A legendary service award has been awarded to two Kāpiti aged care legends.
Heather Rye and Barbara Mador from Kena Kena and Kapiti Rest Home have won the VCare Legendary Service to the Aged Residential Care Sector Award at the NZCAA/EBOS Healthcare Excellence in Care Awards.
The pair were presented with the award at this year's New Zealand Aged Care Association conference which had the theme Aged Care in a Pandemic World.
With 100 years of nursing and rest home experience between them, the conference awards recognise the continuous pursuit of providing excellence in care by aged residential care facilities and their staff.
With Barbara clocking up 60 years as a registered nurse and Heather 40 years, the pair have well and truly passed the nomination criteria of working in the industry for more than 100 years.
Normally a joint award, the pair have owned Kena Kena Rest Home for the last 24 years and Kapiti Rest Home for the last three years, crediting their partnership as a reason for successfully running a business and providing loving care at the same time.
"We've been doing this for a while so if we don't know anything by now there's no show," Barbara said.
With operations manager Brayden Rye, who is also Heather's son, nominating the pair, the staff also wrote letters in support of them.
"The staff wrote lovely letters to nominate us," Heather said.
"One thing they wrote about us is that they have appreciated the education we have given them over the years," Barbara said.
With parties each year being very popular with both staff and residents, Barbara is pleased it's not just the fun times they've had that has had an impact on the staff, but the training and work environment too.
"I was really pleased they wrote about that - about education and training.
"They liked that we work on the floor with them."
"We've had amazing staff who have worked here for a long time," Heather said.
"We've met a lot of people, had good days and bad days with a lot of fun in between."
With burnout being common in the aged care industry, the pair has always worked out hours to meet their needs.
"I said when we were receiving the award that we have lasted so long because we are in a partnership where we can both take a holiday with no disruption to the business.
"That's how we survived - we've both managed to take good breaks and have a decent holiday each year.
"It's a hard job, one of us is always on call, but we've got a lot of enjoyment out of looking after the locals and being involves in the community."