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WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?
Determining the best option depends
on what the organisation wants to do
and what's happening in the market,
Goldsworthy says. ABS demographic
and health profiles can be useful for this,
As Goldsworthy outlined in his New
World Order presentation, strategic
development options include, but are
not limited to, one organisation on one
site with multiple services; networked
organisations sharing corporate services;
multiple services on multiple sites; a
partnership with many partners working
together for mutual value and benefit; a
management agreement with a zone of
mutual benefit; pooled services; an aged
care management company servicing
many aged care organisations; or two or
several organisations merging together to
create a new organisation.
While there are several large
providers known for their innovative
ways, Goldsworthy points to Boneham
Cottage Homes as an example of a
small rural provider, zooming down the
BONEHAM COTTAGE HOMES
Boneham Cottage Homes, situated in a
rural town about 50 kilometres from Mount
Gambier, is undergoing a service model
transition. When Jenny Norman came to
Boneham as general manager 15 years ago
it was a 50-bed low care facility. "People
were able to shower themselves, get on the
bus and go shopping and do all of those
things," Norman says.
Boneham had already converted 15
beds to a secure area to enable people in
the early stages of dementia to wander
safely. Looking ahead, the provider is
moving to a one site, multi-service model,
which includes high care, dementia care,
lifestyle services and community programs.
A NEED TO TRANSFORM
Without drastic change, Norman says
the business would not be viable in five
years. "The numbers don't stack up. With
people staying at home longer, we're
finding that they're virtually high care
when we get them."
Fifty residents with increasing needs
means more services and wages, she says.
"The more numbers you've got, then you've
got that flexibility; but you don't have that
flexibility at 50." Following an application
written by Norman, the provider
successfully attained an additional 20 high
care and 20 low care beds and a $6 million
interest free government loan.
Construction for stage one is
underway with 40 rooms due for
completion early next year. Then it's
straight into stage two which involves a
larger kitchen and laundry to cater for
the extra residents. Stage three is the
retirement village, community hall and
the development of new programs.
"The world is our oyster at the
moment," Norman says. The new packages
will be designed to meet the community's
needs and promote what people can do,
rather than what they can't, she says.
Home help, meals on wheels, exercise
programs to keep fit and other club-like
activities that people can join "so they don't
sit at home on their own worrying about
their health or becoming depressed."
ADVICE FOR THE JOURNEY
Talking to other people who have already
done it helps, says Norman. And being
game enough to have the vision and the
drive, she says, adding that she has both.
"I like to be out in front of the line."
"You can't sit on your hands," Norman
advises. If you choose to do nothing and
continue as best you can until you have to
close, then what happens to the town and
their expectations of aged care, she asks.
The application, which got them the
loan, helped because it clarified what
they were doing, Boneham's long-term
intent and also that there was a need to
do it. "The thing that happens in smaller
areas, particularly with dementia, is there
are no dementia specific beds. So these
people get trundled around and moved
out of town."
The biggest hindrance is always cost,
Norman says and aged care doesn't have
the high profile in government that it
should have. n
Download Goldsworthy's New World Order
presentation free from www.asspl.com.au.
www.australianageingagenda.com.au | 33
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