Cultural exchange to share ideas

Friday, 13th October, 2017

JOIN THE DOTS - Jean Griffin demonstrates dot painting to Kazuo Matsui and Syota Ichiba at the ACH McLaren Vale Art for Fun group.

JAPANESE aged care workers have been sharing their ideas, and origami skills, with their South Australian counterparts.

The group of 13 aged care workers from Sun-Life aged care organisation in Japan were on an exchange visit organised by South Australian not-for-profit ACH Group.

The visitors were welcomed by a performance from the ACH Group Sing for Joy choirs and presented gifts handmade by residents from residential facilities.

They also showed staff and members of the Art for Fun group in McLaren Vale how to fold origami while the Australians gave the Japanese guests tips on how to create dot art paintings.

The visitors also got to get up close and personal with the resident chooks at ACH's Kapara Residential Living - part of the village's Hen Power program - as well as visiting Morialta Conservation Park, having lunch at Central Market and walking along Port Noarlunga Jetty.

The Japanese exchange participants met ACH Group staff and customers to learn more about healthy ageing, supporting people to live independently at home for longer and the latest in information communication technology (ICT).

They also learned about ACH Group's strategies to reduce employee turnover, risk management and the role of physiotherapists and the effectiveness of rehabilitation.

In its 10th year, the Sun-Life exchange program involves annual visits to Australia and bi-annual visits by ACH Group employees to Japan.

ACH Group Learning and Development Manager Rebecca Burns said: "The program is an exciting opportunity for both Japanese care workers and ACH Group staff members learn about aged care services from the perspective of a different culture."

Sun-Life's Tomoko Suzuki said she was "very happy to be in Australia for the first time".

"We are looking forward to continuing the strong relationship between ACH Group and Sun-Life and I hope that this relationship is growing and will continue forever. We have a lot in common with people here. Even though we have come a very long distance we are connected in many ways."

And for Tomoko's colleague, Sun-Life assistant facility manager and social worker Kazuo Matsui, the trip was also a chance to meet one of Australia's most famous marsupials.

"We were also very much looking forward to holding koalas," he said.

ACH Group has been offering services to older people in South Australia since 1952.

As well as accommodation options across Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula and East Melbourne, the group offers health, wellbeing, respite and support services, help at home and social activities.

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