Village Voice: January 2019

As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019, I would like to make a couple of comments about the year that has just gone.

Firstly, the good. We purchased a new village at Rosebud and, whilst it needs some work to bring it up to scratch, there is a real positive vibe down there you can ‘feel’ each time you visit the Village. We have a really great group of residents who are very positive on the future and terrific team of staff (all six of them) who enjoy the role they play in meeting the needs of our residents.

We completed more units at Baxter and bulldozed others as we continue to redevelop our Village and no matter how many new units we build, our waiting list just seems to get longer, so our potential customers must like what they see with our Village.

We successfully achieved the maximum accreditation for both the Manor and Lodge and this was the first time we were subjected to the new ‘un-announced’ accreditation process. Whilst it created havoc to the plans we had for the three days the team was on site, our processes were strong enough to simply change gears to meet the needs of the assessors. That was a great effort by our team.

Probably my best highlight for the year was having Christmas dinner with some families in the Manor. It was impromptu as there was simply a vacant seat at one of the tables and I asked the families if I could join them for lunch. As we were talking, both family members related what life was like for their parent in the years prior to relocating in the Manor. Due to declining health life in the unit had become a struggle and it was simply a reality to withdraw from a lot of social interactions they had enjoyed in the Village. For one of them, it was often easier to simply stay in bed. When they were able to talk about the positive benefits both had experienced through relocating to the Manor, and the re-engagement with people and the happiness both the family members and our residents had experienced during this time, it reminds you of what a special place we have and what a great team of staff we have to create such an environment.

This sentiment was also expressed to me at the Day Centre Christmas lunch when a family member took me aside to say that her husband looks forward every week to his time attending the Day Centre and the enjoyment and happiness that he achieves from the interaction with our clients and staff is a joy to the family .This is what we try and deliver every day to every person and it touched my heart to listen to the stories of our achievements. One of the things we struggle to do well is to capture those stories so we can show the others, especially Government, the positive impacts and changes we can make in the lives of older people.

Looking to 2019, the great uncertainty is the Royal Commission into aged care. There is no doubt that this will be a bruising process for the industry and there will be many stories of poor care and neglect amongst some providers. Whilst we do not believe that we will be called to appear before the Commission, the ultimate result will affect all providers and Government and the scary thing is that no-one knows what the final outcome will be. That alone should worry Government about the possible impact on their financial outlays. Interesting times as we head to the New Year.

Notwithstanding this potential cloud, there is much to look forward to next year and the years beyond for all of us. 

Happy New Year

Stuart Shaw, General Manager