Introducing Omar Al-Safadi, Clinical Coordinator of Community Care at Macquarie Lodge.

How long have you worked in the aged care industry and with The Salvation Army Aged Care?

My experience within the aged care industry had been fairly recent and new as I've only been working with The Salvation Army Aged Care team for about six months now. Previously, I was involved with the aged care population in the primary healthcare setting (medical centres and GP practices). However, tailoring my experience in the primary care setting and the disability sector has allowed me to develop the skills to be part of The Salvation Army community team.

What do you enjoy most about your role with The Salvation Army Aged Care?

The best joy for me is receiving a call from a client just to wish me a quick "Happy Birthday". Seeing this interaction gives me joy, as it shows that our relationship is not only individualised but also therapeutic. The daily interaction I have between me and my clients is always heart-warming as I feel part of their daily life.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

As the Clinical Coordinator for my clients, I feel that it's rewarding to see the client's clinical needs are being assessed all the time. Whenever I conduct a clinical assessment at the start of a home care package, then see the gradual improvement to their health and mental well-being it's the best part of my job. It always excites me to see that this improvement is present because we are always providing the proper support tailored to the client's overall needs. The feeling of giving back to our hard working parents and grandparents gives me a sense of purpose to not only excel in my role but also to come back home satisfied with what I've achieved today.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Currently, I am in my final stretch of completing my Masters studies. It occupied most of my spare time almost on a daily basis. However, on the days where I am not studying, I enjoy going on fishing trips to catch tailors, breams and jewfish. Otherwise, you will see me fiddling around with building computers and PCs as I consider myself a technology "geek".

What advice would you give other The Salvation Army Aged Care employees working in similar roles?

My advice to other Salvation Army Aged Care staff is to always be genuine in your approach with clients. Not only will they appreciate the genuine attitude that you provide but this approach will also bring you even closer to developing a greater therapeutic relationship with clients. I always say that being "empathetic" is the most important tool for being an emotionally intelligent and supportive coordinator.