Deborah Berridge

Deborah Berridge sitting on outdoor seat covered with a rug

Nurse Unit Manager, Banksia Cottage

Garrawarra Centre

“As a Nurse Unit Manager, my role is to manage and support the staff who are providing direct care to our dementia residents. Part of my drive in everyday practice it to make sure we are all giving high quality care to a very vulnerable group.

Garrawarra is a unique facility; we take the people who can’t be cared for in mainstream nursing homes or in the community. These people have severe symptoms and unfortunately they’re just not safe in other facilities. It poses a real challenge to the staff, but we thrive on that.  I am amazed at what our staff  do. They come to work every day and I can see the passion that they have for the residents, they really care.

It’s the little things that make you realise the impact you have. We have one lady who is often very distressed. She has a very low interaction with the staff and other residents. But we had a moment where we broke through - someone gave her knitting needles and some string and for about 5 minutes she sat there calmly knitting. She remembered the pattern and everyone was amazed because we had obviously triggered something. It was a beautiful moment and it reminded us all why we’re here and what we can actually achieve if we do something outside the square.”