Remember Janet Reay (b. 21/2/1954 – d. 8/11/21)

On 8 November 2021 St Agnes’ Catholic Parish lost a powerful advocate of its Aged Care services with the passing of Janet Reay, who was respected, admired and loved by her colleagues.

Janet, wife to Glen and mother to David, Danielle and Jaclyn, started work with the Parish’s Catholic Care of Aged (CCA) as a Registered Nurse (RN) at Lourdes Nursing Home in 1983. Her association with CCA would go on to span more than three decades, as at various times, she took on new roles such Night RN, Clinical Leader, Nurse Advisor and Facility Manager.

After eight years at Lourdes, Janet moved to St Agnes’ site in 2001 where she stayed until, in 2007, Janet and Glen went to Scarborough, Queensland for a year for Glen’s work. The couple returned to Port Macquarie in 2008 to the delight of a new grandson – Jaclyn’s son, Miller, who was only 3 months old.  Joy Walsh, then Director of CCA, didn’t hesitate to welcome Janet back to the team as Manager of St Agnes’ Hostel.

Later, in 2009, when the Macleay Valley Catholic Parish sought support from St Agnes’ Catholic Parish with the administration of Vincent Court, it was Janet who took on the role of Manager there. After a few years, she returned again to St Agnes’ House.  In 2015, she became Manager at Emmaus until, in 2019, she again provided support to Vincent Court as the Nurse Advisor and later as Manager until January 2020.

Janet loved the residents and was focussed on person-centred care long before it was part the new Aged Care Standards.  For Janet it was always about the residents. She knew the food they liked, their hobbies and interests. She encouraged Lifestyle staff to think outside the box and the facility when it came to activities for residents.

Known for her strong work ethic and sense of social justice, Janet had a way about her of always seeing the possibilities in people.  She is remembered for really listening to people and for helping them fulfill their potential.

Her daughter, Jaclyn, also a Parish employee working in the St Agnes’ Care & Lifestyle and is following in her mother’s footsteps, training to be an RN.

Close friends and work colleagues, Carolyn Rooney and  Kylie Bonney, have fond memories of Janet’s time at Emmaus where she was famous for her lunchroom banter, which ranged from what was on the news on the way to work, to recipes and horse racing tips. They remember, too, her unfailing kindness and the beautiful Hummingbird cakes she would make for everyone’s birthdays.

“Janet touched our lives in many different ways – whether through family, work or friendship she always wanted what was best for people and most importantly she always wanted you to be happy,” said Kylie.

Janet strengthened those around her and is remembered by those she leaves behind for a life well lived.

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