The last thing a resident would think of as they move into a residential aged care facility is that their lifetime wish may just come true.

But now, fulfilment is exactly what residents at TLC Aged Care will receive, following the implementation of its new ‘Think, Live, Complete’ program across its nine residential homes throughout Melbourne and Geelong. 

Officially launching soon, TLC’s new program is already in full swing. Based on the philosophy of the Make a Wish Foundation, TLC’s ongoing program aims to grant one resident’s wish every month.

Business development manager, Alistair Henderson, explained how the program works: “We’ve given every one of our residents a briefing card for a gift or wish. It has a bit about the program and our philosophy. Then it is up to the resident to put their wish down.”

Ironically enough, Mr Henderson said, the organisation was inspired to implement the program by Aged and Community Care Victoria’s (ACCV) Be Inspired earlier this year, which aimed to make real the dreams of older Victorians.

“We just thought the campaign was magic. So we held an internal competition for staff to come up with the name of the project and one of the finance team won.” From there, he said, the project just flowed.

The program is benefiting not only the residents but their families, care staff and management.

“Sometimes family members will also look at the card and they will say, ‘We didn’t realise that all you wanted was to go to the beach. We will do it this Sunday.”

“It’s also had a similar impact on staff as they see the company as one that gives a damn about people and that is really important stuff.

“From an accreditation point of view it’s also a good way to document one-on-one visits with residents. It also means that we are living up to our vision and values and that we are striving to be the best.

Aged care, Mr Henderson said, is not just about taking care of people but taking care of their lives.

“We don’t want people to think of aged care as the worst case scenario. It’s a solution and an alternative. Not something you have to do only if you have to do it.

“The program shows the residents that we respect them as it demonstrates that we don’t just pay lip service- if we say they are important then we mean it.

“It’s that life goes on. We are company that celebrates life. With aged care you always have to step back and let nature take its course but until that day we have to live life to the full.”

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