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preferences to themselves, as they felt they had to adapt to the
care provided by the service.
She highlights the example of a woman who never mentioned
she preferred a medium-bristle toothbrush to the soft-bristle one
provided, until prompted with the questionnaire.
"A simple need with a simple solution, but one that never been
identified previously," she says.
Into the future, information gained from the tool is expected
to improve the residents' experiences as they transition from
home to aged care. For instance staff often takeover lifestyle
tasks, such as hairdressing and manicuring, without considering
whether the new resident would prefer to continue seeing their
"Understanding preferences is not always about us delivering
the service but rather supporting the resident to meet personal
and lifestyle preferences," says McCrow.
Training staff in the tool is useful from a cultural perspective,
as it is changing the way they think about and approach clients,
"In the future, the model should also be useful from a
strategic point of view, because we could have a look across
the organisation to see whether or not we are meeting the
preferences of clients in certain domains, and that will help
determine where we put our time, effort and resources," he says.
Mason says that training staff in the positive wellbeing model
means moving away from task-oriented care towards care that
recognises and responds to individual needs.
In order to do that, all staff are being trained in an emotional
intelligence program, called Managing Me, that allows them to
connect on a more intimate level with residents and colleagues.
The program addresses self-regulation, motivation, social skills,
empathy and self-awareness.
"That has had a big impact on our culture," Mason says.
"What we try and build into our staff is that this is not just a
job. This is an opportunity for you to actually make a positive
difference in an ageing person's life... I think we're seeing our
carers really engage; they want to get up in the morning and
come to work.
"To bring positive uplift to one individual is at the core of
meaning and purpose for a lot of people."
The positive wellbeing model of care is
intended to be an overarching philosophy,
which also means that staff have the
ability to innovate and adapt programs to
reflect the personality of residents and the
service they reside in.
"Once our staff get that framework, then
they have the freedom to be able to explore
different programs that fit. That way we're
doing things for purpose, we're not just
doing things because we can," says Mason.
McCrow says that giving staff the space
to be spontaneous and innovative helps to
build a positive culture.
"If staff come to work happy and
engaged, then residents are going to feel
the same," she says.
Churches of Christ Care has won a
number of awards over the past year
for their model of care and its related
2015 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of
Older People (PASCOP) Annual Quality
in Pastoral and Spiritual Practice
Awards for its pilot dementia church
service initiative at Moonah Park Aged
2015 Aged and Community Services Australia
(ACSA) Queensland Aged Care Award for the positive
wellbeing model of care.
2015 Better Practice Award from the Australian
Aged Care Quality Agency for the preference driven
"Human flourishing is intimately connected with
spiritual wellbeing. There is so much we can do to improve
the care experience of older people in Australia to ensure
their deeper needs are attended to. I am delighted to being
joining PASCOP on its mission to ensure all older people in
Australia have access to high quality pastoral and spiritual
care," says Ilsa Hampton, the new CEO of Pastoral and
Spiritual Care of Older People (PASCOP).
Churches of Christ
Kids Interacting with
The Elderly (KITE) is
a signature program
Churches of Christ
residents from its
aged care services
36 | MARCH -- APRIL 2016 | AAA
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