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Celebrating Aged Care Week salutes workers

Posted 16 August 2017

Meet the Mad Hatter with the magic hands.

Peter Walsgott can never be accused of not giving his all for his job.

Resplendent in fake red curls, huge green hat, impeccable make up, knickerbockers and mismatched socks, Peter bounces through the crowd like a huge ball of energy. The show has just gone on and, as the Mad Hatter, he’s the main man.

Wimmera Health Care Group’s Kurrajong Lodge in Horsham is about as far you can get from Broadway, but the endeavour, sense of joy and the delighted audience is the same.

Caring for older people or dressing up to entertain them in an Alice in Wonderland review,  part of the official 2017 Celebrating Aged Care Week launch, wasn’t exactly what Peter pictured when studying to be a massage therapist.

“I really love my job,” Peter, who originally hailed from Dimboola, said at Kurrajong Lodge, where he has been the resident massage therapist for 15 years.

“I’m mad anyway, so this just gives me an excuse to do it,” he says, dabbing at the sweaty greasepaint.

“I’m very passionate about helping older people. “It’s a different aspect of care. What nurses and other practitioners do is really important of course but it can be a bit robotic. Massage adds another dimension.

“Massage adds something different. It provides the sensation of touch, which can really assist with pain relief and is so important.”

Celebrating Aged Care Week from 14-18 August acknowledges the enormous contribution of Victoria’s thousands of aged care workers.

Chair of the Public Sector Aged Care committee Don McRae, who is also Director of Nursing at Wimmera Health Care Group, has been a driving force behind the week.

“Celebrating Aged Care Week showcases the opportunities and rewards of working in Public Sector Residential Aged Care,” he said.

Well-known broadcaster and entertainer Denis Walter OAM and foodie Maggie Beer are the 2017 Celebrating Aged Care Week official ambassadors.

More than 150 Victorian public residential aged care facilities will host events to celebrate the contribution made by aged care workers and volunteers.

The Celebrating Aged Care Week campaign has been running since 2012 and is an initiative of the PSRAC committee; a network of public sector aged care directors of nursing committed to the improvement of the public residential aged care sector.

For more information about Celebrating Aged Care Week click here

To join the conversation on Twitter follow @Wecare_Agedcare

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