Accolades for an active approach

Weight lifting and walking lead to wellbeing for staff and residents of award-winning aged care facility.

Above: Highercombe staff recieve their Better Practice Award on Monday. L-R: Jo Boylan, ACH Group Northern Region Residential Services Manager; Mark Brandon, CEO of the Aged Care Accreditation Agency; Megan Wemmer, RN  from Highercombe; Nora Goldney, Assistant Manager – Northern Region Residential Services; and Pam Castle, Senior Project Officer for Healthy Ageing.

Staff from ACH Highercombe, near Adelaide, were formally presented with two Better Practice in Aged Care awards this week, out of only four this year that went to South Australian facilities.

The two awards from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency recognised Highercombe for excellence in the areas of ‘Health and Personal Care’ and ‘Innovation’.

Highercombe, which features on-site gym facilities, is committed to improving the lives of older people through a range of activities and exercise programs as part of its ‘active living for healthy ageing’ approach to aged care. 

The extensive exercise program includes ‘easy moves and balance classes’, gym sessions, walking, swimming, golf, carpet bowls and tennis as part of the ACH Group’s Partners in Positive Ageing (PiPA) model of wellbeing.

When he first came to live at Highercombe, 85-year-old Bob Scrutton often felt fatigued and depressed, according to the ACH Group, but began to slowly build back his strength after he began walking and joined a gym program.

Mr Scrutton initially struggled to walk one kilometre, and is now reportedly “striding it out for five kilometres on most days of the week”.

The active senior even entered a 12 km walk in this year’s City-Bay Fun Run with his daughters, coming first in his category in a time of two hours and 42 minutes.

“The sense of wellness that you get after exercising is something that needs to be experienced to believe,” Mr Scrutton said.

The South Australian provider’s Northern Region Residential Services Manager, Jo Boylan, said that the facility’s programs were focused on helping residents – and staff – to be as healthy as possible.

“Many of the residents who come to live at Highercombe do so with the understanding that the home’s key philosophy is about achieving optimal wellbeing,” Ms Boylan said.

“The art of ageing well is earnestly pursued by staff and residents at Highercombe. Health promotion at Highercombe is about living and working in ways to guard the long term health and wellbeing of staff and residents.”

This philosophy is also fundamental to the occupational health and safety program for staff at Highercombe.

“The ‘healthy ageing at work program’, is a holistic program for staff that includes a range of health promotion activities such as an annual health promotion education and training program, on-site massage, flu vaccinations, blood pressure checks, allowing the use of onsite gym, and an early intervention physiotherapy program for work and non-work related injuries to name a few,” Ms Boylan said.

“Results show that the program is already having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of staff with many reporting increased motivation and plans for personal improvement.”

Tags: accreditation-agency, ach-group, active-ageing, better-practice-awards, positive ageing, wellbeing,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *