A moving story

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A moving story

For over ten years, BaptistCare at home cared for elderly Wyong couple Neville and Judy Maxwell, enabling them to continue to live independently in a flat above their daughter’s home.

For the loving couple, staying together was the most important thing. A brain injury twenty years earlier had caused a significant decline in Judy’s mobility. For the last two years she required help with movement, bathing and dressing, all while lacking the ability to access the bathroom or leave their home. Her long-term dream was quite humble – to visit David Jones once more.

When Neville and Judy’s daughter tragically passed away, they were forced to relocate. The move seemed insurmountable.

BaptistCare came together to secure a smooth transition into a lovely new Social and Affordable Housing unit at BaptistCare New Lambton. Our At Home services continued to support the couple in their new home, where Judy had easy bathroom access, and enjoyed sitting by the large bay windows overlooking her camellias in bloom.

Judy’s dream to visit David Jones was fulfilled with much joy several weeks before Judy sadly passed away in September 2019. For the At Home team, it was an honour to serve her.

Championing independence

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Championing independence

BaptistCare has partnered with The University of Sydney to trial a new Interdisciplinary Home-Based Reablement Program (I-HARP) to assist our Sydney-based clients who are living with dementia to continue living independently in their own homes.

The individually tailored, cognitive re-ablement program delivered by our occupational therapists and registered nurses aims to improve the ability of our clients to manage everyday activities, and to assist their loved one and carer to understand how to best support them.

BaptistCare at home client, Maureen Fitzgerald hit some serious health hurdles when she reached her late 70s, being diagnosed with a number of life changing conditions which affected her joints, her heart and her memory.

The I-HARP program ensures Maureen receives regular visits from BaptistCare’s re-ablement team of therapists and nurses to help her better manage every day activities, as well as re-engage in activities she may have difficulty doing on her own including light exercises to maintain her mobility and strength.

New name and approach launched

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New name and approach launched

Since the move into an open market, BaptistCare at home has continued to evolve and grow, positioning ourselves as a reliable and multi-faceted provider of home care. Confirming our place as a preferred option for people seeking assistance to remain living high quality, independent lives at home, has involved a solid focus on customer service, as well as ensuring we align with the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

To focus our approach, this year we rebranded our service to BaptistCare at home, and launched our Well-Living™ approach.

This new emphasis champions the message of overall health and wellness of our clients. We believe that great home care is about more than just the basics of helping with personal care and jobs around the home, it is about supporting, enabling and equipping our clients to live their best possible lives.

This includes a wide range of services such as home modifications, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dementia expertise, social clubs and outings, but most importantly, through the very way in which we are working with our clients, looking to understand their strengths and goals and working with them to achieve them.

BaptistCare’s at home approach is proving successful; our Home Care Package program has grown by over 15% in the last year as we deliver high level care to over 2,100 people, along with the basic support we provide to another 6,500 clients.

A determined Katherine

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A determined Katherine

Throughout her life, Katherine Brennan has faced the challenges posed by her cerebral palsy with a mix of good humour and persistence, and now our BaptistCare at home team is helping her embrace ageing the same way.

Despite the challenges of living with cerebral palsy, Katherine has led a full and busy life, managing to live in her own home, hold down a long-term job, write articles for a newsletter and perform in theatre productions.

Now at 73, she is facing the challenges of ageing with the same energy and positive focus. “I have a wheelchair, but I don’t want to use it,” says Katherine. “So, I go for walks and try to exercise. I go to the pool when I can. It’s hard work, but I want to keep on walking.”

We are proud to be supporting Katherine’s quest for a meaningful life by providing transport for her and accompanying her on outings, as well as other support services.

Our BaptistCare at home staff, including support worker Christine, visit Katherine in her home most days and take her on a variety of life-enriching excursions. “It’s absolutely wonderful and has changed my life so much,” says Katherine. “Christine and I are one of a kind. Sometimes we go to a little place where they have good fish and chips, and pancakes.”

While getting out and about is important, Katherine particularly values the respect that Christine provides her. “Unfortunately, some people think that they have to talk down to people with a disability,” she says. “What I like best about the visits from BaptistCare is that I get to have a bit of adult conversation.”

Carers rest and recharge

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Carers rest and recharge

Our fifth annual Carers Retreat in May was an opportunity for unpaid carers looking after their loved ones at home to have a weekend of time out to rest and recharge.

Hosted at the Edmund Rice Retreat in Mulgoa, 28 unpaid carers spent time relaxing, trying new activities, such as virtual reality technology and exploring the natural surroundings.

Danielle Pfitzner, Assistant Manager of BaptistCare at home Western Sydney, believes it is critically important to recognise and support unpaid carers.

“We think it’s really important at BaptistCare to be able to support carers and to basically give them the same level of support that we give our actual clients,” she said.

“Being an unpaid carer is a really challenging role… and there’s actually nothing more important than being able to spend time with people having the same kinds of experiences,” explains Danielle.

Barbara Burton, an unpaid carer for her mother, attended the weekend and shared some of her own personal struggles. “It’s always a worry looking after elderly relatives. Sometimes things go wrong and everything falls apart, you do need that extra outside support,” she said.

The retreat also provided the opportunity for participants to explore some of the important questions around what matters most, what it means to care for others as well as yourself, and how ageing impacts all of us.

Recruiting for the future

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Recruiting for the future

Looking ahead to the workforce challenges the aged care industry faces, we saw our current recruitment process relied heavily on manual processes, while expertise resided in a small pool of recruitment consultants and hiring managers.

This year we embarked on the implementation of an automated Recruitment Management Solution (RMS) to enhance our current recruitment practices, enabling the organisation to streamline our processes from advertising for a role and searching for candidates, through to the final appointment and on-boarding of a successful candidate.

The RMS will provide candidates with an enhanced user experience, automate and streamline recruitment process workflows, reduce costs by increasing efficiency, and reduce the double handling of data entry. It will also assist the organisation to meet compliance with new Aged Care Standards and promote greater visibility to our hiring managers in the overall process and progress of recruitment they are undertaking.

We also appointed a new Talent Acquisition Manager role in October 2018, to review, update and implement our recruitment strategy.

New Learning Management System

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New Learning Management System

The last 12 months saw the organisation transition to a new online learning platform with a much improved user experience for our staff, including searching, a user-friendly course catalogue, tracking learner progress for both frontline staff and managers, and reporting.

Named My Learning, the new Learning Management System (LMS) provides staff with flexibility to complete both mandatory and optional online modules at their own pace.

Our staff completed 31,547 eLearning modules this year, a testament to the organisation’s commitment to learning and education, while providing our staff with opportunities to develop their skills further.

The new LMS went live in August 2019.

Our safety vision

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Our safety vision

Our focus over the past year has been the progression of our safety vision, ‘for our people to leave work each day in an equal or better state of wellbeing than when they arrived’.

Our safety vision and strategic goals are firmly based in established evidence that access to and performance of good work is beneficial to health and wellbeing.

Our WHS team and sites across BaptistCare have been dedicated to reducing workplace injuries, increasing hazard reporting, increasing the completion of risk assessments and improving consultation with our staff.

A key body of work has also been to review and improve our WHS Management System (WHSMS) in preparation to achieve external accreditation of our WHSMS to AS /NZS 4801.

Combined with this focus, and building on improvements achieved during our last reporting period, BaptistCare can now provide a more holistic approach to the measurement of safety performance.

Sharing the gift of reading

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Sharing the gift of reading

Retired special needs teacher and librarian, Merylanne Baxter spent over 40 years of her working life helping and serving others. Now a regular volunteer, Merylanne continues to share her love of storytelling and can be found every Monday afternoon breathing life and colour into the books she reads aloud to the attendees of BaptistCare Red Hill Social Club.

“I have done so many things in my life; I have worked in many different roles as a qualified teacher, librarian, trained cook and carer. I have worked with ESL students, students with disabilities and led storytime for children,” Merylanne said.

“For an hour and a half every week, I now share stories with the social club members. I read Greek myths and legends, recite poetry and I am currently reading a novel to the members,” she said.

“Volunteering is my way of helping people. I know that the social club visitors and staff benefit from the time I give them, even if there are days when I read them to sleep!” she laughs. “I also help out on Friday morning with the Communion service at BaptistCare George Forbes House. It keeps me busy and connected.”

Merylanne is one of a thousand volunteers who partner with BaptistCare staff across residential, community services, home service and retirement living. A generous, vivacious and warm person, her time and talents bring joy to customers and staff each week.

Introducing MyTeam™

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Introducing MyTeam™

Over the course of the year our residential team have rolled out BaptistCare’s new person-centered care and relational approach, MyTeam™.

This new approach has at its core resident choice and control to ensure residents are at the centre of all we do.

One of the key changes implemented with this approach has been consistent assignment rostering, which sees residents and their families supported by the same employees for every shift they work, which means that dependable, reliable and personalised care is delivered by a small team of consistent team members.

Our hospitality and lifestyle employees are also allocated to set units or parts of the home. This partnership enables continuity of care, with each resident’s team being better placed to understand the needs and preferences of each resident and support their rights and choices.

Families are also part of the resident’s team and are welcomed, supported and enabled to be partners in care.

MyTeam™ is being implemented across our 17 residential aged care centres, with the pilot completed in October 2018, and three centres well established by the end of June 2019.

The remainder of centres will see MyTeam™ implemented by February 2020.