Steve Collier presents Bec Heitzmann with her prestigious award.Bec Heitzman remained humble whenshe received a prestigious MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award for her work as Kaloma Home for the Aged lifestyle officer.
Bec said she wasn’t expecting a win and was just looking forward to the gala when she attended theRegional Achievement and Community Awards in Brisbane lastFriday, October 21.
“I was stunned,” she said. Bechelps residents enhance their day to day lives by finding themmeaningful activities and ways to remain useful. She wasn’t interested in accolades, and was more comfortable praising those around her.
“I have a lot of support from families and have an exceptionally supportive CEO. It takes everyone to make the wheel turn,” she said.
“She really is the most superb human being,” Kaloma chief executive officer Penni Roberts said.
“She makes such a difference to the residents’ lives. It’s really quite beautiful to watch.” Penni nominated Bec for the award, and said she’d made a mark on residents and staff alike.
“I think unless you’ve got anything to do with Kaloma or have someone in an aged care home, you can’t even begin to imagine how powerful that position is,” she said. She said Bec had a gift for making residents feel needed, giving them meaningful volunteer roles as gardeners, coffee servers and greeters.
“The best thing you can do for an older person is to make them feel useful. So they do lots of things themselves,” Bec said.
Penni agreed. “If you can have an older person feel useful, then you have less depression, you have a greater sense of involvement, you have happier residents – and it’s a very happy place here,” she said.
Julie Cornes, thedaughter of a Kalomaresident, was pleased to write a testimonial recommending Bec for the award. In it, she recountedwitnessing Bec’s graceful handling of a difficult problem.
“When I commented on her handling of the situation, Bec said ‘she treated those in her care the way she hoped to be treated if in aged care herself one day’.We as a society would do well to remember those words as we all age,” she said.
“Surely this is what we all aim for in life regardless of age and position; respect, dignity, friendship and happiness.”
Julie was just one of many people full of praise, with Bec a popular nomination for Kaloma’s monthly achievement and encouragement awards. Comments from her co-workers included a comparison to angels, a compliment on her dancing skills and several gushing statements on her natural ability to reach residents.
Kaloma was also nominated for anexcellence in care award. The centre were close to a win,reaching the finals as oneof four applications outof a total of150.
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