Making a difference is what community champion Marta Forcael-Kempf is all about.
She works with clients living with dementia dementia in the new Omnicare day centre beside Bain Park in Wauchope, and she has a passion for the people she helps.
Marta is from Chile and had a nursing background in pathology, working with children with leukaemia and haemophilia in a children's hospital there. She migrated to Australia in 1976, leaving her career and family behind.
"I studied English full-time for a year, then I was a stay-at-home mum for a while," she said.
Marta then worked in a nursing home in Sydney part-time for five years and 25 years ago, she and her husband and family moved to a farm in Byabarra.
"Then I went to volunteer with Hastings District Respite Care, and after two weeks, the boss offered me a job. I took two days a week and never looked back. My passion is to give, and my work has allowed me to do that," she says.
"After we became Omnicare, it got even better, with our holistic approach of Montessori. Our client needs and abilities are always our first priority.
"We provide an environment for clients to feel comfortable and included very much. They are part creating our programs, for example, menu plans, activities, outings. We do what they like to do," said Marta.
A proud member of the Omnicare team, Marta is looking forward to the second dementia conference later this month.
"Everyone should attend and learn more of the great work we do: doctors, carers, the general public, so we can all be on the same page, and give our clients and loved ones the dignity and respect they deserve.
"I do what I love and I love what I do. When I came to Australia, I couldn’t continue my haematology studies, so I thought I would give something to people who sometimes aren’t treated well.
"I became an advocate for the people who don’t always have a voice. They are somebody’s love, somebody’s Mum, somebody’s grandmother. They looked after us in our past," said Marta.
"They have a lot of abilities. When we love somebody, we want to do everything for them, but we want them to do as much as possible for themselves."
A mother and grandmother, Marta loves cooking, so she does a lot of cooking with her clients, and gets the gentlemen to cook as well as the ladies.
"I wish we had more health professionals involved in dementia care. So many people are sitting at home with carers in distress and they don't know where to go. We could be here in Wauchope every day, but we are only here twice a week because we have to have the clientele," she added.