Better Together Model of Care (Rathdowne Place)
- Australian Unity Retirement Living
Better Together model within Rathdowne Place is a socially driven model of care as opposed to a clinically driven model that highlights the importance of being socially inclusive, of building a community and of blurring the division between residents and staff.
This flexible, person centered service brings residents, families and staff together in a supportive, relaxed and very human manner. Resident participation in the activity of daily life is supported by staff. Resident choice and service flexibility provide an adaptable, innovative and integrated solution to delivery of aged services.
Personalised Staff Interactions
Employees experience a role enhancement – incorporating personal development, supportive relationships and genuine person-centered outcomes resulting in high staff satisfaction. Staff participate and interact with residents whilst undertaking daily household activities and this increases the number of hours per day each resident has genuine human contact.
Allowing carers to build relationships with residents with ratios of 1:6 as opposed to 1:12, means that there is an individualised approach to care and there are real opportunities to build meaningful and fulfilling relationships between residents and carers.
The diverse nature of Better Together services allows couples to stay connected as their needs diversify. For example, one partner may live in a retirement apartment while the other partner occupies an aged care bed. While the needs of each partner are being met they are still able to interact on a regular basis. This has an overwhelming positive effect on the wellbeing of residents. The Respite center provides opportunities for carers to reduce the burden of their care requirements, allowing them time out to pursue personal activities and goals.
One example of the Better Together Innovation is the meal service. Traditionally, menu planning is a structured process where the menu is decided by health professionals and kitchen staff. Better Together residents are actively involved in choosing their meals, which provides a meaningful way staff and residents can interact.
Residents also enjoy involvement in the preparation of food in the household kitchen; these tasks which they have completed for the majority of their lives have a significant impact on the residents’ wellbeing and quality of life giving them a sense of purpose and control.
A flexible model of care and accommodation requires adaptable building layouts and the best available technology.
A 3G nurse call system enables discreet and exemplary care, monitoring of resident beds and bedrooms to notify staff if residents’ behavior patterns are irregular and assistance is required. Infra-red sensors activate lighting and allow residents to safely and effectively use the bathroom at night.
Smart TV’s allow browsing the internet and Skype, enabling residents to extend their social reach beyond the walls of their home and to stay connected with their family, friends and the wider community.
Better way forward
Our Better Together’s approach to aged care provides quality of life to elderly people ensuring they are happier and healthier and will be dramatically less negative or hostile about movement into aged care. This new care model leads and moves away from traditional institutionalised aged care and focuses on quality of life, social inclusion and community. Ordinary daily living is reflected in the care environment. It allows residents to live in comfortable households and continue to participate in the activities of daily life they previously enjoyed.