Aged care volunteer Pat Burnett spotlighted for National Volunteers Week

Pat helps out Melisa and Lenny with aged care lifestyle support at Estia Tea Gardens.

ONE special volunteer this National Volunteers Week was Patricia ‘Pat’ Burnett, who has been volunteering at Estia Tea Gardens for almost twelve years.

Pat was honoured by the Lions Club’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ back in January, and spoke with NOTA about the benefits of volunteering in aged care.

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“I’ve worked in a range of jobs throughout the past, including assisting at a girls’ high school, and 21 years in a clothing factory,” Pat told NOTA.

“I later became nurse to my husband, who was on dialysis, and you know it requires a lot of patience and care.”

Pat gives four days per week assisting the staff at Estia, running activities, taking residents on outings, and calling bingo.

Originally from Sydney, and somewhat of a globe-trotter, Pat moved to the area 20 years ago, and, except for family ties, has never looked back, saying, “there is always something to do here, and it is a safe place for the elderly.”

When Estia was being established in Tea Gardens, just down the road, Pat was at the time “a bit lost for something to do”, and asked if they might need some volunteer help.

To say that she was warmly welcomed is an understatement, according to Melisa and Lenny, Lifestyle Support Officers at Estia with whom Pat works closely.

“The residents love her, and some want her to be the boss,” Melisa declared.

“When COVID first hit, she did everything – she was amazing, and helped us a lot,” Lenny added.

Pat is just happy that the residents “seem to like” her, and enjoys spending time with them and helping out Melisa and Lenny.

“I like to lead an active lifestyle, and have been very fortunate with my own health, so I am happy to keep going.”

“I don’t worry about things that you can’t control, and enjoy four squares of Old Gold chocolate at 10pm every day,” Pat proclaimed.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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