Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2013 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
"Culturally now, and not
saying we weren't in the
past, but now we're very
comfortable with where
we are, and our sense
of self awareness as an
organisation." Ross Low
and I like the atmosphere of community spirit and the feeling of
belonging," she says.
Furner says such feedback is wonderful, as his team aims to
maximise client independence and choice.
"It's not just a matter of providing the housing and some
support care services... It's about supporting the overall spiritual
and the social wellbeing of the person -- that they're connected
to other residents as well as being connected to the broader
community, thus reducing the incidence of social isolation."
Paull English, General Manager Residential Care at BCS, is in
charge of residential aged care across 21 facilities that offer a
variety of services including high and low care, dementia and
palliative care. He says BCS' range of housing options and care
services, together with its recent reforms, will help shore it up
against sector uncertainty.
"We are in a competitive environment and there's a lot of
governmental change, which will flow on to next year," he says.
"Like a lot of organisations we've got plenty of challenges
ahead of us in the next 12 to 18 months. So our aim will always
be for the delivery of excellent resident care and wellbeing and
securing those outcomes for our residents, while delivering the
mission of our organisation and maintaining financial viability. It all
Part of English's remit is the new 160-bed BCS residential
aged care facility being built in Canberra's inner-south suburb
of Griffith in the ACT. It will include high and low care, ageing
in place opportunities, extra service and dementia-specific
care. Residents at Morling Lodge in Red Hill will move there
"We were fortunate that the ACT government had earmarked
this site. They were aware of our desire to build a new facility and
were happy to have discussions with us," English says.
The ability to secure appropriate land is increasingly vital in
aged care, particularly as many residents and their families do
not want to have facilities located in outer suburbs of cities.
"That level of demand is going to grow significantly over
coming years," English says.
He adds that an ageing in place model is also increasingly
preferred by residents and families, particularly one that
focuses on dementia and palliative care. Ross Low agrees,
stating that BCS is researching widely to ensure it provides
"On a SAGE study tour in Germany last year I saw a lovely room
where people could spend their last hours with their family and
that reinforced my view that we need to continue to do what we're
doing, and improve how we provide palliative care," Low says.
"Dementia is on the increase and we will build more areas that
have specific dementia care ability... It is a conscious decision to
move faster than the population level of dementia will grow."
One of the biggest areas of change for BCS will be in the
community care division, Home Care.
Annette Hili, General Manager Home Care, says BCS was
one of the first to provide in-home care in Australia and today
operates 25 care centres across NSW and the ACT, with about
1400 staff servicing more than 9500 clients.
Hili says external forces and competition are dictating change,
and her division will be re-examining its methods of operation to
search for efficiencies.
"That's going to be the key for our future," she says.
"With the focus moving away from the approved provider, the
consumer has much more control in this new world."
Rather than sitting with a client to discuss what BCS can offer,
Hili says "it's very much going to be the other way around where
the client will tell us what they want". She points out that clients
will be able to choose whether to use BCS or another organisation
for their care.
"And we will be working with clients to determine how best
to enable their independence, because it's a desire of many
individuals to be cared for in their home
rather than uproot and move into a
residential aged care facility."
To allow these changes to occur Hili
will be speaking to clients about their
needs and engaging with staff to get their
input on gaining efficiencies. BCS has
always had its own care staff and only
uses brokerage services as a backup.
"We made that choice because it means
that we can train our staff in the way that
we believe that care should be provided,
with our Christian emphasis," Hili says.
"If it becomes too much about sales,
marketing and competition....we don't
want to take our eye off making sure that
the quality of our staff is maintained."
The future of home care for staff will
involve a journey, which Hili stresses BCS
will walk with them.
"That shift to 'what can we do to help
you?' is the biggest move and the area we
have to focus on so our staff know where
we are going. Once they know where we
are going then they will help us get there."
For all at BCS, adhering to its Christian
vision and values system for 70 years has
helped keep the organisation focused.
"We are very committed to our
Christian heritage," says Hili.
"We use our RESPECT care and
services approach... It's the small things
like 'Did I smile when talking to a client?'.
It's about reminding ourselves not to
become so task -- focused that we forget
the person. RESPECT is very much about
using our Christian ethos and how we
display that to one another."
Even with top level management
decisions, BCS ensures every matter is in
line with this approach. And effectively
balancing this vision with financial acumen
is what CEO Ross Low says will have BCS
firing as it goes into future decades.
"Culturally now, and not saying
we weren't in the past, but now we're
very comfortable with where we are,
and our sense of self-awareness as an
organisation," says Low.
"We know who we are and what we
want to do." n
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