The Golden Years – Elvina Krause

You have to feel for Elvina Krause, who is finding South Gippsland mighty cold after spending many years in Queensland. Still, she is very comfortable at Banksia Lodge, her home for the last couple of years, and delighted to be near her sister again. This sister is Ros Bryan, a long-time resident of the Foster/Fish Creek district. Ros brought her elder sister down from Queensland six years ago and Elvina lived with her for 12...

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The Golden Years – Joyce Marlin

Joyce is in fine fettle for someone who was born over 93 years ago. She has lived at Prom View Lodge for more than three years and before that lived at Banksia Lodge for a couple of years. She says she is very well looked after by the staff of Prom View. “She is constantly telling the family how wonderful the staff are,” says her sister, Elaine Truscott, who lives locally and visits frequently, as does another sister, Rae Truscott...

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Ageing, driving and keeping a sense of humour

While on the shopping tour fundraiser for the new building Saturday 20 October 2012, I was fortunate enough to come across two books, the first is “The Book of Senior Moments” by Shelley Klein, and the second “Seriously Senior Moments” by Geoff Tibballs. The books reminded me that we all have funny quirks and foibles, some of which are attributed to ageing. This month’s column looks at the lighter side of ageing...

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Eden Alternative course

Prom Country Aged Care Inc. is providing the opportunity for people working in residential and community Aged Care to participate in a three day workshop on the Eden Alternative Philosophy.

The Eden Alternative is a philosophy of person-directed care which focuses upon empowering residents, staff, families and other stakeholders to provide a better life for...

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The birth of a new age – building commences!

The residents, staff and volunteers at Prom Country Aged Care Inc. (PCAC) are gearing up to enter an exciting chapter in the development of their new 60 bed aged care facility in Foster. The traditional ‘turning of the soil’ will take place onsite at 11am on Friday 7 September with long-time residents Kathleen Morris and Ron Ball assisting Senator David Feeney with the first shovel to hit the ground at the new site...

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There are so many people who have lived their lives and left a legacy to the rest of us. By this it does not mean it is necessarily the amazing legacy Neil Armstrong left from his first walk on the moon, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” There was also the wonderful plaque: “We came in peace for all mankind.” and disc with messages from those who supported the space programme. It appeared...

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Living longer, living better Aged Care reforms? Aged Care slashing!

There has been much media coverage regarding the “Living Better. Living Longer.” aged care reform package announced in April 2012. The finer details of the package are still being determined. It should be noted although the government invested heavily in the Productivity Commission report, little of the report’s findings and recommendations has been adopted in the proposed aged care reforms.

Although the aged care reforms do not auger well for the residential aged care services sector, we want to reassure you that resident care at Prom Country Aged Care Inc. will be in no way compromised due to the proposed slashing in government funding.

According to the aged care industry, its peak bodies and the recent aged care congress in Melbourne, the Gillard government’s announcement about a $3.7 million injection into aged care, originally applauded, when analysed, is not as it seems. There will be a serious slash to aged care funding from 01 July 2012, which will threaten the viability of residential care services and their ability to provide adequate care to new residents.

Consultations with state and national peak bodies and the ensuing economic modelling, have shown the “high-profile budget announcement of a $50 million redirection” will result in an actual reduction of over $500 million.

Economic modelling by providers of varying sizes has indicated subsidy income will be cut by between five and 10 per cent for every provider. Larger, multi sited organisations may be able to carry these reductions more ably than single stand alone, not for profit organisations, however, all residential aged care service providers will be affected.

The previous funding tool, Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI), developed by Dr Richard Rosewarne, was introduced in 2008, trialled and implemented. This was to replace the old Resident Classification Scale (RCS) and was promoted as being the government’s answer to ensure funding and subsides for our frail elderly would be adequate to meet their care needs, and affordable by the goverment.  It is interesting to note that this government did not consult with Dr Rosewarne, in fact, had no contact with him, regarding the proposed changes to ACFI subsidies.

“As a result of this new model, residents with exactly the same care needs in the same facility could be entitled to different levels of funding” stated Kate Hough, acting CEO of Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV), Victoria’s aged care peak body.

Although peak bodies and the National Aged Care Alliance sponsor group requested the government to delay the funding changes by a month in order to allow providers time to adjust to the new system, the request has been ignored.

Aged and Community Services Western Australia (ACSWA) Board has called an emergency meeting for Monday 25 June 2012 to review the government’s decision and formulate a strategy “to deal with this emergency”.

Web sites with more information are:

Once again, we want you to be reassured that no resident’s care will be compromised in any way at Prom Country Aged Care Inc. This is a time for us all to rally together, lobby our local, state and federal members of parliament to ensure our frail, vulnerable elderly, receive the care they deserve; it is a right, not a privilege.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further discussion about any aspect of residential aged care. As I have said in previous columns, going into aged care residential services is not a death sentence; it is just a change of address. With the Eden Alternative Philosophy it is also a journey of change to resident focussed care, a journey of living and life.

Town planning approval for aged care build

THE Prom Country Aged Care Inc. building project has reached a major milestone, with South Gippsland Shire Council approving a town planning application for the new 60-bed facility which will replace Prom View Lodge and Banksia Lodge.

The stand-alone building will be constructed in Foster directly behind Banksia Lodge as part of a health precinct including South Gippsland Hospital, Foster Medical Centre and ancillary medical services.

Read the full article on Foster Community Online.

The Eden Alternative philosophy

By combating loneliness, helplessness and boredom we reduce most of the suffering experienced by our Elders or residents in Aged Care, through the Eden Alternative.

There is one problem statement – Principle One - which is all about the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom.  The other Nine Principles identify the challenges and the solutions to providing a person-centred care environment for all residents.

The 10 Principles

  1. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.
  2. An Elder-centred community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with plants, animals, and children. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.
  3. Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.
  4. An Elder-centred community creates opportunity to give as well as Receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness.
  5. An Elder-centred community imbues daily life with variety and spontaneity by creating an environment in which unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings can take place. This is the antidote to boredom.
  6. Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health.
  7. Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.
  8. An Elder-centred community honours its Elders by de-emphasizing top-down bureaucratic authority, seeking instead to place the maximum possible decision-making authority into the hands of the Elders or into the hands of those closest to them.
  9. Creating an Elder-centred community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.
  10. Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.

Definition of Elder: Born earlier; older person; elders are revered, honoured and cherished for their wisdom.

Through the Eden Alternative, individuals and organisations can make a difference in the way we give and receive care to Elders/Residents in Aged Care and Community Care environments.  It has been found that through the Eden Alternative journey staff in partnership with their Elders create lives worth living.

Eden Home Registration Process

Becoming a registered Eden home or community care organisation in Australia and New Zealand is an opportunity for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to mastering the Eden Alternative to benefit their residents, with initial Eden Registration being valid for three years. This is different from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA) accreditation process. Eden registered homes have added benefits for the ACSAA standards, which are mainly found in Standard three, Resident lifestyle, and Standard One, management systems, staffing and organisational development.

All homes or community care centres wanting to be a part of the Eden Registry must have a minimum number of Eden Associates within their staff mix depending upon the size of the facility or organisation. Currently at prom Country Aged Care Inc. we have five trained Eden Associates, and plan to have the majority of the staff trained over the next two years.

There is an expectation that once staff training has commenced with the nationally accredited course “Implementing Eden Alternative in Aged Care” organisations and homes will apply for all 10 Eden Principles over time.

Phase 1: It is recommended that homes and community care organisations initially focus on Principles 2 & 10

Phase 2: Principles 3, 4, and 5

Phase 3: Principles 6, 7 8

Phase 4: Principles 9 & 1 as the last.

Membership to the Eden Registry ensures that over time, all homes, community care centres and organisations gain recognition in all 10 Eden Principles.  Re-registration for homes actively supporting the Eden Alternative is also required every three years.  This ensures that the journey is never ending…it is a lifelong commitment.

An example from “Being Eden”

Wise leadership encourages all culture change agents and warriors to continue to challenge, innovate and implement the Eden Alternative.  Sometimes we throw up our hands and say “it’s all too hard”.  When the going gets tough…the tough don’t quit!!!  This poem below created by a group in NZ may give you some heart.

If it weren’t for Eden where would you be?
You’d be frustrated or even lonely!
You would have a dose of the blues and be full of misery,
If we don’t Edenise our community.
Come on play the game, increase opportunities,
Open up the doors to your societies.
Bring all your pets, kids and families
And we’ll Edenise our communities.
If you’re feeling helpless and wanting lots of care
Go to an Eden Home and we will be there.
So come along, you’ve got nothing to fear,
But you may be expected to brush your own hair!
If it weren’t for Eden where would you be?
You’d be frustrated or even lonely!
You would have a dose of the blues and full of misery,
If you’re not in an Eden Community.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further discussion about any aspect of residential aged care. As I have said in previous columns, going into aged care residential services is not a death sentence; it is just a change of address. With the Eden Alternative Philosophy it is also a journey of change to resident focussed care, a journey of living and life.