Meet Julie Gray – Our New Elouera Home Manager

Julie Gray recently joined Japara as the Home Manager for our Elouera home in Torquay (VIC), and has already made a positive impact on the lives of our residents.

We sat down with Julie to discuss her new role, learn more about her history and find out what she plans on bringing to Japara.

How long have you been working at Eloeura for?

I started at the beginning of March. I’ve really been enjoying it so far – it’s the first time I’ve been a Home Manager, having previously been a CCC (Clinical Care Coordinator). I’ve loved the step up into the new role. Previously, I came from a much larger aged care home, so it’s been nice to work in a smaller, more intimate environment.

Can you let us know a bit more about your pre-Japara background?

I previously worked for another aged care provider as a CCC which I mentioned earlier. Prior to that, I worked with Barwon Health at Geelong Hospital for around 17 years. For 10 of those years, I was an associate in charge of one of the medical wards, and at other times, I was regularly seconded to Deakin University to teach the students. This involved classroom education at the university itself, as well as assessing their performance when they were placed at different hospitals. So there’s a lot of young nurses in and around Geelong who were taught by me!

What made you decide to work in aged care?

At the time, it was both a lifestyle change, and an opportunity to apply my skills in another specialisation. I just fell in love with aged care. Similar to working on a medical ward, you have people who are with you for a long period of time. I really enjoy long term, ongoing care as the people are around long enough for you to see the benefits of the care you’ve given, and it allows you to build a relationship with them.

What is your favourite part of the role so far?

As I’m still relatively new to the role, I’m enjoying the chance to build new relationships with our residents. It’s also been good to be able to bring across my own ideas stemming from my previous experience. Japara has encouraged me to do so, and they have been really receptive to my suggestions, no matter how big or small they’ve been.

Can you please describe your day-to-day role as Home Manager?

Having been a CCC previously, I try to keep a pretty close eye on what’s happening clinically with our residents. I try to not be too office-based – I’ll be part of most meetings that occur at Elouera, I assist with nursing care where possible and when required, and I also complete a large volume of administrative work (reporting, auditing, rostering etc.) which is vitally important in an aged care home. At the moment, I’ve also been doing some advertising with local businesses in the community, which has given me a good chance to get to know the locals.

Outside of work, what are some of your favourite things to get up to?

First of all, I have five kids, so they keep me very busy!

I particularly enjoy getting out in the sunshine, whether that’s just reading a book outside, gardening or going for a walk down to the beach nearby. I try to get out there whenever I can.

I also love to skateboard, and have been doing so for around six years. My husband and I had a ‘Peter Pan’ moment and decided that because the kids could skateboard, we could too. I don’t go to skate parks as such; I prefer to longboard around town, and up and down hills.

What’s one thing you would love to do, but haven’t done yet?

I’ve always wanted to volunteer in a medical capacity in a less fortunate part of the world, Africa for example. I would love to go and help out in communities stricken by leprosy or famine and really make a difference. Now that the kids are getting older, it could be something to look towards in a few years’ time.

What’s something that not many people know about you?

I did a project last year for Dementia Australia and my work was actually published in the Australian Journal of Dementia Care as the project was really successful.

The project itself was based on the use of Skype-type technology to assist residents with speaking to their families. I’ve found a lot of residents struggle to use smartphones as the technology is so vastly different to what they have used in the past, and Skype is noticeably easier to teach to the elderly.

Want to learn more about our Elouera home? Give us a call on 1800 52 72 72.

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