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Australia voted ‘world leader' in seniors care

Australia officially leads the Asia Pacific region in seniors and retirement health care following the announcement that New South Wales' Mark Moran Group facility at Little Bay has won Best Facility in Asia at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2014 announced in Singapore.
Mark Moran Group facility at Little Bay has won Best Facility in Asia in Singapore.

Deemed the ‘Oscars of Aged Care’, the award is known as this region’s most prestigious accolade for seniors care.

Mark Moran at Little Bay reportedly outstripped every leading retirement and aged care operator in China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Equally significant is that this is the first time a non-Asian company has received the award that can be contested by more than 100,000 aged care facilities/services across the Asia Pacific region.

Recognised as a leader in virtually every major field of aged care, Mark Moran at Little Bay was hailed third in Best Dementia Program in Asia, Runner Up in Best Active Ageing Program in Asia and Winner of the Asian ‘Facility of the Year’.

The ‘spirit of life’ philosophy behind the Mark Moran Group’s aged care Little Bay facility has driven its success in all areas, said Group chairman, Mark Moran.

“Ageing should be celebrated by family and the community. That’s why we keep going where the other facilities can stop in the way of services we offer our seniors. We help people continue taking part in community life. We inspire them to maintain their self-esteem, their health and nurture them to live their best lives possible,” Mr Moran said.

Mark Moran at Little Bay’s achievements for its residents, most of whom need dedicated care, are as ground breaking as they are heart-warming; largely thanks to Little Bay’s programs for socialisation and activities such as music performances and human contact, dementia patients who have not spoken for up to two years are now engaging and conversing with staff and their own families, while other dementia patients who were incoherent are communicating clearly.

Little Bay’s interiors are cleverly designed to inspire happiness and be as uplifting and soothing as possible. A calming colour scheme of aqua and white fills the entire facility, enhanced by modern lights and other fittings and furnishings.

“This design moves Little Bay right away from the institutionalised feel of a hospital or regular retirement villas,” said Evette Moran, Mark Moran Group vice president.

Beautifully landscaped gardens surround the facility including a large area outside the Behavioural Unit built especially to benefit dementia patients.

“There is an entire science behind this design. A neutral palette is unstimulating whereas these cool green colours, gardens and furnishings inspire happiness and look so simple and flawless,” Ms Moran said.

Physiotherapy and clinical care are two of the major areas in which Little Bay excels. The physiotherapy team is led by one of Australian’s leading gerontologists Shaun Beattie, who nursed Mark Moran’s father Doug in his later years.

Mr Beattie and his team of full time physiotherapists help prevent residents injuring themselves via such means as simple strength and energy building exercises.

Mark Moran at Little Bay’s immaculate Captain’s Club lounge area is one of the facility’s most unique and engaging features. Located on the first floor, the area is filled with lovely furnishings, elegantly set dining tables and couches, and is well patronised by residents.

“Just because people are in aged care doesn’t mean that their surrounds have to be boring and brown,” Ms Moran said.

Meryl Christian, Mark Moran at Little Bay’s diversional therapist, is constantly coming up with new and interesting ways to entertain her charges form Centennial Park picnics to pizza nights – all of which are aimed at lifting spirits and giving residents the chance to feel part of the community.

Raising and maintaining residents’ self-esteem is paramount in the Moran Group philosophy. “Nurses and aides refer to resident’s walkers as limousines,” Ms Christian said. “Painting lessons can allow residents who can’t speak but paint beautiful pictures to express themselves which in turn gives them back some self-esteem, as well as showing other residents that they are capable of doing something productive.”

Some of the biggest hits with residents are trips to the nearby Randwick Ritz cinema, where they can also bump into people they know, while the men’sonly outings to a local hotel for beer and pizza inspired one 96 year old resident to get out of bed and leave the facility for the first time in months.

“One of our main drives and aims is to put people back out into the community,” Mr Moran said. “People should be ageing within the community, not locked away inside.”

Facility manager, Catherine Riches, added that “most care facilities treat the elderly like children – but the Moran Group treats them like adults and lets them do the things they want to do,” she said.

Little Bay’s chef, Richard Wyatt, earned his stripes on the QE II, among other establishments. Dishes range from a delicate rogan josh and lamb to poached salmon in butter sauce. High tea is served on Saturdays. Unlike virtually all other aged care facilities, family members can join their relatives at any meal.

Pictured left to right in the featured photo is Catherine Riches, facility manager; Cameron Kirby CFO; Mark Moran, executive chairman; Deb Murray, client affairs executive; and Shaun Beattie, head physio.

Yet another benchmark set by Mark Moran at Little Bay is the level of care, with the ratio of nursing staff to residents being one to seven. Many seniors’ facilities reportedly provide a ratio of one nurse for up to 12 patients.

The Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards recognise organisations in Asia Pacific countries that demonstrate innovation in their business, operational and service models to support the health and dignity of seniors.

The awards night, which received more than 40 nominations, was held in conjunction with the 5th Ageing Asia Investment Forum in Singapore.


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