Resident Spotlight: Joyce Shares Advice for the Younger Generation
Joyce, who is a resident of Macquarie Lodge Aged Care Centre in Arncliffe, NSW, was born in Oxford. “It’s a beautiful place,” she says of her hometown in England. “My mind goes back there quite often.” Joyce has lived in Sydney for 25 years now, having initially moved to New Zealand before emigrating to Australia. “My son came over and met an Australian woman and decided to stay,” Joyce says. “So, I decided to move here to be closer to him.”
She represents the Macquarie Lodge Aged Care Centre residents each week at the Centre’s Head of Department meeting which she was asked to attend. “After that, I sort of allowed myself to be pushed to doing different things,” she says with a laugh and of the meetings which involve listening to the other Heads of Department. She then goes and chats with the residents to find out if they have an opinion or a feeling about what was discussed in the meetings. “I try to find ways of communicating and what their wishes are, which is difficult. We need to be an inclusive society, not an exclusive society.”
Joyce also participates in “Current Affairs,” a weekly Lifestyle activity program run by a fellow resident, Bob. “He goes through all the papers and news articles and he brings up items from behind the news; he comes in from all different angles and he really makes you think, and we have a good chat,” she says of the activity. “It's very good because it keeps the brain cells ticking over.”
She initially worked with an accountant in England but then “took any job that I could find” to support her son, and her daughter whom was disabled, in order to work around her daughter’s disability. “I've washed dishes; the big baking mixing bowls – huge ones, and all sorts of different types of washing up. I worked in Inland Revenue for a while, the taxation office, and then moved to working in accounts in Centrelink. I enjoyed that work,” she says. “I’ve even done welding!”
For the younger generation today, Joyce says that her advice is: “to be grateful for what you’ve got; honour your mother and father and do the best in life that you can; always keep a sense of humour and always have a laugh. Turn the situation, however bad it may be – there is always something in it that you can laugh about. Humour has helped me a lot,” she explains.