She supports the journey of patients over 65 years of age to ensure they are safe and treated with dignity when facing challenging situations.
This epitomises why Waikato District Health Board’s Sharon MacPherson, clinical nurse specialist in gerontology for Older Persons and Rehabilitation (OPR), was awarded the Age Concern Dignity Champion Award.
Her commitment to patients demonstrates she’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and provide unbiased care to a range of older people including those who have memory loss to ensure they and their whānau are always well informed for their safety and welfare.
Sharon is a part of the Age Concern’s Elder Abuse Resource Team that brings together a range of specialist from the DHB, Age Concern, community social workers, police, and a lawyer to discuss abuse and neglect cases of older people and coordinate the best care pathway for them.
In media released by Age Concern, Age Concern New Zealand chief executive, Stephanie Clare says “Sharon MacPherson has been awarded our October Age Concern Dignity Champion Award and prize pack. She works tirelessly to support older people in the Hamilton Community”.
Brent Nielsen, executive officer of Age Concern Hamilton nominated Sharon and says “Sharon is a role model for supporting older people. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist with Waikato DHB and with such a generous heart, Sharon has supported Age Concern for over a decade now, preserving dignity, maintaining choices, ensuring smooth pathways for older people receiving healthcare and assisting with elder abuse cases with more to come”.
Lynley Webb, sales and marketing manager for Tomorrow’s Meals says “We are proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful initiative and we look forward to celebrating this and the many more inspiring Age Concern Dignity Champions to come”.
An Age Concern Dignity Champion pledges to:
- Reject stereotypes and focus on the uniqueness of every individual
- Speak up when they hear people speaking negatively about growing old
- Have the courage to question practices they feel are disrespectful to older people
- Not patronise older people
- Be patient, polite and friendly
- Have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect
- Build relationships – they combat isolation and loneliness by getting to know the older people in their lives.