“I tell people ‘I like older people, I’m going to be one soon’.”
Mr Donnelly said he enjoyed working with older people as a parish minister and was impressed by what he saw at Kingsville.
“Kingsville takes the ageing process seriously by keeping people in the same environment no matter what their needs. They have taken a lesson from the success of other facilities that use that model,” he said.
As well as maintaining already close links with the local community, Mr Donnelly hopes to strengthen ties between Kingsville and the Uniting Church.
“I made it my first task to make contact with the local ministers and, as we progress, I will be endeavouring to make those links stronger.
“We soon will be on the Crosslight subscription list, to learn of what the wider church is up to, and I hope to encourage all the residents and staff to collect their stamps for Sammy Stamp.”
Mr Donnelly said the role also brings with it a variety of issues and challenges, particularly in ministry with people living with dementia.
“Certainly people with advanced dementia can be a challenge, not only to nurse, but simply to communicate with. But everyone deserves dignity and so all staff and carers work hard to make their lives comfortable and meaningful.”