling on government and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to come with us on this journey to make real change for older Australians and for people living with dementia here in Australia,” says Natasha.

In this latest edition of Unsung Heroes, there’s a profile about the distinguished life of Aussie Soldier Tony Quirk, OAM. Tony, 57, joined the NDC community after he was diagnosed with early on-set dementia. His doting wife Carol visits him every day and now works as a HouseCompanion™ Support Worker at NDC to ensure fellow residents are as happy and nourished as Tony.

“I don’t know whether he recognises me or knows who I am, but I sense that he does,” says Carol. “When I visit him, I tell him all the stories that he has told me.”

We also meet Kerri Barbeler who is NDC’s Lifestyle and Events Manager. Kerri’s care for her disabled daughter is what inspires her work and values.

“I felt I needed to do something with what I learned while my daughter was alive and to help others feel that their needs were being listened to, that they are respected and supported while they are at their most vulnerable,” says Kerri.

Other Unsung Heroes whose stories feature in this edition include Kay Whittington-Smith, Jim McDonald and Grace Cowen who is a great, great grandmother and continues to live straight from her heart.

Their stories are the reason all of us, especially candidates running for election this May, should care about aged and dementia care.

Natasha Chadwick, a leading agitator for change in the industry, is available for interview. She is plain speaking and compelling in her argument for the rights and welfare of our community’s most vulnerable.

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