A 300% increase in workers is needed to care for the Australian population by 2050.
Wantirna resident, Anne Mokos, 59, is one of thousands of aged care workers already committed to providing quality care and support to Australia’s older generation through her role as a nurse.
She is also one of 110 Division one and two nurses whose hard work and dedication will be celebrated by their employer, not for profit aged and disability services organisation Villa Maria, on International Nurses Day this Sunday.
Ms Mokos has worked at Villa Maria’s new Wantirna aged care centre since it opened as part of a multi-million redevelopment in December last year.
After beginning her career in general nursing, Ms Mokos (pictured) moved on to supporting children and adults with disabilities and then later chose to work within aged care, where she has remained for the past 20 years.
“My mother was diagnosed with cancer and I nursed her for quite a few months before she passed away, which made me realise how important working in aged care is,” she said.
“I love that I can share the final journey with so many wonderful people who have helped shape our country. The generation we have in our aged care facilities today has faced the difficulties of world wars and the Depression and they deserve to be looked after with care and respect. If I can help them in their final years, then I see that as an honour and a privilege.”
The mother of two admitted working within nursing had its challenges, although not in a way many people may assume.
“Nursing has changed from when I began to today and it can be difficult to keep up with technological advances,” Ms Mokos said.
Perhaps surprising to some, dealing with death on a regular basis is something Ms Mokos doesn’t find hard to face.
“By the time people get to the stage of living in aged care, I find they’ve mostly lived a very fulfilling life. Of course there is a sadness there that they’ve come to the end of their journey, but it’s sadness more so for the family than the people who have passed away. I just feel that if I can make their end of life a beautiful time, then I’ve done my job.”
Villa Maria Wantirna Centre manager, Kathleen Collings, said it was important to acknowledge the dedication of nurses like Ms Mokos as part of International Nurses Day.
“Nurses work very hard with increasing complexity in their work. The consumer has higher expectations and this can be challenging to deal with at times. It is important to remember the very solid and positive contribution nurses make every day to our residents’ lives,” Ms Collings said.