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Innovation and excellence in aged care acknowledged at annual awards

The best Australian aged care providers and their programs have been recognised over the past week in the 2018 Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Awards.

ECH's award winning program coordinator Robyn Burton (Source: ECH)
ECH's award winning program coordinator Robyn Burton (Source: ECH)

Winners of the National Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Award, and several Better Practice Commendation Award recipients, were announced by the Quality Agency during the Future National Conference dinner in Sydney on Thursday 23 August.

Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt congratulated the three winners of this year’s awards, and the seven commendation recipients.

“The three Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Award recipients, in particular, are absolute leaders in the provision of aged care,” he says.

“They have demonstrated leading edge and innovative practices that represent ‘excellence’ in aged care.”

Winners of the National Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Awards are:

  • City of Boroondara, for creating an age-friendly community
  • Fresh Fields Aged Care - for it’s ‘back to country’ program
  • The Whiddon Group - for embedding relationship-based care

Recipients of the Better Practice Commendation Award include:

  • ECH Incorporated, for ECH LGBTI Connect Service
  • Feros Care, for Grow Bold - Independent Fulfilled Lives; and Trials to Smiles - Sunbeam Legacy
  • Resthaven Incorporated, for Restoring Older People’s Lives
  • Sacred Heart Community. For my Community My Way
  • Montefiore, for Integrated Cognitive Sensory Program
  • Yackandandah Bush Nursing Hospital, for Let’s Grow Older Together

Aged care provider and disability services organisation Feros Care has shared their excitement surrounding their ‘double dose’ of success at the awards, with Chief Executive Officer Jennene Buckley saying the awards were a credit to the vision and commitment of the organisation’s most valuable asset - its people.

“I’m fortunate to see the wonderful work our teams do every day to improve the lives of our community’s seniors and I’m so pleased they’ve had their efforts recognised publicly,” Ms Buckley says.

“Be it trialling new ways to improve a resident’s strength or creating an initiative that shatters stereotypes of ageing, their focus is always centred on creating a better life for the people they care for.

“Trials to Smiles helped one bedbound resident gain enough strength to get in a car and join his wife for a ‘home date’.

“Grow Bold saw a group of residents from one of our villages become ‘Graffiti Grannies’ when they painted street art installations in an urban space.

“These programs have had - and are continuing to have - a positive impact on so many lives.”

Fellow aged care provider Enabling Confidence at Home (ECH) also spoke of their feelings surrounding their awards success for their innovative LGBTI Connect service, which employs team members who identify as LGBTI to enable people from the LGBTI community to access information tailored to their needs either over the phone or face-to-face.

ECH Chief Executive David Panter says the commendation award was testament to the enterprise’s commitment to providing inclusive services.

“ECH aims to promote self-determination to all people, including those from the LGBTI community, and is committed to being a safe and inclusive enterprise for both clients and staff,” he says.

ECH Diversity Manager Robyn Burton, the face behind the project which started in November last year, also shared her excitement and pride over the awards.

“We have had wonderful feedback from people using the service, which is very rewarding, and the Better Practice Commendation Award acknowledges the commitment ECH has made to creating safe and inclusive services for all older South Australians,” she says.

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