Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2015 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
Barnier admits this is placing a lot of responsibility on staff
to meet the new standards and what is expected of them. "For
instance if the carer observes something they do not think is
appropriate either with a manager, family member or resident
you can raise this and they do. Everyone realises there is an
expectation on us all."
A FUTURE FILLED WITH OPPORTUNITIES
When it comes to training, this is carried out predominantly
in-house with toolbox and skills programs. Opal is also committed
to specialised dementia training with Alzheimer's Australia with
a new program planned for later this year. Barnier says while
Opal has been approached by several organisations to collaborate
in a similar arrangement, to date none have suited. "Such a
partnership has to first and foremost benefit residents and carers."
There are other openings for what Barnier refers to as
"conversations with the community" particularly when it
comes to issues such as hospice care and chronic diseases.
"The reason there are lot of people in residential aged care is
because of diabetes. We think there is an opportunity to work
with the community to understand how chronic conditions like
diabetes and kidney disease can shorten lives and lead to other
comorbidities. There is also a growing demand for providing
rehabilitation services to assist people to eventually return home."
As to where the company sets itself apart, Barniers puts being
able to provide residential high care at the sub-acute level on the
top of the list. "What we are saying is people should be able to stay
in their homes for as long as possible, but when the time is right,
whether it is for respite, restorative care or dementia support in
a hospice, Opal is there for them. Opal is committed to providing
good access to the 70 per cent of Australians over 80 years of age
with less than $350,000 worth of assets. We absolutely firmly believe
if we get the culture right in our homes and support our staff our
customer service will be what the community expects it to be."
Barnier believes one of the biggest obstacles facing the
industry, outside of attracting the sort of workforce that will
Head office: Level 27/135 King Street,
Sydney. Phone: 02 8241 1600
Opal Aged Care and
Stockland Project Begins
Opal Aged Care and property group Stockland
have started work on a joint aged care and
retirement village project at Ashfield in Sydney's
Inner West. The Opal aged care home is being
built within Stockland's Cardinal Freeman
residential site and is designed to link retirement
living with higher levels of care.
At the recent sod-turning Assistant Minister
for Social Services Mitch Fifield spoke about the
importance of continuum of care for people as
they get older. "That through the ages and stages
of their life, the accommodation and care they
have is seamless," he said.
Opal Aged Care Managing Director Gary
Barnier said it offers older residents the option
of moving into higher care accommodation,
"if and when the need arises without having to
relocate away from their village, community,
family and friends."
The $33 million, four storey, 133-bed aged
care home is due for completion in mid-2016.
As well as the existing indoor/outdoor café, village
residents will have access to a club house, wi-fi
enabled library, a heated indoor pool, gym, bar,
theatre, billiard room and hair salon.
Stockland Managing Director and CEO Mark Steinert and Opal Aged Care
Managing Director Gary Barnier at the Cardinal Freeman sod turning.
A schematic of the Opal retirement home due to open mid 2016.
deliver the customer service that
community expects, is a more competitive
aged care landscape, which he predicts will
change over the next decade. "Consumers
will demand more and this will bring
pressures to bear -- the likes of which
we have not seen before. Coming from
the FMCG [fast moving consumer goods]
industry I understand the implications of
this very well. This industry has been so
regulated that we have not felt that sort of
pressure but it will come.
"It will mean change and lifting our
game or we won't survive because the
consumer won't allow us to survive, and
as a consequence, will invite others into
the sector to deliver what we don't. This
is already happening and becoming more
intense. Consumer directed care will be part
of this and the progressive loosening of the
supply side with the freeing up of licences,
firstly in home care and across to residential
aged care, will create pressures too."
Barnier says the current government
support of reforms started by the previous
government is good news and the roadmap
that Assistant Minister for Social Services,
Mitch Fifield, has set out around
progressive deregulation has been carefully
thought through and is good policy. n
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