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National awards for ACH Group programs

A training program to create LGBTI awareness with staff, and an early intervention and recovery program have won South Australian aged care provider ACH Group two national Better Practice awards recently.
South Australian aged care provider ACH Group was awarded Better Practice awards for it's Free to Be program and Healthy Ageing Project.
South Australian aged care provider ACH Group was awarded Better Practice awards for it's Free to Be program and Healthy Ageing Project.

One of the award winning programs, the Free to Be project, is ACH Group’s commitment to deliver inclusive services for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities.

Under the three-year project, more than 730 of ACH Group’s 1700 staff and 500 volunteers will complete LGBTI awareness training, internally developed  and facilitated by the group.

A range of comprehensive resources have been developed in conjunction with the program, such as an inclusive language guide and LGBTI booklet for staff members. The booklet contains guidelines on how to support older people from LGBTI communities and includes a comprehensive list of LGBTI community groups, clubs and counselling services.

Free to Be Project Officer Robyn Burton says “While our organisation prides itself on promoting good lives for all older people, we recognised that older people from LGBTI communities have specific physiological and psychological needs that have come as a result of historical and ongoing discrimination.”

The Free to Be Project plans to apply for the Rainbow Tick at the end of this year, endorsing the fact that ACH Group meets the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex consumers.

ACH Group was presented with a second award for its early intervention and recovery program for residential customers, by creating a partnership between residents and staff.

ACH Group Healthy Ageing Project Coordinator Samantha Manoel says interventions include tailored goals that are developed in consultation with the resident and incorporate individual choice and preferences.

“Interventions aim to promote physical activity and/or sensory stimulation while encouraging healthy life choices. Results from a review of residents on an early intervention pathway in the last 12 months indicate that 89 per cent are still walking."

Presenting the awards, Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency South Australia branch representative Virginia Matthews says: “We recognise that there are constraints and challenges in running an aged care organisation”.

“These awards reflect your commitment to go beyond routine provision of care and achieve at a high level."

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