The last couple of months have been extremely busy with the Aged Care Royal Commission creating heightened anxiety throughout the industry affecting some families and staff working in the industry. Concurrently, the Government is also introducing a range of risk and compliance processes that impact upon the accreditation standards, medication practices and governance systems all of which have created additional pressures on staff to meet the requirements of their roles.
The amount of work that has been achieved over the last few months is monumental, although largely unseen, as we do our best to ensure that the daily life of Residents is not impacted by these tasks and this is achieved by the gentle nature of the way we manage change throughout the Village whilst still meeting the often strict time frames imposed upon us.
One of the changes that was released affects the Income and Assessment forms required to be completed by those people intending to enter care. Thankfully in a slightly reduced format than the previous 146 questions. Equally, the Government has continued to try and make the MyAgedCare website more user friendly, with mixed results. On the other hand, the process used to lodge death certificates has been computerised causing all sorts of delays for families as they work through their loved one’s estates. Whilst change is intended to improve a situation or existing process, there are often consequences that were not considered.
In the last 12 months we have created 3 positions whose primary purpose is to ensure that the Resident experience of life at Village Baxter is the best we can achieve. Pam and Marianne, our Resident Services Coordinators in the Lodge and Manor spend the vast majority of their time ensuring that the Manor and Lodge Residents experience the best service we can possibly provide to meet their needs. Julia, our Retirement Living Manager is focused on ensuring that our Retirement Living Services are the best we can deliver within the resources we have available to us.
I have learnt over the years that it is impossible to please everyone, and sometimes we will have to manage issues in ways that will disappoint some groups to ensure that other groups have their needs met. We simply try and do the best we can to balance often competing objectives. The disappointing part of the process is the subsequent misinformation that travels around the Village and we would always encourage any resident who is troubled by a rumour or purported ‘fact’, to come and discuss the issue and we will sort out fact from fiction. Whilst this may be time consuming, it is far better to have peace of mind on an issue.
Village Baxter has a well established Resident Committee structure and process, which allows us to all have a say and we may agree or disagree on various issues. The Rosebud Residents Committee was so impressed by the VBRC structure that they adopting a similar process. In September at the Annual General Meeting, nominations will be called for new members and I encourage Residents to participate in this process. A robust Resident Committee that represent the collective views of all Residents at the Village is an important part of what makes Village Baxter the wonderful place that we all enjoy.
I started this column with the Royal Commission, then moved to Government and finally to the Village. The theme that is consistent across all three areas is that none of us are perfect, but we are all committed to doing the best we can with the available resources.
Stuart Shaw, General Manager