FEBRUARY 2018 | Cody Handley
MR CHARLIE Emmerton is the new CEO of Aged Care Deloraine and has been in the role for three months.
Meander Valley Gazette spoke to Mr Emmerton in January to get the measure of the man who will be looking after our dear relatives for the foreseeable future.
Charlie comes from a background in finance and business management, and has served on the Devonport City Council. While he acknowledges his strength is fiscal management, he has always had an interest in people. He has been in the not-for-profit game for over 20 years, and was drawn to the aged care sector because caring for others is a part and parcel of his Christian values.
He says he was semi-retired, or meant to be, when he got involved with Aged Care Deloraine. He heard that they were having some issues and offered to help out perhaps two or three days a week. The next thing he knew he was their CEO!
Among his chief goals are to dispel the management versus staff myth. This means that management and staff should not be seen as separate - or ‘up there and down here’ - but rather as all part of the same team. “If the staff don’t do their job, I can’t do mine. And if I don’t do mine, then the staff can’t get paid,” he said.
Charlie said his main passion in his new role was to reinvigorate volunteer presence which has slipped in recent years. He said that volunteers are “the life blood of aged care” and believes there is great potential in the Meander Valley to draw upon in this regard.
Aged Care Deloraine is looking for anybody: “music volunteers, gardening volunteers, or someone just to sit down and play a game of cards with our residents.”
The ultimate aim would be to pair residents and volunteers with mutual interests. To anyone considering volunteering, Charlie says “We are open for business.”
Mr Emmerton also stressed the importance of keeping aged care homes local, rather than in the hands of a few big players. This allows people to remain in the areas they call home and not have to relocate to receive the care they need.
In addition, volunteers are more likely to offer their time when they know and care about the residents and their families.
He is also committed to using local businesses where possible and is willing to pay a small premium for this. “The ultimate goal is to try and make the experience for residents feel as close to home as possible,” he said.
When asked about recent developments in medicinal cannabis, Charlie said he is open to the possibility as long as the science is there.“It is a fantastic opportunity for Tasmania, both medically and economically,” he said.
Pain relief can often be a balancing act, and whilst high doses of morphine can manage pain, it can also decrease the overall quality of life. If medicinal cannabis offers an alternative, then it should definitely be looked at. However, he said it is too early to have a policy on this and any decision on the matter would ultimately lie with the Health Minister.
Photo | Mike Moores