Care Facilitators’ Conference

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Care Facilitators’ Conference

Recent years have seen unprecedented change for our team of Care Facilitators. The Government’s introduction of the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) funding model has meant changes to our systems, processes, technology and how we operate.

Office sites have been consolidated, staff mobilised to work from home and new skills have been developed in areas of financial management, sales and managing technology.

In June 2018 we brought together our remarkable team of dedicated and passionate Care Facilitators and Centre Managers, both to celebrate all they have achieved over this challenging period of change, as well as to equip them with more skills to remain agile and confident for the ever changing needs of our customers and what may lay ahead for the industry.

Our 83 Care Facilitators play a pivotal role in the provision of care to people who live in their own homes, by assessing their needs and coordinating their services.

Western Sydney Carers Retreat

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Western Sydney Carers Retreat

Our Western Sydney Home Services team has been facilitating a monthly carers meeting for four years, and in June 2018 they hosted a Carers’ Retreat as an extension of this support, attended by 30 carers.

The three-day retreat, set in the beautiful Mulgoa Valley around an hour west of Sydney, is an annual opportunity to take carers away for a whole weekend.

Carers have a chance to recharge their batteries, build relationships and friendships with people in circumstances similar to their own, receive ongoing education to assist them in their caring roles and give them space to enjoy themselves with a scheduled program of entertainment, in a beautiful setting with fantastic meals and accommodation.

Some of the carer’s loved ones who are living with dementia were also able to attend the retreat, and were cared for while their relative was able to enjoy the retreat and be nearby.

We want people to be able to care for their loved one as well as possible, for as long as possible. For this carers need knowledge, encouragement and self-care strategies, so our carers’ meetings and retreats strive to focus on each of these important areas.

Finding Purpose And Passion In A Shed

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Finding Purpose And Passion In A Shed

With 53 years’ experience working as a solicitor, Peter was great at his job. But what came after his career was the question Peter struggled with as he approached his retirement.

It was something unexpected, a love for woodwork and making things with his hands, that came about when Peter reluctantly went to a Men’s Shed and saw others making beautiful things with timber.

As Peter was also living with Parkinson’s, due to safety reasons he wasn’t able to use some of the tools and machinery, limiting what he could create at the Men’s Shed.

Over time Peter and his wife Marie thought some extra support at home would allow Peter to explore and enjoy woodwork, in a safe environment. Our Home Services team assisted by appointing Alan, a fully qualified carpenter, to visit Peter once a week to help him with building toy trains and other wooden items.

 Today, Peter, now 82, is no longer able to work at the Men’s Shed as his Parkinson’s makes using the tools tricky, however he now sits and watches others so he can copy it at home with Alan.

Maintaining independence at home looks different for everyone, and our YouChoose customers can tailor a combination of care to support their wellbeing and enable them to continue to do the things they love. In Peter’s case, this was about fulfilling his desire for independence with the pursuit of creative activities.

Friends And Flowers

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Friends And Flowers

Our Social Clubs offer a wide range of activities and engagement enabling older people or those living with a disability to overcome isolation, learn new skills, improve their health and meet new friends.

The service also provides carers with peace of mind that their loved one is being cared for as they attend work, take time to recharge, pursue a hobby or other interests, or just take a break from their caring role.

In Wagga Wagga, our Social Club organised a special day excursion for nine of our day respite clients, who were treated to the floral extravaganza that is Floriade, held in Canberra in September 2017.

Our clients enjoyed a day in the capital city and among the flowers, supported by a team of care workers and care facilitators.

BaptistCare has 14 Social Clubs, located across NSW and the ACT.

A New Era for Willmette

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A New Era for Willmette

Following the decommissioning of our Carlingford site, our day and overnight respite centre for older Australians, people living with dementia and their carers was relocated to Kellyville in early March 2018.

The new Willmette is a modern home that has been modified to include custom features for its guests.  It has increased capacity including a room for couples, and unlike many other overnight respite homes, it offers both short-term, weekend and day-stay care.

According to a recent survey by peak body Carers Australia there is a high demand for both planned and emergency respite care places across Australia, with respite services for high care and dementia support in particular demand[i]. This national shortage of suitable respite care beds means that many carers don’t get the regular breaks they need to recharge their own batteries.

BaptistCare Willmette has been providing day and overnight respite services to the Parramatta, Hills, and Cumberland communities for more than 12 years. The house offers care services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and includes four individual rooms and a room for couples that are all beautifully furnished.

Volunteer Celebrated During National Carers Week

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Volunteer Celebrated During National Carers Week

National Carers Week, held in October 2017, was a special week for our Stronger Carers Peer Support volunteer coach, Alan Gravolin, who was announced as NSW Carer of the Year.

The announcement was made by Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams and marked the start of a very busy week for Alan, who continues to support and advocate for carers and people with dementia at every opportunity.

In a National Carers Week morning tea event held at BaptistCare Shalom Centre, Alan was acknowledged and joined by his wife Lyn, who has younger onset dementia, his children and grandchildren, fellow carers, as well as BaptistCare staff and volunteers. Also in attendance were The Hon. John Watkins, CEO Dementia Australia, and Helen McFarlane, Manager – Carers, NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

Our Stronger Carers Peer Support program pairs volunteers with carers, to help them navigate their dementia journey with their loved ones. The program provides coaching around the practical elements of caring as well as dealing with the emotional impact, and our volunteer coaches, like Alan, have been carers themselves, so they truly understand what it is carers are going through.

Friendship Blooms Through Volunteering

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Friendship Blooms Through Volunteering

Sometimes friendship surprises us and blooms in the most challenging of places. This was the case for Peter and Keith. They met back in January 2015, when their wives entered our Blue Mountains-based aged care centre, Morven Gardens, within the same week.

Since then they have built a solid friendship, volunteering at the aged care centre in Leura, and supporting each other throughout their wives’ dementia journeys.

Keith and Peter also volunteer in BaptistCare’s Stronger Carers Peer Support program, to help others navigate their dementia journey with loved ones.

Keith and Peter are just two of the 1000 volunteers doing important and powerful work across BaptistCare and who we were grateful for during National Volunteer Week in May 2018.

Safety Performance

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Safety Performance

To achieve an industry leading safety culture we ask all of our staff to commit to safety leadership as together we work towards an ongoing reduction in our injury rates, and a safe workplace for our staff and volunteers.

Our STAR (Stop, Think, Act, Review) campaign, launched in early 2017, has had a positive outcome,  reducing injury rates by 18% on the previous year and creating a strong focus for staff to find safer ways to deliver Care you can trust.

In December 2017 we launched My Safety, a portal allowing all staff to log safety events such as hazards and incidents.

This new easy to use self-service function, available on any device connected to the internet, makes it straightforward for all staff to report safety events.

We remain committed to having our people leave work each day in an equal or better state of wellbeing than when they arrived.

Exceptional Staff Acknowledged

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Exceptional Staff Acknowledged

In August 2017 we celebrated outstanding staff achievement at our annual You Can Awards Celebration Dinner.

With more than 3500 staff across NSW and the ACT striving to deliver on the promise of Care you can trust, our You Can Awards Celebration Dinner saw 23 exceptional awardees join with the BaptistCare Board and Senior Leadership Group to be honoured.

The special event gave guests the opportunity to pause and publicly recognise the commitment each of these exceptional staff have made to delivering extraordinary service and quality care.

Launched in early 2017, our You Can Awards were established to recognise the achievements of staff, and give them the opportunity to appreciate and say thank you to each other.

My Day, My Way

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My Day, My Way

The last year has seen our Residential Services division introduce an exciting new approach in the delivery of person-centred care to our residents.

The My Day, My Way (MDMW) program is a whole-of-organisation approach to deliver better, relational, and person-centred care, ensuring our residents feel understood and valued.

The intention is to ensure that this relational and person-centred model of care is embedded in the everyday things we do and at every interaction with a resident, with all centres delivering the new program by 1 January, 2020.

Initiatives include improving our residents’ environment, engaging better with families, hotel services standards across our dining, laundry and cleaning services, and critically understanding the resident’s history, current story and future ambitions. Essential to this will be creating close and personal teams to better understand the resident’s needs.