Caring for the mind and the body

Mark Vickers is the Volunteer and Pastoral Care Coordinator at Chamberlain Gardens Aged Care.

At the core of Christadelphian Aged Care is an understanding that caring goes beyond catering for physical needs, and includes the emotional and spiritual well-being of all our residents.

That is why each of our Homes have dedicated Pastoral Carers whose role is to spend time talking with residents, sharing their life stories, and walking with them in the resolution of their concerns.

Pastoral care is about supporting residents emotionally no matter their spiritual or cultural beliefs.

For Mark Vickers it’s about forming friendships with the residents and being able to pick up signs they may be struggling.

He began as the Volunteer and Pastoral Care Coordinator at Chamberlain Gardens in Wyoming in 2017, and has quickly seen how much the residents appreciate a listening ear.

While the Bible study group he began has become very popular, most of his work is one-on-one with residents.

“It can be anything from talking to them and remembering their lives, to asking them how things are for them now,” Mark said.

“I’ve had people mention things to me they wouldn’t mention to the nurses because they don’t want to trouble them, so it really encompasses everything.”

Christadelphian Aged Care provided 3440 hours of direct one-on-one pastoral care throughout the year, and has developed promotional and training material to assist in encouraging more Pastoral Carers to come on board across all our Homes and Villages in NSW and Queensland.

Links have also been established with Calvary Health Care in support of improving the provision of end-of-life care and how Pastoral Carers can provide support to staff, residents, family and friends during this time.

Mark at Chamberlain Gardens is amazed he has found a role where he can spend all day helping people and learning about their incredible lives.

“Every door that you open into another person’s room is another’s persons life, and for some of them if I only managed to do half of what they’ve done in my life I’d be happy,” he said.

“You walk in and become part of their life, that’s what the whole role is really.

“Even if it’s just talking, once you’ve made that contact and their face lights up when they see you, you know you must be doing something right,” Mark said.