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'Living life to the full' at Churches of Christ Care

A model of care which places emphasis on "living life to the full" has earned not for profit aged care provider, Churches of Christ Care, an award for innovation and excellence in the sector.
Bryan Mason, Churches of Christ Care director of seniors and supported living, accepts the Organisation Award from Perform HR chief executive, Lyndell Fogarty.
Bryan Mason, Churches of Christ Care director of seniors and supported living, accepts the Organisation Award from Perform HR chief executive, Lyndell Fogarty.

Churches of Christ Care was presented with the Organisation Award which ‘recognises an organisation that demonstrates special or unique leadership and innovation at the 2015 Aged and Community Services Australia (ASCA) Queensland Aged Care Awards in Brisbane.

In its successful nomination, Churches of Christ Care showcased its Positive Wellbeing Model of Care which recognises ‘the importance of enabling all people and their supports to have a flourishing life.’

When accepting the award, Bryan Mason, director of seniors and supported living, said ageing doesn’t need be a period of continuous decline and isolation from society.

“In keeping with the mission of Churches of Christ, to bring the light of Christ into communities, we developed a model of care that places greater emphasis on living life to the full,” Mr Mason says.

“Life is not just to breathe, but life is to be lived well, and to experience life in abundance," he adds.

According to Mr Mason, caring for older people should include maintaining or building capabilities and potential by enabling them to continue to participate in meeting their own needs and lifestyle choices.

"It is about believing that with positive support, older people can maintain and improve on their capacity to significantly contribute into society and the community in which they belong," he says.

The Positive Wellbeing Model of Care was developed following an intensive three year self funded project that investigated ways to enhance person centred care and best practice within the secure dementia cottages at the Churches of Christ Mitchelton Campus.

Within the new model, positive wellbeing may be displayed through the appearance of contentment, comfort, smiles, laughter, positive behaviours, greater spiritual awareness, social connections and engaging in activities at optimal functional capacity.

“Our model of care is a constructive wellbeing approach that relies on building positive emotions that are integral to promoting healthy ageing and a flourishing life," he says.

The Positive Wellbeing Model of Care demonstrates excellence in service delivery by focusing on strength based positive wellbeing, underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the residents’ personal preferences.

“People living in our residential aged care services who are flourishing, represent a key indicator of high quality care, and a positive experience of life.

“Positive attributes are easy to recognise and usually don’t require complicated or time extensive practices to induce the positive responses in each person – how much effort does it really take to get someone to smile or feel good being with you?”

Mr Mason claims one individual positively connecting with another is a "highlight of our humanity", and is driven by a "genuine heart response" from one to another.

The Aged Care Awards were presented by Aged and Community Services Australia (Queensland), a peak body for organisations providing aged care services in Queensland.

Churches of Christ Care operates a range of seniors services including community care, 28 residential aged care services and 18 retirement villages throughout Queensland and Melbourne, Victoria.

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