Mel loves making a difference in Melbourne’s West
The Latin adage “Carpe Diem,”- translating to seize the day - rings true for Bolton Clarke’s West Melbourne social worker Mel Walters, who loves making a difference for clients every day.
Mel’s role includes helping people access secure housing, travelling up to 300km a day to make visits and support people to navigate the aged care system.
She says the satisfaction of helping people access services and get back on their feet is all in a day’s work.
“I often liaise with clients who have no family who can help them, so I assist them to gain the additional supports they need,” she says.
“I’ve been a social worker for over 40 years in a community setting and I love the variety, the privilege of hearing peoples’ stories and working with them to put in place preventative methods based on their preferences.
“Social workers are there to work with people - everyone is equal and entitled to respect and care.”
Mel’s duties include helping people make decisions now about future care planning, so their wishes are understood if their needs change.
“I also help make informed choices about their accomodation, elder abuse, family conflict, deal with risk management surrounding the clients’ safety at home and develop networks to find creative solutions to peoples’ issues identified at the time,” she says.
To keep clients safe and connected, Mel continued with phone consultations during COVID-19 restrictions.
“I also linked people into projects in the West like a telephone chat program and a craft group held by the Council to knit for homeless people via a charity.”
She says helping people with social issues like adequate housing in turn supports their overall health and wellbeing.
“I had a gentleman who was living in a community housing complex which had security risks for him, and he had undergone chemotherapy and treatment for cancer,” she says.
“He was completely alone in the world and we worked with him to relocate to a more secure form of shared accommodation which met his needs. Within three months he went into remission and his wellbeing was greatly improved.”
Mel has worked at Bolton Clarke for three years, supporting clients in the West from North Melbourne to Essendon, Moonee Ponds right out to Melton, Werribee and Altona Meadows.
“What do I love about the Westies? The diversity,” she says.
“We have lots of cultural groups and immigrants and mostly clients haven’t been into contact with services before. You are really making a difference.”
August 7 is Aged Care Employee Day, dedicated to saying “Thanks for Caring” to all aged care employees supporting older people across Australia.
More like this
01 August 2022
Digital pendant drives freedom, independence
Jean has been living in Noosa for 17 years, and the Bolton Clarke InTouch Go! allows her to continue enjoying her independent, active and social lifestyle without thinking twice.
31 July 2022
Caring comes naturally for Melbourne nurse
For more than 20 years, Bolton Clarke Clinical Nurse Consultant Kylie Hall has been helping people with chronic health issues including dementia stay independent at home.
29 July 2022
Tech training links Sarina with the world during pandemic
“HOME is where the heart is” rings true for Monee Ponds resident Sarina Roscioli, 98, who lives in Australia but communicates around the globe via new technologies.
25 July 2022
Centenarian May says turning 106 is the icing on the cake
May Lowe may not officially be a supercentenarian – the term given to people over 110 – but living independently at 106 certainly qualifies her as super.
03 June 2022
Outside the box care makes all the difference
Husband and wife Estelle and Ali have been clients of Bolton Clarke’s At Home Support program for three years. They started services after it became too difficult for Estelle to attend appointments for complex health issues without additional support.
21 April 2022
Itchy Feet Lead Margaret to Neverland
Margaret Black and J.M Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, have one little thing in common. They were both born in Scotland, five miles from Dundee, in the ‘wee red toon’ called Kirriemuir. Coming from a long-living lineage, the Bolton Clarke At Home Support client truly embodies the spirit of never growing old, as she celebrated her 103rd birthday in April.
06 December 2021
Good Samaritan Fund Changes Lives
For Bolton Clarke At Home Support client Norma, the kindness of community has been life-changing over the past year.
08 October 2021
Program helps homeless navigate pandemic support
Throughout the pandemic Homeless Persons Program team has been working to find new ways of supporting people sleeping rough or in insecure housing and those experiencing physical, mental and psychological health issues.
23 September 2021
Tool supports choice for people with dementia
A new conversation tool designed to help people with dementia navigate risk and exercise greater choice will be rolled out across Bolton Clarke home care services over coming weeks.
08 July 2021
Painting helps Bernard colour his world
For local indigenous artist Bernard Boyter, NAIDOC Week is an important time to celebrate his aboriginal heritage, educate others and share his passion for painting and culture.
12 April 2021
Publishing powerhouse: retirees Jack and Elaine pen their memoirs
Jack and Elaine Walter know the value of a good book, and the importance of preserving memories for generations to come. The husband-and-wife retirees have just closed the latest chapter of their own personal publishing journey – their memoirs.
09 April 2021
Community garden gets the (green) thumbs up
The community garden at Bolton Clarke’s Tantula Rise retirement village has been transformed over recent months courtesy of village resident and green thumb Neil Jensen.
31 March 2021
Seniors get active ahead of No Falls Month
Seniors from Bolton Clarke’s Tantula Rise retirement village in Alexandra Headlands have been getting active in a weekly exercise class designed to support balance, agility, and overall fitness.
26 March 2021
‘HOW-R-U?’ calls keep Alma connected on Neighbour Day
For Alma, living by herself can make it challenging to stay in touch with the world but this Neighbour Day, 28 March, she’ll be looking forward to her next phone call.
12 March 2021
World traveller salutes her 100th birthday with a cup of gin
Dandenong woman Irene Lyall will celebrate 100 years of travelling the world this week – and she’ll be marking the occasion with a teacup filled with gin.
14 December 2020
Crosby a sweet Christmas memory for Irene, 103
Bing Crosby’s White Christmas may be one of the most popular songs of all time – particularly at this time of year – Bolton Clarke at home support client Irene Gates it has special significance.
11 September 2020
Collaborative effort brings masks to Melbourne’s homeless
At first glimpse it might be hard to see what a retirement village resident from Queensland’s central coast has in common with someone living rough in Melbourne. The clue is in the face mask.
04 September 2020
Cathartic bonfires brought joy at war’s end
On the anniversary of the 75th Commemoration of the end of WWII, Bolton Clarke At Home Support client and Nerang local Rex Gillham, 90 can still clearly recall the celebrations that occurred in 1945 - from VE Day in May through to the signing of formal surrender documents on 2 September.
05 June 2020
‘Hello Nan and Pop’ activity pack keeps grandparents and grandkids connected.
At times like this, the importance of keeping in touch with family and loved ones cannot be understated – particularly for older people. With social distancing, border closures and other protective measures preventing face-to-face contact, Bolton Clarke retirement village residents have turned to technology to keep the connections alive.
22 January 2020
Home care clients to co-design frailty interventions
A Melbourne research collaboration is bringing together frail hospital and home care clients and clinicians to improve health outcomes, overcome resistance to treatment and help build resilience.
01 December 2019
Digital independence offering wins national award
Bolton Clarke has been named the inaugural Future of Ageing Awards winner in the Technology – Health and Wellbeing category for its digital independence offering.
31 October 2019
Changing needs mean older women need more complex care at home
Women using home nursing services are older, less likely to have been born in Australia and have more complex medical needs than 10 years ago, a Melbourne research study has found.
04 October 2019
Bolton Clarke to partner on Shanghai projects
Bolton Clarke, one of Australia's most experienced not-for-profit aged care and senior living providers, has formalised a key joint venture agreement in China that will see the organisation partner on eight continuing care retirement communities serving one of the country’s largest population centres.
01 August 2019
Homelessness can make you sick
Homelessness is enough to make you sick. Finding successful ways to engage with clients is the key to successful outreach, Bolton Clarke Homeless Persons Program’s Mary-Anne Rushford told the Social Justice in Nursing and Healthcare Conference in Melbourne on 30 July.
10 July 2019
Victorian centenarians kick up their heels
Five Melbourne centenarians joined in Bolton Clarke’s first Victorian Centenarian Club celebration on 12 October, coinciding with the Victorian Seniors Festival.