Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA May-Jun 2013 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
behaviour model developed by nurse researchers in the US,
including Professor Elizabeth Beattie from the Queensland
University of Technology, who now advises on Churches of Christ
Care's pioneering model.
"That model tells us that when a person with dementia
behaves in an unexpected and different way, it's usually caused
by an unmet need," says Fleming.
A maximum of 12 people with a diagnosis with dementia
reside in each cottage. The cottages provide a continuum
of palliative care from admission to end of life. This role is
overseen by Fleming, who is also the first private practice nurse
practitioner to work in Queensland.
"We take a palliative approach, but we're looking to maintain
their function and wellness so quality of life and day-to-day
engagement is optimised in this environment," says Fleming.
"I also have a role in helping with behavioural and
psychological symptoms of dementia, helping the team to
problem solve, and working out care strategies."
OPEN CARE PARTNERSHIPS
Fleming and Feez run family forums, where relatives gather
socially, ask questions and learn about what is happening in the
cottages. This helps underpin the care triad -- a care partnership
between residents, families and the staff.
"We need the family to give us the resident's story, because it's
really important to know each person as an individual to provide
person-centred care," says Fleming.
"We need to know their background, life experiences, what
makes them laugh, what upsets them, what will divert their
attention -- chocolate, marshmallows, a cup of tea, or a walk in
Fleming adds it is vital that families understand they are part
of the process, right to the end.
"Relatives have embraced this collaborative role and see their
input as important to the process, so they're quite outspoken and
insistent on us maintaining our focus of striving for excellence in
care, and that's a good thing," Fleming says.
"They are not there as critics, but as collaborators, so we've
established that partnership relationship with them."
ALIGNING WITH MISSION
Although the Cottage Life project still has a year to go, it has
already achieved some striking results (see breakout box).
One of its most important elements is the institutional
support. Churches of Christ Care has funded many aspects,
including Fleming and Feez's roles, materials development and
Bryan Mason, General Manager of Churches of Christ
Care Residential Aged Care Services, says it is a significant
investment, because "it adds value to the wider organisation
as we have more learnings, which aligns with our mission of
bringing the light of Christ into communities and becoming a
Mason, who is relatively new to the
organisation, says he is enjoying Churches
of Christ Care's "unique and special
values", which have been an integral
part of Australia's eighth largest, not-
for-profit organisation (BRW Top 500,
2012) since it was established in 1930.
Today its services include 17 retirement
villages and 27 residential aged care
services in Queensland and Victoria,
and 55 community aged care services in
Queensland. The organisation is also active
in the areas of early childhood services,
child protection and community housing.
"Churches of Christ's values run right
through the organisation, including our 200
mission and care services," Mason says.
"These are values of mercy, having a
compassionate heartfelt response for those
in distress, having a sense of justice that
everyone should be treated equally, and
recognising that everyone has something
valuable to offer -- staff and residents."
Mason says this is particularly evident
in the Cottage Life project, where
instead of the traditional approach of
simply providing care, cottage residents
are encouraged to make a positive
contribution to their community.
Taking this further, Churches of Christ
Care embraces the concept of integrated
communities, where different care services
are seamlessly brought together to support
the continuum of life on one site.
As well as housing the Centre for
Excellence, the Churches of Christ
Campus at Mitchelton incorporates a
60-suite, high-care, residential aged care
service; a 14-apartment retirement village;
a 49-unit community housing complex
for over-55s; and a community aged care
program operating from the site.
The Mitchelton Campus allows
residents to age in place by providing
access to any service available on site
regardless of accommodation type. It
has also created an environment where
residents, clients and staff feel safe,
respected and valued.
"As people age and their needs change,
William Feez, enjoys
a laugh with one of
Pikelets on the menu
for morning tea
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