At our latest Careers and Recruitment Expo, Sage students were asked to share their stories for a chance to win tickets to be in the audience of the AFL Footy Show and The Project. The submissions were assessed and the four most interesting and inspiring stories receiving not just the tickets, but also a glimpse of fame with their stories published on the relevant Sage Institute blog page!
One of winners is Sage Institute of Aged Care student, Bev Ford. We asked Bev some questions about aged care, what it means to be studying again, hobbies and life in general. Let’s see what our questions reveal about Bev…
1. What is it that motivated you undertake a training course in Aged Care?
My sister is a fair bit older than I am and I was faced with the prospect of maybe having to look after her. That really sent me into thinking about old age, what it meant and what skills I’d need to look after her; and whether I’d be capable enough to do it.
I also volunteer at a hospital with mainly older people and I wanted to get more involved with that. I had sort of like an epiphany, if you like. I was travelling along on the No. 12 tram and I saw an advertisement for Sage, that rang a bell and I thought of aged care. So that’s how I got into it.
2. What’s it like to be studying again?
“Going back to study is good, it has really enlivened me and makes me feel more vital in the community.”
I started the course in January and will finish in October. If I thought I had all my assignments put in, I’d be excited, but at the moment it’s back to back assignments – but I’ll manage it, I’m sure. I sat my exams the first time around, so I’m sure I can do it all again!
3. What aspects of studying at Sage do you enjoy the most?
The people, I really enjoy connecting with people. It’s a great class – it can be hysterically funny, then serious and all the grey areas in between. We have gelled really nicely together, now that we are a core group and are fully into it.
“We are all different ages…the youngest is about 17 or 18, and the oldest are in their 60’s. We really do get on well.”
4. What are some of the biggest learning challenges you’ve come across during your course?
Probably hitting the books again. Making the time to actually sit down and do the work, that’s the hardest. You get into a groove early on, you do your study and then life takes over. Then you go back to study and you have to revisit what it is like to learn again. That’s probably been the biggest challenge for me; but there is still grey matter in there and it’s still working fine, so that is good.
5. What do you enjoy most about working with the elderly?
I haven’t done placement yet, but with the volunteer work I have found that the older people’s life travels, journey, their stories, are what I like most. You might see a wrinkled façade (and sometimes not even that) but they’ve all started somewhere and are going along life’s journey. It’s a pleasure to listen to people and hear their stories…
Bev (sitting) with some of her aged care student colleagues
6. What advice would you give a new student commencing their course at Sage?
I would say, they need work out what course would best suit them. There are so many different courses that Sage offers, it would be a shame to come along and start in the wrong course. It’s better know at least a little bit about it, so I recommend reading information about the course and to make sure you really like the sound of it first.
With aged care, you have to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. You are dealing with the most vulnerable in our community and you have to be comfortable with this.
“Everyone should do an aged care course because we all end up there in the end!”
7. Tell us about our your hobbies.
I like to paint and find it really cathartic. It really relaxes me to just “zen out” and do my artwork. I like to read and I love to go on long walks with the dog. I also love fine food and like to go out with the family. I’m a big family person and we like to dine out together.
8. Tell us something special about yourself that most people might not know…
I’m actually more sensitive than people realise – quite acutely so. I can be acutely sensitive about some things and situations, including reading people. Especially if someone has experienced a loss, I seem to fine tune into that and I’m acutely aware that something has happened and what is wrong with them. I’ve got a very nurturing nature.
9. What is your absolute favourite food, that you would eat every day if you could?
I love sushi and sashimi. I could go to Japan and live there because the Japanese eat the way I love to eat.
10. If you had to donate $100 to any charity in the world, which one would it be?
It would be the Mirabel Foundation – for children that have been abandoned or orphaned and left in the care of relatives, because their parents have been drug affected. I’m passionate about that and I would donate more if I could. No one is born into this world expecting a life like that – it’s not fair.
11. Who provides you with inspiration, and why?
My husband. Every day, the poor man puts up with me…! No, really, we went to school together and from a very early age I knew that he was the man that I wanted to marry because he was the most ethical and the most honest human being that I can ever imagine.
He’s an amazing person, he’s really, really sensitive and genuine and you don’t find that much in this world. He was my friend before we started going out and he’s still my friend… We have been married for many years, but I can’t say how many as it might give my age away!
Sage Institute of Aged Care – it’s more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.
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