For more than 12 years, Atsuko ‘Azy’ Inada has dedicated her life to caring for the elderly.
It is Azy’s commitment to helping others which has seen her be crowned this year’s Aged Care Angel, an award which honours frontline staff who protect the nation’s most vulnerable people.
More than 500 nominations were put forward for the award, which is run by HelloCare.
Azy has been working at Arcare North Lakes as a personal care worker and physio aide. She joined the community when the aged care residence first opened in 2009.
Being part of the lives of the Arcare North Lakes’ residents is a privilege, according to Azy.
“I talk to the residents, we sing, dance, and laugh together… seeing their smiles just makes me happy,” she says.
Azy has loved every moment of working with the team, who she describes as family.
“When I first started working at Arcare, I was pregnant. I appreciated the fact that Arcare hired me, and my team actually cared about me and my pregnancy – this includes management, care staff and residents,” she says.
“I had only worked three months before giving birth, but they organised a surprise baby shower for me.
“I didn’t have any family in Australia, except for my husband at that time, so we were really moved.
“I feel very appreciated and I’m very impressed by how Arcare has supported me.”
Arcare Residence Manager Annette Jackson says Azy brings a lot of positive energy to her role.
“Azy is always happy and smiling, she is much loved by all at Arcare North Lakes, and she is always positive, pleasant and caring to all clients and team members,” she says.
“She is definitely the Aged Care Angel of North Lakes.”
Everyday Australians are also to nominate an outstanding residential aged care or community home care worker for the chance to win a stack of grand prizes.
This year's nominations were held between October 4-25, with more than 500 people being nominated.