HALL & PRIOR H E A LT H & A G E D C A R E G R O U P
Jayne Cummings Bringing an innovative approach to residential aged care
LGBTI inclusivity and diversity training launched
Our commitment to high quality food
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ABOUT HALL & PRIOR Started in 1992 by Michael Hall and Graeme Prior, Hall & Prior is a leading aged care provider with a passion for providing quality care to older people from all walks of life. Over the past 20 years, Hall & Prior has grown from one nursing home to an organisation that cares for over 1,500 people in Western Australia and New South Wales. Our people are our greatest asset. Each one of our 25 aged care homes is led by an experienced director of nursing who works alongside a team of registered nurses, personal carers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians and chefs to ensure that we meet the individual needs of every resident. As a private, family-owned company, Hall & Prior is committed to bringing long-term benefits to our residents and their families. Our dedicated care teams provide round-the-clock care 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that every resident feels well cared for and at home.
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From the Chief Executive Officer
IN THIS ISSUE
Bringing an innovative approach to residential aged care LGBTI inclusivity and diversity training launches James Day increases mental health awareness Hall & Priorâ€™s commitment to high quality food
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Chinese New Year celebrations for the Lunar Year of the Dog National dementia films project kicks off New breakthroughs in dementia research
Hall & Prior homes witness 2018 Queens Baton relay Caroline Chisholm residents are an artistic bunch Meet our staff
Pet Therapy brightents the lives of our residents
14 Concorde Age Care Home resident Valerie Skevington with one of the Chung Wah dancers during Chinese New Year celebrations
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FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Welcome to Edition 13 of Life & Love Magazine.
linguistically diverse communities.
We are always proud to share stories from our homes, as well as new initiatives we create in order to improve the lives of the people in our care.
Both our staff and those we care for come from an incredibly diverse range of countries and cultures.
With this edition’s cover, we honour Jayne Cummings, Residential Care Manager at Tuohy Aged Care Home. In the seven years Jayne has been part of our Hall & Prior family, she has made some incredible changes. As you will read on page 6, Jayne’s dedicated and compassionate approach is a strong representation of Hall & Prior’s mission to care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. She and her team at Tuohy have been repeatedly honoured on a national scale for their innovative approaches to aged care over the past few years.
As organisation, we see firsthand the effects of dementia on our elders, and we are pleased to be part of this initiative that will help older Australians and their families. Throughout our homes, annual events such as Australia Day and Chinese New Year are always popular, and bring even more excitement, fun and colour into each of our 25 residential aged care homes. Our residents and staff were thrilled to take part in the recent celebrations surrounding the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay as it passed by our homes.
In this edition, we have also shared with you heart-warming stories from our homes.
In an ongoing series, we are continuing to profile our staff, to show the diverse range of people and roles that make up our organisation.
We were proud to take part in a national project that aims to increase awareness of dementia and its effects on culturally and
Every single employee of Hall & Prior works extremely hard to provide love, mercy and care to those in our homes.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every person who supports our homes and those we care for. Whether you are a relative or are a part of our network in the community, by working together we are able to provide an exceptional quality of care to more than 2500 people. GRAEME PRIOR Chief Executive Officer
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As part of the Chinese New Year celebrations at Concorde Aged Care Home in South Perth, residents were treated to a range of traditional dances and music performances organised by local Chinese organisation Chung Wah.
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BRINGING AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE Working in aged care is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication, compassion and a continual drive to keep striving above and beyond what is expected. In the seven years Jayne Cummings has been the Residential Care Manager at Tuohy Aged Care Home, she has completely changed the quality of care and the culture of the home for the better.
With the home’s Clinical Nurse Manager Mina Pindolia and Administration Officer Fiona Clarkson by her side, Jayne and her team continue to be a shining example of Hall & Prior’s values. They work together to provide love, mercy and care to everyone in the 48-bed home, which is located in Midland, in Perth’s east. A United Kingdom native, Jayne began her work in aged care as a carer in Manchester in 1992, and now has more than two and a half decades of experience. Eight years after starting in that first role, she became the facility manager for the same organisation, before moving to Australia in 2007. She has since worked for the Australian Medical Association (AMA) as a group training coordinator, recruiting trainees to work in aged care under apprenticeship-style agreements. She has also worked in roles focusing on both residential and community care, as well as mental health. Staff culture shift Jayne started working at Tuohy in 2011, coming on board as the Residential Care Manager. “Through AMA I had previously worked with the staff of Tuohy for five years before I joined the home,” she said. “Unfortunately, we had always had problems with the staff.” “There was no team work, and there was always such a high level of conflict. It was like everyone was out to have a war with each other. “My management style is always to put the residents first. My ultimate aim is that they are cared for and supported, and the issues with the
staff culture were getting in the way of that.” Jayne said she knew in those early days that she would have to be firm with the staff, and maybe even ‘step on some toes’ in order to create positive change in the home. “There was a definite resistance to change from many of the staff – a lot of people didn’t want me there,” she said. “In a lot of situations, I’d see staff doing something that didn’t promote the resident’s independence, but when I questioned it, they would always reply ‘it’s the way we’ve always done it’. So we needed to change that. “I was never a nurse in the UK, but we managed the facilities as carers. Even as a carer I had to get to know the resident to be able to tell when somebody was unwell, or behaving differently. “I didn’t need to be a nurse to know that the behavior of the staff was unacceptable. So I told them, ‘we are going to go on a journey and you’re either going to come on that journey with us or you’re not’.”
“I’m very proud of how we’ve fostered the values of openness and honesty” “Some people left, but others changed their attitudes because they knew the adjustments in tasks or practices weren’t to make their lives hard, it was to make the residents’ lives better. “We still have an open-door policy, where people are allowed to speak their minds, as
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Tuohy Aged Care Home Clinical Nurse Manager Mina Pindolia, Residential Care Manager Jayne Cummings and Administration Officer Fiona Clarkson.
long as they do it respectfully. I’m very proud of how we’ve fostered the values of openness and honesty right from when people come in for a job interview.” Jayne said she was please with how well the staff all get along now. “We don’t assign blame and we all work together as one team, everyone from the carers, to the cleaners, to the kitchenhands, to the managers,” she said. “Everyone has a place here and we all support each other.”
shelves, you’re dealing with people’s lives’, to help them not lose sight of the real reason we’re here.” “It’s really important that no one here see working in aged care as just a job, because you have to have the passion and drive to make a difference in someone’s life.” In the seven years Jayne has been at Tuohy, she and her team have worked hard to change the home’s previous reputation and show that it is a loving and happy place.
“If there’s a kitchen audit happening, it affects the whole team. So when we pass, the whole team passes.”
“Family members like that the staff are always friendly and happy, and I’ve often had families say they don’t feel lost at Tuohy,” she said.
Caring for residents
“Other care facilities may be big and grand, but at Tuohy, you always hear someone laughing or chatting, and you can tell it’s a close-knit and cheerful place.”
Jayne believes in having a close relationship with every person in her care. “I like to focus on each person’s story – what they did before coming to Tuohy and what kind of person they are,” she said. “This can help you work out why they may behave in certain ways, or what might make them feel more comfortable.” “I tell my team things like ‘you’re not stacking
“In my role, when I’m talking to prospective families, I have to believe in what I’m selling. I truly believe in Tuohy, and they can tell that my heart is in it.”
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Tuohy Aged Care home is located in Midland, in Perth’s east.
Jayne’s passion for supporting the rights of each person at Tuohy is what drives her approach to care. She ensures everyone at the home gets treated with the same amount of dignity, respect and privacy. “I advocate for the residents because they can’t advocate for themselves, and they sometimes get taken advantage of,” she said. “As long as I know I’ve done what’s in the best interest of the resident, I can go home and sleep at night.” Award-winning care Jayne and her team have been working closely with community organisation GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc (GRAI) since 2015, to deliver diversity training to staff.
“Everyone has a place at Tuohy, and we all support each other” not in contact with their family. This approach was recognised with a second Better Practice Award for the team in 2017. Jayne said she is incredibly proud of how far the home’s staff have come in going above and beyond in their approach to care. Vision for the future Now that the home’s LGBTI inclusivity training is rolling out, Jayne and her team have got their sights set on their next endeavour.
This exceptional program focused on supporting older people of diverse genders and sexual orientations, and led the home to win a 2015 Commonwealth Better Practice Award for innovations in resident care.
“We’re doing a lot around dementia care at the moment, Mina and I have created a dementia link team with relevant industry and community representatives,” she said.
Tuohy have recently rolled out an internal inclusivity training program, and the home is working towards the accreditation for the nationally recognised Rainbow Tick Standards.
“We recently did some training from Alzheimer’s Australia around dementia, so Mina and some of our nurses and carers and I all took part. We learned more about how dementia affects people, and which activities can be purposeful for them.
The Standards are approved for organisations that are committed to safe and inclusive service delivery for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The team have continued to implement new initiatives, such as the My Life, My Wishes program, which aims to document the funeral requests of residents, particularly in cases where people are
“As part of this, we have launched a story book project, where we put in a resident’s family tree, pictures of them when they were younger, and their memories of when they were younger. It becomes a keepsake for the family if the person passes away.” “We want to keep progressing and improving the ways we care for people.”
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The team at Tuohy after the first internal inclusivity training session at the home.
LGBTI DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY TRAINING LAUNCHES AT TUOHY AGED CARE HOME Staff at Tuohy Aged Care Home are continuing their work towards inclusivity with the launch of a new LGBTI-focused training program. The training aims to inform staff about discrimination, the importance of creating a safe and welcoming environment and how to build trust and respect with residents and their families. It comes after the Tuohy team were acknowledged with a 2015 Commonwealth
Better Practice Award for their work to create an inclusive culture within the home. Jayne and the staff at Tuohy continue to work closely with Perth-based group GLBTI Rights in Ageing (GRAI) to ensure residentsâ€™ needs are met with inclusive and appropriate actions. While all of the homeâ€™s staff have previously completed inclusivity training with GRAI in 2014 and 2015, Jayne said she was excited for the new internal training program to begin.
“It is so important to show the people who are making Tuohy their home that they are among people who will care for them,” she said. “For people coming into aged care, they may have spent most of their lives being persecuted, and they may be worried they won’t get appropriate services.” Through the training, Jayne explains how LGBTI people have historically been treated. “The death penalty for homosexuality is still present in many countries around the world, like Indonesia and some Middle Eastern Countries,” she said. “LGBTI people used to be classed as mentally ill, and they used to be admitted to mental institutions, or imprisoned. There was ‘gay bashing’, where people were physically attacked, and homosexuality was still classed as illegal in Australia until 1999. “The world is changing, but it’s very slow. In 2017, Australia took part in a plebiscite for marriage equality, and it was finally legalised, but there is still a long way to go to provide appropriate services for all. “We have to promote that Tuohy is a safe and inclusive space, to reassure LGBTI people that we do not discriminate and that we will provide them with a high quality of care that fits their needs.” After the internal training session, staff are offered the opportunity to take an online course through Dementia Training Australia. The sixhour Caring for LGBTI People with Dementia e-course explores key considerations for caring for older LGBTI people, and how organisations can become more inclusive. “Taking the optional extra step of completing this course shows that the staff member is committed to caring for LGBTI people,” Jayne said. “As a sign for our residents, as well as potential residents and their families, staff who complete the course can wear a rainbow butterfly pin with their uniform. This small symbol can be reassuring to people who identify as LGBTI or have a loved one who does. Jayne has also included a rainbow butterfly poster at the home’s entry, to help convey that Tuohy is a safe space where people from all walks of life are can feel welcome.
Tuohy Aged Care Home carer Steven Chan was the first staff member to complete the Dementia Training Australia e-course, Caring for LGBTI People with Dementia.
The team at Tuohy have been instrumental in starting the process of revising Hall & Prior admission forms to remove phrasing that is not inclusive of people who identify as LGBTI. “Something as simple as recognising someone’s family of choice, rather than family they may not have seen for decades, can be incredibly important for someone coming into aged care,” she said. “We need to be aware of gender diversity, because residents coming in may not identify as male or female. There’s no requirement for someone to disclose their sexual orientation, but if they choose to share that with us, it is an honour.” The training is expected to be rolled out to all of Hall & Prior’s homes in the future. Hall & Prior are proud to be working towards inclusivity. Congratulations to Jayne and the team at Tuohy for getting behind this program.
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April 13 marks a sad anniversary for the team at Tuohy Aged Care Home . It is one year since the passing of their beloved colleague and friend James, who took his own life after long-term struggles with mental illness. The team have used the day to remember James and his sense of humour and kind nature, but also to talk about the importance of ending the stigmas around mental health. They donned shirts designed by staff using the theme from suicide prevention charity R U OK?, in James’s favourite colour. They also had purple cupcakes with the R U OK? logo. While this was a hard day for the close-knit team at Tuohy, it is great to see everyone come together to support each other and start these important conversations. By talking to the people around you about mental health and their wellbeing, you could help that family member, friend or colleague open up. For more information about starting the conversation, go to www.ruok.org.au If you are struggling or are concerned for someone around you, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or go to www.lifeline.org.au.
Staff at Tuohy wearing their James Day shirts in memory of their friend and colleague. Above: The tagline ‘stay here and enjoy it’ is a key part of the team’s mental health and suicide prevention initative.
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Hall & Prior staff took part in cooking workshops as part of the Maggie Beer Foundation’s Creating an Appetite for Life program.
HALL & PRIOR’S COMMITMENT TO HIGH QUALITY FOOD Of late there has been some negative media regarding quality of food in residential aged care in Australia. Hall & Prior are proud of our commitment to ensuring every resident receives healthy, quality, well-presented and tasty food for every meal. The Hall & Prior Nutrition and Hydration Program has grown to become an integral part of our organisation since it was first established more than 14 years ago. Through this program, we continue our commitment to all aspects of nutrition, to minimise the effects of dysphagia and to comply with all regulatory instruments such as the Food Safety Act.
Our dietitians and chefs work closely with home kitchen teams to provide meals that support our residents’ clinical care without compromising on taste. Led by Manager of Nutrition and Hydration Jo Flannery, our Dietitians Jessica Zilujko, Lori Crooks and Fiona McHugh regularly visit each home to monitor how the residents are eating and drinking. As part of their role, they review monthly weights and assess residents who have been referred, as well as provide education. They work alongside a team of Speech Pathologists and our multidisciplinary Resource Team to ensure the diets we provide are safe, nutritious
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We provide tasty, nutritionally balanced meals for more than 1500 people in our residential aged care homes in WA and NSW.
and enjoyable to those in our care. In 2017, we were proud to send several Hall & Prior staff members to a new educational program hosted by The Maggie Beer Foundation. Founded by renowned Australian cook and author Maggie Beer, the ‘Creating an Appetite for Life’ program was designed for cooks and chefs in the aged care industry. The three-day course aimed to provide a hands-on educational experience and get staff to think outside the box to create delicious meals. Maggie also hosted an additional program ‘Food for Thought Workshop’, specifically designed for management in the aged care industry only. This
full-day event included information sessions on living beyond dementia, leadership for cultural change and building better health in aged care as well as food demos and team challenges. Together, all of these aspects of our organisationwide focus on tasty, nutritionally balanced food mean we are able to improve the quality of life for more than 1500 people in our 25 aged care homes.
CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS FOR THE LUNAR YEAR OF THE DOG Throughout our homes, we are proud to have a diverse group of cultures and background in both our residents and our staff. In February, our homes celebrated Chinese New Year, with the start of the Lunar New Year of the Dog. This annual tradition ran until March 2, and centres around gift giving, sharing meals, spending time with family and acknowledging ones elders and ancestors. Many of our homes organise special events each year as part of their activity program, to bring fun and excitement into the lives of those in our care. At Concorde Aged Care Home in South Perth, many of the homeâ€™s residents attended a lunch held by the Chung Wah Association, Western Australiaâ€™s largest Chinese association. The Longevity Lunch celebrates the elders who attended, especially those over the age of 90. The home enjoyed other entertainment, with a lion dance, that symbolises scaring away bad spirits and blessing the home with good luck for the year ahead. Chung Wah also organised a dance troupe to visit the home, who used fans and parasols during their performance, which was set to traditional-style music.
HALL & PRIOR STAFF PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL DEMENTIA FILMS PROJECT Throughout March, we were proud to support a new initiative aiming to raise awareness of dementia in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The Moving Pictures project is backed by the Australian Government Department of Health and is being undertaken by the National Ageing Research Institute, together with Curtin University. The initiative will focus on the impact of dementia in Chinese, Indian and Arab communities, with three short films to be created for the project. They will detail the warning signs of dementia, types of dementia care and where people can go to find help and more information. The films will be changed to create five language versions, with Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Tamil and Arabic covered, as these are some of the fastest-growing CALD communities in Australia. They will then be available to view online, and through a free app for mobile phones and tablets. According to Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, the project focuses on CALD groups to cut through communication and cultural differences that may exist in our communities. “Experience shows that among CALD groups,
dementia diagnosis can be delayed, increasing the difficulties faced by individuals and families,” Mr Wyatt said. “By lifting awareness in familiar languages, we hope people with the onset of dementia will be helped earlier, leading to better treatment plans and improved quality of life.” The researchers stated that early diagnosis of dementia is important in the development of treatment plans and to ensure medication and therapies can be implemented to give the person a higher quality of life. As part of the project, carers took part at two of our homes, Tuohy Aged Care Home and Concorde Aged Care Home, in South Perth. Staff who spoke Hindi, Arabic and Mandarin were interviewed and discussed their experiences working with people with dementia from CALD communities. Hall & Prior have many staff members and residents from all over the world, and we are proud that our multicultural teams are able to assist with this project. Project is expected to be completed in June 2019.
NEW BREAKTHROUGHS IN DEMENTIA RESEARCH Hall & Prior are a passionate supporter of new research into medical conditions that affect the elderly. We are excited to share recent advancements in Alzheimer’s research, conducted by Professor Ralph Martins AO. He is Professor of Neurobiology at Macquarie University, New South Wales, and Foundation Chair in Ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.
in a predictable way.
Professor Martins has recently completed a promising clinical trial in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. This was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and has promising results for future research in the field.
In special circumstances, such as rapidly progressive dementia or very young onset dementia, a cerebrospinal fluid examination may be performed. A cerebrospinal fluid examination tests for an indicator, or biomarker, that betaamyloid proteins are present in the brain.
Traditionally, Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia is diagnosed using a combination of physical assessments, mental status tests, and brain imagining. Tests are used to either rule out other conditions, or specifically diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
Tests for Alzheimer’s disease typically assess for these plagues and tangles. Brain imagining using a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan involves the injection of a small amount of radioactive material into a vein, and scanning brain emissions to identify changes in brain activity patterns.
Both PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid examinations are costly and invasive. Professor Martins has been conducting research into testing beta-amyloid protein biomarkers in a minimally invasive and cost-effective way.
A brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease has areas of cell death and tissue loss. Cell death and tissue loss are observed as “plaques” and “tangles” in the brain. Plaques are clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid that build up between the brain cells. The small clumps block cell-to-cell signalling, and brain function. Tangles are twisted fibres of a protein called tau that build up within the brain cells. The tangles block the transports of nutrients to brain cells, causing cell death.
The clinical trial investigated whether a simple blood test, measuring beta-amyloid protein biomarkers, could predict whether beta-amyloid proteins were present in the brain. Testing during the earliest and mildest stages of the disease, before symptoms begin to show can allow for early intervention and improved outcomes. This is an exciting prospect for the aged care sector as a whole, as we prepare to provide care for Australia’s rapidly ageing population.
Though most people develop some plaques and tangles as they age, those with Alzheimer’s tend to develop far more. The plaques and tangles tend to begin forming in areas important in learning and memory, before spreading to other regions, affecting the brain and one’s behaviour
The clinical trials results show highly significant differences in the presence of specific betaamyloid protein biomarkers for those with Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those without, comparable in accuracy to conducting the more invasive cerebrospinal fluid examination.
HALL & PRIOR HOMES WITNESS 2018 QUEENS BATON RELAY In February, two Hall & Prior homes got to join in with the Commonwealth Games excitement, as they watched the official Queens Baton Relay. The tradition sees the baton began its journey to Queensland for the Commonwealth Games in March 2017, where it left Buckingham Palace for a 388-day journey that took it to all nations and territories of the Commonwealth. The baton carries a message from Queen Elizabeth II that encourages the athletes to come together to enjoy the friendly competition. For the Australian leg of the journey, the baton started in Canberra, and travelled to New South Wales, then headed south across Australia through Victoria and South Australia before arriving in Western Australia. Residents and staff at Clarence Estate, located in the town of Albany, in WA’s Great Southern region, were able to watch the relay as it passed through the town on February 22. Commencing at St Joseph’s College, the baton travelled along Hardie Road past the home, before making its way to the town’s Main Square in York Street. There was a big turn-out to see the runners, especially since two of Clarence Estate’s own were involved as baton bearers. Maintenance Manager
Phil Gough and June Humphries carried the baton for parts of the journey through the town. “It was fabulous to see so many Clarence staff, residents, clients, families and friends participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event,” Clarence Estate Administration Officer Gail Hasard said. Six days later, after heading up the WA coast, the relay passed through several sites in Perth. Tuohy Aged Care Home residents, their family and staff were able to gather out the front of the home to watch the procession as it passed through Midland, in Perth’s east. Tuohy Occupational Therapy Assistant Amanda Dyer said the group enjoyed spending the afternoon waiting for the relay to pass the home. “Everyone had a great time cheering on the runners, and waving to the police on their bikes as they were riding past,” she said. “We were lucky enough to witness the exchange of the baton outside the home as well. As far as I’m aware, this hasn’t happened in Tuohy’s history. After leaving Perth, the relay headed to Karratha, in the State’s north, before making its way to Queensland for the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
CAROLINE CHISHOLM RESIDENTS ARE AN ARTISTIC BUNCH Art and painting have always been regarded as the most accurate means of expression – or at least, that’s what many of Caroline Chisholm’s residents believe. Many of them have spent time recently picking up a brush and palette, as well as reviving and even giving life to an affinity for colours. As part of the home’s regular occupational therapy program, art is used to give residents a creative outlet where they can relax, have fun and create something beautiful. The paintings that have been produced are full of colour, and each individual has taken a unique approach to working on canvas. There are those who throw caution to the wind and focus purely on getting colours on canvas, like Noel Boland, who has a method that’s as special as his personality. He layers on rich coats of mixed acrylics that he insists on experimenting with and creating himself. The result is a work of art that is as abstract as his personal idea of art, which he says is a create avenue that allows him to convey his passion for sailing. His work conveys his love for a life that was filled with moments by the sea or water, as well as his fascination with lighthouses, which are always present in his paintings. There are other residents whose style is more like Robert Denton, who has a methodical and organised approach, creating paintings that are bristling with symmetry and a particular sort of evenness or balance. The home’s staff say the weekly activity brings a lot of joy to the home, and they home more residents be encouraged to join the art sessions and embrace the colours that define their past.
MEET OUR STAFF
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With more than 1500 people in our care across 25 homes in Western Australia and New South Wales, it takes a lot of people to make things run smoothly. We want to share with you a snapshot of the dedicated, compassionate people who work in our homes and facilities across WA. There is an incredible amount of diversity, with different backgrounds, cultures and personalities. But whatever role they are in, from carers, to maintenance officers, to clinical roles, our staff share the same commitment to exceptional care and our organisation’s vision.
Leighton Hayden Morrison - Hospitality Taking care of food and drinks for Leighton’s residents makes up Hayden’s role at the West Perth home. He enjoys the challenge of having different things to do every day, and he said he likes that there is always someone to chat with in the home. In his spare time, Hayden loves to get away from it all and go camping.
Kate Favro - PCAP Celebrating 15 years of service last year, Kate holds several roles, including being Manual Handling Leader, an Occupational Health & Safety (OSH) Representative and is part of the home’s continence management team and palliative care team. She said she gets a lot of value from being able to support the residents and their families. When she’s not at work, Kate spends time being the ‘cool auntie’ with her own family.
Jade Murray - PCAP
Jane Kuria - Registered Nurse
Having been with Hall & Prior for almost 15 years, Jade has a multifaceted role as a Personal Carer Advanced Practice, an OSH Representative, a Manual Handling Leader. She is also part of the continence management team for the home. With such a varied role, she said every day is different but she likes the variety. She said she has met many wonderful people and made a lot of friends through her time at Leighton.
Jane has been part of the team at Leighton for two years, coming to aged care with seven years’ experience in the disability sector. As part of her role, she directs the home’s PCAP staff, and she said she loves how everyone gets along and works as a team. In her spare time, Jane loves to go and watch Formula 1 racing.
Cecilia Leman - Administration Officer As a staff member who has worked at several of our homes, including Windsor Park, Freshwater Bay and now Rockingham, Cecilia is good at settling in to a new working environment. Before coming to Hall & Prior, her previous roles included administration and business management. While she never expected to work in aged care, she said she loves the variety of her position and being able to interact with residents. When she’s not at work, she loves going to the beach with her children.
Karen Mitchel - PCAP For Karen, her desire to enter into the aged care sector was driven by wanting to give back to older people, who worked so hard to make Australia the country it is today. In her role as a PCAP, Karen assists the home’s nursing staff in administering medication, taking residents’ blood pressure and vital signs and filling in incident forms. In her spare time, Karen enjoys spending time with friends and going camping at Stockton Lake in Collie.
Fresh Fields Hospitality Services: Kylie Delaney - Laundry Assistant As part of the laundry team at the Fresh Fields site, Kylie works with her team to clean, fold and sort all the clothing and linen that comes in from our 13 homes in the Perth metropolitan area. She said she enjoys collaborating with the team to get tasks done, as well as the early shift starts at 6am. When she’s not at work, Kylie enjoys being out horse riding in the bush, or training with her horse for a show-jumping competition.
Natalie Thompson - Kitchenhand Throughout the kitchen at Fresh Fields, a lot of people come together to make things run smoothly. Natalie has been part of the team for 11 years, and her role focuses on coordinating alternate meals for our homes, such as vegetarian, gluten-free and Asian meals. When she’s not at work, Natalie loves to hit the gym.
Dianne Sara - Laundry Assistant Having worked at Fresh Fields for 13 years, there isn’t much Dianne doesn’t know about her varied role. She has worked with the facility’s big drying and folding machines, as well as sorting, folding and getting clothes ready to be delivered to our homes. She said she’s been with us for so long, she feels like she knows the people we care for, just from their clothes, so making a special effort in her work is important. Outside of work, she loves camping, fishing and going to the beach.
Jamie Loxton - Laundry Assistant Having a varied role is important to Jamie, who works in the Fresh Fields laundry, kitchen and drives the delivery vehicles. He has been with us for four years, and said although he doesn’t have direct contact with the residents at our homes, he feels like he’s making a difference through his work. In his spare time, Jamie likes getting together with friends to hang out and play board games.
PET THERAPY BRIGHTENS THE LIVES OF OUR RESIDENTS Pet Therapy in a residential aged care home can have incredible effects on the wellbeing of those in care. We are pleased to share how we bring four-legged friends into our homes in New South Wales. The aim of the program is to enrich the lives of the residents and the pets by bringing them together to develop a rapport between regular residents and the pet by offering one on one time together. The benefits that can be observed from visiting residents who respond to pet therapy are:
• Reduces isolation especially for those residents who prefer to stay in their rooms • Friendships are formed – the residents establish a relationship with the volunteer (owner of the pet) and the visiting pet • Promotes social interaction and reminiscing • Provides unconditional love and comfort for the residents • Reduces agitation • Because Pet Therapy relies more on body language than verbal expression it is suitable for residents with cognitive impairment and speech impairments. • Brings smiles, love and laughter to our residents.
Pet Therapy was introduced into Alloa Aged Care Home in July 2017. The residents thoroughly enjoy this type of therapy. The interaction between the residents and the dog, Henry is wonderful and brings them so much joy. The reaction every time residents see Henry is priceless and brings back many memories of those who have owned a pet. Henry’s last visit to Alloa was in December 2017. The home has now welcomed a new Labradoodle, Chloe who will be coming to visit next month. Menaville Aged Care Home use the services of Velma’s Visiting Pets once a month. Velma’s ‘Pets as Therapy’ offers a professional structured pet’s therapy program run by volunteers. The volunteers and their pets are specifically trained to confidently interact with people who are frail aged, physically, mentally and emotionally challenged. Menaville have been involved in this Pet Therapy program for 20 years. “We have always had dogs visit and the one dog usually visits for years until they are no longer able to come,” Menaville Lifestyle Officer Margaret Rayner said. Hall & Prior’s Exercise & Mobility Coordinator Laura Majewski takes her dog Dino to visit the
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residents at Aubrey Downer Aged Care Home when she goes to the home to review residents. Dino is always very well received and loved by all residents and staff who love to pat Dino and many residents wanting him to sit on their lap. When Dino visits it gives the residents a chance to feel loved as many of their residents have owned pets and really miss them. “One gentleman was actually in a bad mood and as soon as he stroked Dino he instantly became happy again,” said Lifestyle Officer Kim Mellor. “Their time with Dino is very precious.” Tina Hayes, Accounts Payable for Hall & Prior who resides at Aubrey Downer brings in her puppy, Versace. Versace was only six weeks old when the residents first met her. “They couldn’t get over how small she was,” said Kim. Pet Therapy hasn’t been introduced into Grafton Aged Care Home yet but they do get visitors that like to bring their dogs in with them. The wife of the homes regular entertainer often brings her dog in for a pat which the residents seem to love and respond well to. “I find that barriers that were previously there seem to come down and residents are able to talk more freely,” said Lifestyle Officer Cherie Onus. “I see a change in some of the residents in their interaction with the animals and how they try to make the animal ‘like them’ so they are kinder and try harder to make friends.” The home does also have a resident cat names Peaches that is often found on resident Margaret’s bed. Margaret is a real animal lover and loves cats. “It does her heart good to have pets around as she has done all her life,” said Cherie. “I think dogs are probably the best pet to bring as most people associate best with them.” Pet Therapy was introduced at Fairfield Aged Care Home upon Hall & Prior’s acquisition of this 93 bed home in Sydney’s Western suburbs. This form of therapy occurs once a month but they also bring in birds and chickens throughout the year. The therapy dog Sammy puts a smile on the resident’s faces when she visits each month,
there reaction is priceless. Sammy seems to enjoy spending time with the residents and giving them that special attention. “We have a resident who never leaves his room and when Sammy comes in he helps her onto his bed and plays with her for most of the time that she’s there,” says Lifestyle Officer Vicky Abraham. “When it’s time for her to leave he starts tearing up.” Vicky goes on to mention that Pet Therapy helps to improve the resident’s social and emotional cognitive functions and also helps the residents to reminisce of animals that they had to leave or that have passed away. Pet Therapy was introduced four years ago at Vaucluse Aged Care Home and is a regular form of therapy there which they have once a week on a Tuesday. A volunteer from Delta comes in with her little pug Lucy to visit all the residents. Lucy does tricks which the residents find amusing and entertaining. She brings the residents lot of joy. All the residents’ smile ear to ear and express their happiness. Pet Therapy has great benefits to the residents of Vaucluse. It brings them memories of their pet or pets when they were young and provides a tactile experience as well as emotional support. Some families also come with their dogs to visit their parents and residents nearby are able to interact with their dog. Director of Nursing Manezheh Jafari has a little dog that she brings, the residents love little Bobby and always ask her to bring him. Caroline Chisholm Aged Care Home have been using the weekly services of Delta Dogs for the past 22 years. These Dogs have been trained to interact with older people. Over the years they have had many different dogs visit but currently for the past year they have Harry, a small white fluffy dog which the residents adore. Most residents respond well by talking about their own pets they used to have. We have a social profile of residents so if they have a fear of dogs the owner of the therapy dog will not go near that resident. The benefits from Pet Therapy are that residents get to touch and interact with the dogs as well
as reminisce and socialize with people from the community.
to her ‘Grandma’s’ Facility, and more actively engages with the residents.
Pet Therapy at Shangri-La Aged Care home is very popular with the residents. Bull Mastiff cross Nellie who was rescued from a shelter loves visiting the residents and performs a variety of tricks for them.
“The benefits of pet therapy are well documented. Pets are such a huge part of many people’s lives and they bring joy to our day with their funny little ways,” Administration Officer Anne Tanner said.
“Nellie is also amazing with our frailer, less mobile residents,” said Lifestyle Office Amber Heywood. “I was surprised one day when one resident reached her hand out unassisted to pat Nellie. Nellie stayed with this particular resident for quite a while and the lady smiled and patted the dog the entire time. It was so lovely to watch.”
“While we do not have resident pets we have regular visitors belonging to our residents or their families. Separation and sadness is a huge issue when Residents enter a home so we welcome them all.”
Unfortunately Nellie no longer visits the home but Velma from Velma’s Pet Therapy will be sending in a new companion soon. Shangri-La also had Henny Penny’s Hatching Chickens last year. The response was incredible. “Residents that had previously refused to come to the lounge room, or to socialise with other residents started coming every day,” said Amber. “Everyone was thrilled to watch these little chickens hatch and grow. We also did activities based around the chicks.” Glenwood Aged Care Home offer Pet Therapy for their residents three time a month or once a week where possible. Delta Dog, Noah, a Labrador and a former guide dog who didn’t quite graduate but has lots of skills learnt as a guide dog puppy, has been visiting the residents of this facility for around a year now. The residents are always happy and relaxed when they see Noah and love to pat and feed him. Maya a Groodle has also visited the residents of Glenwood and is much more used to visiting elderly folk having been raised with regular visits
The staff at Glenwood have observed the differences of Pet Therapy and the interaction between animals and residents which can greatly depend on whether someone is a dog or cat person. One resident Maidie who is dysphasic started speaking to Maya when she visited and really engaged in a conversation even through it was quite brief. Others reminisced and chatted about their own pets “One could observe some of the sadness and loss but also the warmth and engagement by being able to stroke, cuddle and remember,” said Anne. “Happiness radiates across their faces. One notices the relaxation in their faces and other muscles.” Relatives also engage when present and get such a lot out of seeing often withdrawn loved ones emerge out of their dementia and this is a joy for them however brief the moment. Anne says that one resident who does not physically engage at all – his face radiated as he reached out to pat a visiting. Relaxation of stiff muscles and meaningful eye contact and conversation was very evident and there are laughter and smiles always.
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PET THERAPY WA Having a beloved pet by your side can make a big difference to a person’s wellbeing during difficult times. Several pets brighten the lives of everyone at Windsor Park Aged Care Home, like Demi the cat.
At Windsor Park Aged Care Home, in Carlisle, in Perth’s east, Executive Manager Sharyn McDavitt believes in the Eden Principals, which recommend that elders continue to have contact with plants and animals. According to the principals, this companionship can help ease loneliness and hopelessness in older people. While it is not common practice for a Hall & Prior home to allow for a pet to be admitted with a resident, in special circumstances it can be permitted. The home recently admitted Kerrie Morfitt, who was having trouble with the idea of being separated from her cat, Snookums, so they took the pair on board. “For Kerrie, having Snookums here with has really improved her quality of life,” Sharyn said. “She has made a remarkable recovery from a recent surgery, because she knew her cat was waiting for her back at Windsor Park. It has made such a big difference. “Snookums like to sleep on the end of her bed, or inside the wardrobe, and he has a harness and a lead so we can take him outside.” Kerrie said she really loves having her little friend with her
at the home. “I’ve always had animals throughout my life, and I really believe they are good for your health, and good for morale,” Kerrie said. There are several other pets that brighten the lives of those who call Windsor Park their home. All of the animals are carefully monitored to ensure they don’t pose any risks to staff or residents. Each has an individual care plan, where regular vet visits are documented to make sure they always have a clean bill of health. Demi the cat was a stray who was found near the home more than seven years ago. She was very unwell, the team adopted her and nursed her back to full health. Sharyn said she likes to sit on the reception desk and keep any everything, as well as receive pats from people passing by. “She is very well behaved, if she’s not on the reception desk, she sleeps in the mail tray at reception or on residents’ beds,” Sharyn said. The home adopted some love birds, who belonged to a resident before he passed away. Their singing brings a pleasant amount of noise to one of the home’s main lounge
rooms and luckily they don’t have any problems with cats. The residents enjoy helping with feeding the birds or getting them fresh water. There is also an aquarium full of fish for the residents to enjoy. Sharyn said this is particularly important for those who may have mobility issues, as they can sit and look at the fish swim around, or look out the window onto the home’s gardens. “They really love it, and it’s brought some more colour into the home,” she said. Another infrequent visitor to the home is Simon the dog, who belongs to Administration Officer Belinda Mogensen. Sharyn said many residents who can tend to be grumpy or aggressive light up with smiles when they see Simon. “We like to encourage fourlegged visitors to the home, because they can bring out such a positive change in everyone here,” Sharyn said. “Simon is definitely many people’s favourite, there are residents that calm down as soon as they come and pat him.” “All of the staff here see the positive effects of having pets here, and we all volunteer to take care of them.”
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KEEPING SAFE THIS FLU SEASON HALL & PRIOR TO SUPPORT PERTH DEMENTIA FESTIVAL
As the colder months approach, it’s time to start planning your annual influenza vaccination. Each year ahead of the colder months, our staff take part in an organisation-wide vaccination program, where they receive a free flu vaccination. In an aged care home, an influenza outbreak can have serious consequences, as our residents who have existing health conditions may be particularly vulnerable to falling ill.
We are proud to announce that Hall & Prior are a sponsor for LoveFest Perth, an upcoming event focusing on the human connections that exist for people with dementia.
For the past five years, we have increased the rates of staff vaccination in order to make our homes safer for those we care for. Through a program that addresses the benefits of vaccinations, as well as free clinic setups in our homes, we are working to keep our staff, residents and their families safer each flu season.
LoveFest kicks off on May 2 with an exhibition of portraits by Lisa White, The Social Photographer, showing local people with dementia kissing someone they love. Focusing on the human connection, the series aims humanise people living with dementia. The Kiss collection will be displayed for free at Garden City Shopping Centre, and will run until May 16.
Keeping the flu bug out of our homes also means less disruption to normal routines, because less people take time off due to illness. Having the injection can cause a little discomfort for one to two minutes, but having influenza can make you very unwell for one to two weeks. Symptoms of the flu include fever, runny nose, cough, aching joints, sore muscles, sore throat and headaches.
On May 3, LoveFest hosts its main event with a full-day workshop with a series of presentations by local people living with dementia, as well as families and friends. They will discuss the impact of dementia on relationships, as well as how to rebuild connections and deal with the challenges of the condition on loved ones. It aims to inform and educate people with dementia and their families, as well as provide resources for service providers on building dementiafriendly resources and communities.
Having the flu vaccination each year is the best way to prevent getting the flu and its complications. Every year the strain of flu virus changes and the vaccine wears off, so you need to have the vaccine each year.
LoveFest is organised by the Museum of Love, is part of the Celebrate Ageing Program, which aims to challenge ageism and build respect for older people.
As well as having your annual vaccination, practicing good hand hygiene can help prevent getting sick at any time of the year. This includes: • Regularly cleaning your hands, as well as using an alcohol-based hand rub when needed • Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as this can spread germs • Stay at home when you are sick – this will help you recover faster and not spread your germs to co-workers and friends.
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Life & Love is the corporate magazine for Hall & Prior Health & Aged Care Group, based in Western Australia and New South Wales. In this edi...
Published on May 4, 2018
Life & Love is the corporate magazine for Hall & Prior Health & Aged Care Group, based in Western Australia and New South Wales. In this edi...