AGED CARE trailblazers have been named in national awards for their role in improving the quality of life for older Australians.
The country's most dedicated and ground-breaking aged care organisations, teams and individuals have been recognised with 12 finalists announced in the 2017 HESTA Aged Care Awards.
The awards recognise those in the aged care sector who have made an exceptional contribution to improving the quality of life for older Australians across three categories -Team Innovation, Outstanding Organisation and Individual Distinction.
An intergenerational program bringing aged care residents together with kindergarten children, a scheme supporting the recruitment and retention of Indigenous aged care workers in the Northern Territory, a palliative care facility and an South Australian exercise physiology program for people with dementia were four of the finalists in the Team Innovation Award category.
In the Individual Distinction category, four people were nominated for their work with culturally diverse communities, creating a fine-dining experience for aged care residents and developing dementia-friendly outdoor spaces.
The organisations, Lifeview Residential Care and Vasey RSL Care in Victoria and Southern Cross Care in SA are all up for the Outstanding Organisation Award.
HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said this year's finalists demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to improving the quality of life of Australians in their homes, retirement villages and aged care facilities across Australia.
"This year's finalists have proven themselves leaders in improving the way aged care services are delivered by challenging conventional thinking and developing innovative solutions to industry-wide challenges," Ms Blakey said.
Winners will be announced on November 23 in Adelaide.
Team Innovation Award finalists
- Aged Care Indigenous Induction Program, Crest NT, Nightcliff, NT - For developing culturally appropriate and engaging induction resources that support the recruitment and retention of Indigenous aged care employees.
- Catholic Homes, Burswood, WA - For developing the Comfort Care Centre, a specifically designed palliative care facility providing patients with end of life care, in a warm and welcoming environment.
- Exercise Physiology in Aged Care Team, Helping Hand, North Adelaide, SA -For their outstanding innovation in developing exercise physiology programs leading to significant improvements in the cognitive, social and physical abilities of residents living with dementia.
- Specialist Dialysis Team. Resthaven Incorporated, Wayville, SA - For forming a specialist dialysis team in response to a community need for services that enable Australians with complex dialysis care needs to remain living at home, while also providing support to their carers through the provision of residential respite.
- Leisure and Lifestyle Team, Uniting Agewell Carnsworth Community, Kew, VIC - For developing CIRCLE, an intergenerational program fostering friendship and learning between aged care residents and kindergarten children.
Individual Distinction Award finalists
- Anna Harrison, Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services, Bedford, WA - For establishing Umbrella, a not-for profit aged care service that celebrates the individual and cultural diversity of their clients.
- Gordon Manuel, Mark Moran Group, Vaucluse, NSW - For creating innovative fine-dining and culinary experiences for aged care residents, encouraging them to enjoy the social aspects of dining, while promoting positive ageing by providing nutritious food.
- Sandra Gilbert, Noosa Care, Tewantin, QLD - For leading the development of specially designed outdoor spaces, allowing dementia residents to wander freely outside and encouraging them to continue enjoying the outdoors.
- Sara Marmo, Japara Healthcare, Southbank, VIC - For her role in bringing elderly people from culturally diverse backgrounds in her community together to participate in social activities and events.
Outstanding Organisation Award finalists
- Lifeview Residential Care, Carnegie, VIC - For their employee growth and wellness initiative 'Be the Best You' that promotes inclusivity and wellbeing for staff by fostering a flexible and inclusive work culture.
- Southern Cross Care (SA & NT), Parkside, SA- For partnering with local Adelaide arts festivals to deliver an entertaining, engaging and practical arts therapy program for residents and their families.
- Vasey RSL Care, Hawthorn, VIC - For their innovative community engagement project that utilised data and survey insights to better understand and address the needs of their veteran and war widow residents.