A much-loved Gingin care aide has retired after more than a decade of service to her local community – but she is not ready to hang up her boots completely.

After 10 years of working for in-home health and aged care provider Silver Chain, Silva Ogerly has said farewell to her day job, but has returned as a much-needed volunteer.

“I can’t quite bear the thought of not seeing them (my clients) anymore,” the grandmother said. “My body needs a rest from the physical aspect of the job, but one day a week I will continue my involvement with Silver Chain through volunteering.”

A resident in the Wheatbelt region for 25 years, Silva’s duties as a care aide included assisting elderly clients with showering, dressing, administering medication, cleaning, transportation, shopping and providing company for those who are socially isolated.

“I love taking care of people,” Silva said. “That’s what kept me in the job for so long. You are not just a worker going in and doing your job, you are dealing with people and you need compassion. You can’t work for the elderly without being compassionate.”

Silver Chain Care Team Leader, Monique Bray, said Silva would be missed by the clients whose homes she visited. 

“The clients love Silva – she is amazing at her job,” Monique said. “Although she is continuing as a volunteer, she will be a great loss in the homes. She embodies all the Silver Chain values of safe, connective, effective and personal care – always putting the clients’ needs first and supporting their independence.”

Monique said Silva had also been very instrumental in establishing a group support centre and organising group outings in the region.

“Silva has been a driving force in organising day trips around the region and beyond, for example to Midland, Guilderton and Hillarys,” she said. “She assists the clients getting on and off bus, helps them order food and getting around.”

Silva said she was looking forward to some much-needed time off but was excited to see her clients on Thursdays.

“The sole purpose is for the clients to see each and communicate with each other – and us – so they have something to look forward to after being home all week,” she said. “It is a great way to combat social isolation. They love coming on outings – we sing on the bus and have a great time.”