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this context residents and family members actively contribute to
and become more comfortable with life in a residential setting.
Arcare CEO, Colin Singh, says that while relationships
naturally develop in aged care settings, Arcare as an organisation
prioritises this above all else. "By putting relationships front and
centre Arcare has moved the focus from treating problems to
celebrating individuality and supporting elders' ongoing well-
being and citizenship rights."
Arcare's consistent staffing assignment, or dedicated staffing,
is a major component of their relationship centred approach.
It involves staff working a minimum of three days a week with
the same small group of residents at all times. This creates an
environment where relationships and understandings can flourish
between staff, residents and families. Singh says that each of
their sensitive care communities (dementia specific living areas),
currently 14, has adopted dedicated staffing. This innovative
approach has also been implemented into all areas of their new
residences: Peregian Springs and Hope Island in Queensland and
Caulfield in Melbourne. It will be introduced to Maroochydore
and Craigieburn when they open in July.
Arcare are keeping a close eye on the outcomes of 'Dedicated
Staffing', which includes a six monthly comprehensive review of
each residence that has introduced the model. Singh explains the
importance of carrying out these regular evaluations: "We need
to reflect, see the benefits, get feedback from staff, families and
elders so that we can continually refine our processes to ensure
that we are getting the best outcomes for everyone involved and
achieving what we set out to achieve".
A HELPING HAND AT HOME
The provision of support services in the home is an area that is
growing rapidly. Arcare has been helping to meet this need since
2007, offering private support services and home care packages
for the past seven years.
"We have seen the sector undergo a considerable number
of changes since 2007," says Petra Westphal, Arcare's National
Manager Homecare. "Chief among these is the growing emphasis on
reablement and helping to keep people independent and living at
home for as long as possible. We've also seen an increasing demand
in home support from younger people with a disability" she adds.
To meet the growing demand and increased diversity of
services being offered, Arcare has adopted a holistic vision that
combines the resources and expertise of both their home care
and residential care divisions.
"Often home care and residential care are treated like
separate businesses but we consider them to be complementary
to one another. For example, we can provide additional outings
for residents of our communities, and opportunities for some of
our home care clients to participate in
the social goings on at the residences,"
Arcare is now offering home care
services from the Gold Coast to the
Sunshine Coast in Queensland and in
Victoria these services are available
throughout metropolitan Melbourne
and Geelong. Arcare recently opened a
Queensland head office in Murarrie to
complement their Melbourne head office,
and as befits their unique holistic vision,
also co-locates home care within their
residential aged care communities across
Victoria and Queensland.
Westphal strongly believes that there
will be a greater demand for home care
from young people with a disability
who have a support package or ongoing
funding that supports them at home. She
is also expecting an increasing demand for
in home support services as the National
Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls
out and more home care packages are
"With the NDIS younger people are
deciding on their own providers, more
so than in the past, and are likely to shop
around to determine what they want and see
what services and providers are out there."
As for challenges, her view is that
Arcare is no different to any other
provider in having to deal with the casual
nature of the work involved. "We are lucky
to have the Arcare Training Institute;
however, home care can be a deterrent as
most people need a regular income and
the changing needs of clients means you
cannot always guarantee hours.
"Another challenge is letting people
know we exist. To this end Arcare does
radio advertising, press advertising and
communicates with GPs and hospitals.
Having a good reputation helps."
Not surprisingly personal care is the
most in-demand service, particularly for
high level care clients and the elderly still
living in their homes. The needs of younger
people with a disability are similar, with
personal care and transport for shopping,
medical appointments and social activities
sitting high on their list of priorities.
the family, carer
An Arcare at home
carer helping a client
out of their car.
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