Regis East Malvern, located in Victoria, is home to a team of dedicated employees who work tirelessly to ensure that the residents receive the best possible care. One such employee is Renee Horvat, who has been with Regis since January 2013.

Renee joined Regis as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) student and was later hired as a PCA in May of the same year. Since then, she has undertaken various roles, including Receptionist, Lifestyle Coordinator, and Regional Lifestyle Specialist. She loves the variety of these roles and has learnt, grown, and developed so much in each of them.

When asked what attracted her to work in the aged care sector, Renee says, “I love senior residents! They are amazing, so much knowledge, life experience, advice, and fantastic stories to share.”

She grew up living with her mum and grandparents, which gave her a lot of love, affection, and care from three amazing people. She spent every school holiday with them until she was 16 and developed a close relationship with her step-grandparents as well. Volunteering in op shops also allowed her to meet many senior people and helped to strengthen her love for the elderly.

Renee studied Community Care and Aged Care Certificate 3 and Certificate 4 in Leisure and Lifestyle. During her placement at Regis Cranbourne, she was offered a job as a PCA. She loved being with the residents and making a difference in their lives in so many different ways.

“The small wins are the biggest wins,” she says. She has made many amazing relationships with residents, families, and employees, which continue to this day. Renee feels that she is the luckiest Lifestyle Coordinator.

A typical day in Renee’s role at Regis East Malvern involves starting with greeting all residents with a happy, smiling approach, giving big hugs and handshakes to everyone, singing and dancing, and spreading lots of love and cheer around all the seven wings. She runs exercise groups, walk groups, IT sessions, craft and crochet groups, coffee clubs, happy hours, cultural and spiritual activities, dancing, and bus trips. Renee works with the Lifestyle team to plan and brainstorm activities and programs that are engaging, fun, cultural, and spiritual based on consultation, feedback, and discussions with the residents.

When asked what she likes about her role, team, and Regis, Renee says, “Supporting and working collectively as a team, learning something new each and every day, the opportunities to grow and develop, communication with all the teams, the varied things we do in our roles, making people smile, creating happiness, lots of smiles and laughter, and going above and beyond to create a fun, loving, happy home.”

For those who are interested in pursuing a career in aged care, Renee’s advice is, “Give it a go! Studying is fun, you learn lots of new things and meet lots of new and exciting people. You will love working and spending quality time with the amazing, fabulous residents and their families. It’s a very rewarding job.”