Provider promotes wellbeing among staff

A NSW aged care organisation has launched a week’s worth of activities aimed at empowering staff to manage their health.

A Sydney-based provider has kicked off its fourth annual Wellbeing Week in a bid to empower staff members to take control of their own health.

Up to 1,000 employees at SummitCare’s nine aged care sites are taking part in the initiative.

The Wellbeing Week began with a healthy breakfast for staff members on Monday morning and will include free staff massages along with information sessions on nutrition, exercise and stress.

A series of interactive displays will tour the group’s facilities providing facts and advice about healthy food, the glycaemic index and cancer risks.

Staff members will also be able to find out more about financial health and superannuation.

SummitCare CEO, Cynthia Payne said the purpose of the week was to empower the group’s employees.

“Most of our workers are women and are middle aged and they fall into the high risk categories for heart disease and cancers, such as breast cancer and bowel cancer,” she said.

“It has been shown in the research that when people better understand their risk factors and the supports that are available they are much better able to manage their health.

“It’s also a fun week. And if it can just affect one staff member who might discover that they have high blood pressure and then arrange for a follow up with their health care provider, then we are doing the right thing.”

The Wellbeing Week program was developed by staff members and managers on the organisation’s OH&S and Risk Management forum.

They used feedback from the group’s employee assistance program to provide activities that would target the issues faced by staff.

“Although it is a confidential service, we get feedback about the types of issues that are affecting our staff,” said Ms Payne. “They are things like financial difficulties and problems at home with teenage children.”

SummitCare has entered three teams of seven in the 2009 Global Corporate Challenge in which participants form around the world compete to clock up the most kilometres on foot over four months.

The organisation is also trying to support its staff to quit smoking and it aims to have its facilities smoke-free by 2012.

Tags: retention, staff, summitcare, wellbeing, workforce,

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