A new service delivery model which focuses on wellness, choice and lifestyle aims to improve the quality of life of residents, a strategy and innovation expert told an industry conference this week.
Community owned not-for-profit aged and retirement living provider Warrigal has piloted a new service delivery model to improve customer service in its Shell Cove facility in New South Wales.
Warrigal executive leader in strategy and innovation Leanne Taylor said the new model, the Warrigal Way, aims to better understand the residents of today and dismantle old institutional models many facilities still follow.
“Aged care ain’t aged care anymore. Things can be done differently where people are more comfortable,” Ms Taylor told delegates at the ACSA National Summit in Sydney.
The Warrigal Way, which has been in operation for a year, focuses on relationships, choice in care services, giving residents a daily sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging in the community and facility, she said.
In the new model, Warrigal aims to decrease negative connotations.
“We have a whole lot of new terms for things, instead of resident we call them customers, instead of carers we call them companions instead of having a nurse’s station, staff decided to call it ‘The Dock’ because we’re near a marina. Even resident rooms, they’re called customer suites,” Ms Taylor said.
To improve customer service, a community facilitator goes around to each resident to collect their stories from the past to better understand their life experiences, interests and hobbies.
“People can then volunteer on the site with the sorts of activities they enjoy, and we implement them into the facility to suit them,” Ms Taylor said.
Having an innovative design to the building was also a way of connecting residents to the area, with the on-site café and bistro open to the wider community, she said.
“It’s all about building the community and everyone being really proud about where they live,” Ms Taylor said.
The model also connects the community with residents through a mobile app, which allows relatives to know what their loved ones have been up to.
“If you have a family member that lives there away from the facility, they can log in and check out what their relative has been up to, see the photos and stories each day and what sort of activities they’re up to,” Ms Taylor said.
A two-way voice nurse call system, iCall has also been placed in bedrooms, allowing residents to call out for assistance when required, she said.
Ms Taylor said the new model was implemented in response to government reform, change in consumer demands and competition in the aged care sector.
“There is a lot of change, it is a great opportunity to do things differently and we think about why we actually need to reinvent ourselves,” Ms Taylor said.
Warrigal took out the Provider of the Year ACSA National Aged Care award earlier this week at the ACSA National Summit for its outstanding leadership management, workforce culture, innovation, communication and general excellence to the sector (read more here).
The ACSA National Summit was held in Sydney from September 3-5.
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