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someone belongs - when they are missed, and when they are
missed they are welcomed home."
Care plans are driven by understanding a client's own
preferences and needs. According to Dr Judy McCrow, clinical
practice development facilitator, if a resident has an issue or
is displaying unusual behaviour, staff will work through the
resident's essential needs to try and determine the underlying
problem or unmet need, rather than managing symptoms alone.
The model also seeks to build on resident's capabilities and
strengths rather than focusing on their limitations. This can be in
demonstrated in something as simple as adjusting the language
used in clinical care plans.
For example, instead of staff writing "Judy walks with
a wheelie walker" as they may have previously, they are
encouraged to write a statement that builds on her capabilities,
such as "Judy can walk, but requires a wheelie walker."
The positive wellbeing model of care - based on person-centred
care, positive psychology and capability theory - is currently in the
early stages of dissemination across Churches of Christ Care.
The model is currently being piloted in seven residential aged
care services. It will later be evaluated before implementation
across the organisation, including through Churches of Christ
Care's community care and retirement living services.
Despite the model's infancy, its innovative approach has already
been well-recognised by the sector, with the positive wellbeing
model of care winning a 2015 Aged and Community Services
Australia (ACSA) Queensland Aged Care Award (see box).
Key to the success of the model is an extensive understanding
of resident's preferences, which is then used to drive care and
"When people come into aged care, we collect all the
clinical information that's required to care for them and their
biographical information, but a lot of the time we miss out on
what things they really prefer to do now," says McCrow.
"By understanding what people's preferences are, we can try
and deliver care that is suited to them, not suited to the masses."
In 2015, Churches of Christ Care won a Better Practice
Award for their use of a preference-driven framework in the
same seven facilities. The use of the framework has seen
multiple benefits, including residents reporting that they feel
more relaxed and comfortable.
Staff capture client's preferences using a 75 question validated
questionnaire and toolkit, developed by the Polisher Institute in
the United States.
It is the level of detail which the preference-driven tool gets
down to that makes the difference to
residents lives, allowing staff to facilitate
opportunities for residents to continue
activities they previously enjoyed, Mason
For example, one resident had never
mentioned to staff that she enjoyed golf
as she didn't think she'd be able to play
anymore since coming into care.
However, through the use of the
preference driven tool, staff identified
that she'd like to play again if she could.
Coincidently, that facility backed onto a
golf course, and the service-coordinator
asked the golf club if the resident could do
some regular putting on one of the holes,
which they enthusiastically agreed to.
Similarly, staff discovered another
resident, who was wheelchair-bound,
enjoyed fishing trips. However, since
coming into care, it had been several
years since his last one. With help from his
family, staff were able for arrange a day
out for him at the nearest fishing port.
"The smile on the resident's face was
priceless," says Mason.
Other simple changes include allowing
a resident who used to be a barista to help
out in the coffee shop, and providing fresh
fruit for residents to eat throughout the
day, not just at mealtimes.
"They're not expensive things, they're
not time-consuming things. It's just
making life more normal and positive
for people by making the effort to ask,
'what are your preferences?'" says Mason.
McCrow says that the use of the tool
has also made staff aware that often
residents' had previously kept their
The model builds on
rather than focusing
on their limitations.
used to inform
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