Jan Faulconbridge is making it her mission to support Clermont’s aged care community as they move into their new home later this year.
The passionate community advocate has returned to town as Director of Nursing and Facility Manager for the Clermont Multi Purpose Health Service.
Construction of a new aged care facility at the MPHS has started and this will mean a move for the 16 residents of Monash Lodge.
Jan says the consolidation of aged care accommodation is one of her main priorities this year.
“One of the most stressful things we can do in life is to move house, and this is effectively what we are asking our Monash Lodge residents to do. Some of them have lived there for 15 or so years.
“It’s a very exciting time and we have to do it right. It’s more than a construction project we are building a new home for our residents,” she said.
Jan has started the Monash Moving Committee which includes residents and community representatives.
“Each week two or three residents are able to come to the Clermont MPHS and sit on the veranda and watch their new home being built. They are able to have lunch and then go back to Monash Lodge for a rest.
“My hope is the residents will feel part of the process because we want to ease them into the move,” she said.
Jan initiated the committee to try and make the move as positive as possible.
“While we think it’s lovely they will have a new facility, our residents haven’t been brought up like that. They are from country towns where what you have is what you have and are used to making do,” she said.
A strong desire to make life better for people has brought Jan Faulconbridge back to Clermont.
She was Nurse Unit Manager at Clermont for 18 months before moving to Stanthorpe in 2015 to be closer to family and the birth of her granddaughter.
“Clermont is a place where people really appreciate the effort you put in. Clermont MPHS is a nice place to work with a great team, and the people in town are friendly, I appreciate that.
“I really love the rural life,” she said.
After training at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in 1980 Jan went on to theatre nursing and then health management.
While she didn’t see herself pursuing a rural nursing career, a move to Clermont with her husband’s work changed her outlook.
“Being a Brisbane girl it took a little while to adjust, but now I wouldn’t go back to the city,” she said.
And what qualities does she believe it takes to succeed in rural nursing?
“You have to genuinely care not only for people you work with but for the people in the community, you have to want to make it better for them.
“It’s nice to feel so connected with everyone, I feel like I can make a difference in someone’s life.”