Mother and daughters enjoy working together in aged care

Mothers Day Holly Sandra Ebony Mother Daugthers standing together smiling Hammondville Bond House HammondCareWhen Sandra Heard and her daughters Holly and Ebony join family this Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day, it will be thanks to shifts aligning as all three are members of the 24/7 care team at HammondCare Bond House.

As they share this special family time together, thoughts of the older people they care for will not be far away.

“Making people feel comfortable and at home, seeing them happy, making their own choices, it’s good to be able to do that – it’s very rewarding,” says Holly who joined her mother at Bond House in 2012. 

“What I love most is getting to know the residents," says Sandra, who now serves in Lavender Suite, which provides specialised palliative care within Bond House. "We meet them just as they are initially, we may not know that much about them. Getting to know them and their family helps us learn more and hear of their lives before they come to HammondCare."

The joy and fulfilment that Sandra and Holly gain from their work is evident on their faces, so it's not surprising that Ebony was soon to join the team.

“I chose to do work experience through school here – I’ve always heard such good things from mum and Holly – and I wanted to experience that as well. I loved it!”

Ebony joined the care team in 2017 and has not looked back, now sometimes bringing young daughter Caitlin to visit. “She loves visiting the residents so much, she was very disappointed when she couldn’t come during COVID restrictions!”

Apart from working together as a family and enjoying relating to residents, Sandra, Holly and Ebony all appreciate the working environment and opportunities for development.

Speaking of HammondCare’s approach of recruiting for passion and alignment, Sandra said, “When a friend encouraged me to apply here, I didn’t think I could do the job, but now I’ve been here nine years!

Mothers Day Holly Sandra Ebony Mother Daugthers standing together Hammondville Bond House HammondCare“A lot of nursing homes don’t employ you unless you’ve done your Certificate 3 or 4. But HammondCare put me through these courses – it was a great opportunity for me.”

“You get a lot of opportunities at HammondCare,” Holly says. “If you want to work your way up, there’s support for education or to try new roles. They really encourage you and if you want to try something, the opportunity is there.

“I always say to people, HammondCare is a big organisation, try something new!”

On working together, they all agree it is an added bonus, especially learning from one another. 

“I’ve learned a lot from mum and Holly," says Ebony. "They have been here longer than me, if there is anything I need to know, I’ll go and ask. They are really good at what they do.”

Holly agrees but acknowledges that, like everyone, they have days where they are not feeling as great.

“We do have bad days, to be honest. But then you come here and it sort of turns it around, it makes you happy, so it’s good.”

And for Sandra, it’s hearing the positive feedback about her daughters from residents and families that make working together special. “The daughters of a resident Holly was caring for would come to me and say, ‘She never looks cranky, she never says no to us’, and that was a great feeling. I  get a lot of positive feedback about the girls.”

As long-term locals in the Liverpool area, Sandra said HammondCare was very well known and had an excellent reputation. It was part of what made working together at Hammondville so rewarding.

And Mother’s Day has been part of their story in coming to HammondCare.

“We used to ride our bikes down to the fete here when we are kids,” says Holly. “And I was a volunteer through school – I used to bring gifts for the residents for Mother’s Day!”