Yasmine Seguna, 25, started her career with CareMalta eight years ago. Over time, she has developed both personally and professionally.
“Having joined at the age of 17, the company has given me the opportunity to pursue my studies, become more qualified and advance in my career.”
Starting off as a care assistant and phlebotomist at the Żejtun Home, Yasmine has always motivated herself to work and study at the same time, until she was promoted to active ageing coordinator last year, a role she performs with great dedication.
Yasmine also managed to take her studies one step further, obtaining a Higher Diploma in Gerontology and Geriatrics from the University of Malta during the company’s 10-week live-in at Casa Arkati in March 2020.
“My job is to enhance our residents’ quality of life by providing meaningful, enjoyable and stimulating activities in order to keep them involved as much as possible. Currently, there aren’t that many events going on due to COVID-19 restrictive measures, but Casa Arkati in non- COVID times, just like any other CareMalta home, is a beehive of activity.”
Every week there’s a specific routine featuring a range of tasks, which I take up with groups of residents. There’s Arts and Crafts every Monday, Keep Fit on Tuesdays, reading sessions every Wednesday, cooking sessions on Thursdays and Beauty Parlour on Fridays. Residents can also attend our Garden Club, watch documentaries and films or catch up with friends over fresh coffee and cake at teatime.
“I also encourage them to take part in a number of sensory activities, as well as a ‘thought of the day’ session, which is quite popular with the residents, as it’s an exercise that makes them think, write and share their thoughts on a particular subject. Some residents open their hearts and start talking to me about their first ever job when they were young, while others just let themselves go and a conversation flows. All this happens within an inclusive and supportive environment.”
Residents can also make use of several on-site facilities, thus taking part in a number of company-wide events held throughout the year – activities in their own right, such as Casa Arkati’s annual Bocci Club Tournament competition, “a summer favourite”.
A typical day for Yasmine kicks off with one of her very first morning tasks – going round and having a chat with the residents. On the way, she collects the newspapers and gets them ready for residents in the wellness centre, leaving the door wide open in order to encourage residents passing by to interact.
“I also carry a bundle of magazines and lay them out on a table to arouse their curiosity. Very often they get tempted to turn the pages and browse through. For residents who live with dementia, I place some of their personal photos during a particular activity. This triggers off a smile or a reaction as they remember what they enjoy doing.”
Establishing a regular routine can make life easier for residents and, in turn, enhance their quality of care. This requires patience and dedication, but is an exercise that reaps rewards. A good routine usually focuses on the needs and preferences of residents, is created in collaboration with them, rather than imposed on them, encompasses daily patterns, such as waking up, dressing up, eating, medication and sleeping, and is both flexible and adaptable.”
Yasmine loves making a difference to the lives of residents through discovering what makes them happy. “Our dedicated care team encourages residents with nursing care needs to take part in all sorts of activities, sometimes adapting them slightly to individual capabilities. If, for example, there is a dancing activity taking place, residents using a wheelchair are encouraged to sing, clap and wave their hands.”
Not just anyone can work in care. “You need to be flexible and reliable, be willing to listen, and have the ability to organise, plan and multi-task. Above all, you need to be compassionate and dedicated. Quality care is important for our residents, as it helps them feel safe. Safety, in turn, stimulates their mind and makes them feel at home.”