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Physiotherapy keeps residents moving and enjoying life

Caitlyn Socwell is a physiotherapist, working with those who are ageing at VMCH Corpus Christi Aged Care Residence. She is a firm believer that age should not be a reason to stop moving or enjoying life – and this is a big part of why she loves her job.

What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you?

As a physiotherapist, a ’normal’ day for me never quite looks the same! After checking our referrals and speaking to the nursing staff, we lay out our day which might consist of a meeting, running a manual handling training, reviewing a resident for falls prevention, welcoming a new resident and setting up their equipment needs, running an exercise class, and treating residents to assist with managing their pain.

Why did you choose to become a physiotherapist?

I loved sport! I was an avid softball player back in America and had my fair share of visits to the physio. I loved how their job encompassed health and healing and so made up my mind in grade 7 and didn’t look back.

What is the importance of allied health for those who are ageing, and what is your role in helping them to achieve their goals?

Allied health is an umbrella term that, in VMCH residential aged care, tends to encompass physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and even osteopaths. Our diverse skillsets can help identify a resident’s concern, whether it be pain, reduced function, or inability to perform a certain occupation. We can then diagnose the underlying cause and prescribe treatments to work towards a resident’s goal of pain relief, increasing their walking distance by 50m, or being able to knit again! Age shouldn't give us an excuse to stop moving or enjoying life - we can keep residents going!

What do you love about working for VMCH?

I love working for VMCH as a not-for-profit organisation, where the focus is so clearly placed on those it serves. Being part of an in-house team rather than a contractor means I get to be a part of an amazing team of staff, where we can work together to look after our residents. I also enjoy the inclusivity across the organisation and the innovative attitude of always striving to make things more efficient, technological, and pleasant for staff and residents, alike.

What do you love most about your job?

The residents! As a migrant with no family in Australia, I love going to work each day to work with over 100 residents I refer to as my adopted grandparents!

Why should someone consider a job in allied health with VMCH?

A career as an allied health professional within VMCH offers a great opportunity to work in-house as part of the organisation, providing a great work community (read: family). There’s always room for new ideas and opportunities to improve the life of our elders.

Join us today!