When Jim Flemming was just a teenager, he told his mother and father that he wanted to be a radio announcer.
At the age of 16, Jim stumbled upon an advertisement in the paper from a gentleman that was offering training at a broadcast school and within five minutes of his first lesson both Jim and his trainer realised that he made the right decision.
“You know Jim, you are very lucky,” the trainer said, “you were born with a radio voice.”
Before too long, Jim landed his first gig on ABC Radio in the town country town of Warwick located 130 kilometers south-west of Brisbane.
Jim’s vocal stylings became a prominent feature on the Queensland airwaves for the next 43 years, including a highly successful stint at radio station 4BH, from which he retired in the early 90s.
Although retirement was a welcomed change of pace for Jim and his beloved wife Bobbie, unfortunately, a significant health issue resulted in Jim needing more assistance than he could get in his own home.
Jim moved to the Opal Greenfern Place aged care facility in the suburb of Brown Plains, Queensland, and it wasn’t long before staff realised that Jim’s voice had the ability to bring joy to both residents and staff.
As Jim’s health started to improve, the facility’s General Manager suggested that Jim take over the daily announcements, and it wasn’t long before the veteran radio announcer had another audience hanging on every word he said.
“I started off by doing two per week, and before long I’m doing as I’m doing now four a week, and it just sort of lifted up and went extremely, extremely well.”
There are a number of aged care homes around the country that boast an array of innovative features, but the lucky residents at Opal Greenfern Place now have the dulcet tones of a veteran news broadcaster sharing news, weather and events around the home on a regular basis.
While the residents and staff are obviously thrilled with Jim taking over the airwaves at their facility, this newfound responsibility has given Jim a renewed sense of purpose and popularity within his community.
“I must confess that I enjoy doing it, it means that I’m still talking to the people,” said Jim.
The effortless manner in which Jim weaves humour and personal insight into his daily announcements is a shining example of the expertise and skills that are possessed by older people that often goes unappreciated.
And aged care providers that seek to encourage and empower the passions and skillsets of their residents provide seniors with a sense of purpose that equates to a much more meaningful life.
Photo Courtesy Of Opal Aged Care Video