GIVING residents the space to voice their individual perspectives, the Resident and Relative Meetings are part of an innovative, resident-focused initiative at Banfields Aged Care. It’s an opportunity to empower those living at the facility. For residents to know what is going on, to raise concerns and questions, and to be an active member of their living environment. “We are taking accountability for everything that happens,” Banfields Aged Care lifestyle manager, Robyn Montague, explained. If the team does not have the answer at that exact time, they go away and investigate further, then return to the resident with a clear explanation. If it’s a problem, then they resolve it with a clear strategy. By empowering its residents, Banfields has addressed the stigma surrounding aged care and residents’ rights. “It’s extremely important for our residents to have a strong platform to have a say in their care,” Robyn said. ‘Cuisine’ at Banfields has a focus group all of its own! This ensures no meal is ever boring and the seasonal menus are creative, as well as nutritious.
Having their say on what they would like to eat, and what changes they would like made, is as important for the residents as it is for the management team. “We talk about food and have fun.” “It gives residents a chance to explore different avenues of how they’d like things done. “But it also lets us know how they’re feeling about the meals, and how they’re feeling about the service of the meals. “It’s really important because some people don’t come out and enjoy the activities. “For them, the meal is the most important part of the day. “We also have a Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), whereby residents are elected by each other.” Held once a month, the CAC Meeting is an opportunity for elected residents to raise items, speak and present information to the CEO, Edward Matthies, and the Management Team. “For residents, we take any issue directly to our CEO, as he makes himself accessible and accountable,” she said.
“He will answer the concern directly. “It’s a really pleasant environment. “For the residents, who might be a bit shy to speak up and say anything, they’re more than happy to go to their fellow residents, and elected peers for representation. “It’s a very effective system –the CEO is talking directly to them. “Again, it’s empowering our residents. ‘Residents Choice’ is a term that means aged care facilities or any resident care facilities are centred on their residents. “Aged care should be about the residents’ individual expectations, but it hasn’t always been the case in the past. “Whether a resident comes out of their room, whether they want to participate, whatever they wish to do, we have to try and make sure they can do it and do it in a safe way.” The new direction is exciting. No longer will going into an aged care facility be about losing independence or choice, instead it will be about gaining freedom and pursuing opportunities. “Although the Resident andRelative Meeting is a relatively new initiative, Banfields is proud to be a strong advocate for ensuring our residents ’voice is heard loud and clear.”
From left, back, Liz (acting DOC), Rosemary (Admissions), Leesa (CCM), Robyn (Lifestyle Team Leader) and family member – Lisa; sitting from left, Kay Smith, Bill Waters, and visiting family member Brian Goldberg.