Being active and able in aged care
At a time of continuing reform across aged care sector, Anglicare agencies from across Australia have come together for a landmark forum on wellness and reablement in aged care – From Principles to Practice – at Anglicare Sydney’s Castle Hill Centre this week.
Anglicare Australia Deputy Director Roland Manderson said that the principles of wellness and reablement are seen as key to successful ageing, but too little has been done towards embedding them in our aged care services themselves.
“Our models of care, and our funding systems, are too focused on looking after people as they become unwell or less able. Instead of assessing people to give them a static level of care, we should be working with older people to ensure they can live as fully as possible.
“Turning that around to make our services focus on living well is a challenge to everyone: workers, services and older people themselves.
“From Principles to Practice gave Anglicare network members an opportunity to learn for each other on how to make this shift. We had sessions on how to ensure home support helps people stay independent, and how high level care in home and in residential care can be designed to help people stay active and engaged.
“We explored the opportunities and risks that new technology offers, and some of the challenges that face us in growing a workforce informed by this approach.
“One of the key messages for us was that the system as a whole should be able to frontload its investment into people when they start to access care and support, which might mean scaling back later as part of the reablement process. Government needs to think through this approach before the next round of reforms are put in place.
“The other message is that this process has already started; so we’d better teach each other the best way to make it work.
“From Principles to Practice was very much about the Anglicare network showing leadership on wellness and reablement in aged care, and working at the coal face to get the best outcomes for people,” Mr Manderson said.
Eight Anglicare member agencies, working with many thousands of older Australians, were represented at the From Principles to Practice: Delivering Wellness and Reablement Service Models forum.