It’s a fact of life that as we age we will become more reliant on help from those around us. Sadly, we are not as able bodied as we used to be, our memory is not always as sharp and we may not be as physically able as we wish we could still be.
At some point in our lives through the ageing process we try and come to terms that we need support both emotionally and physically. That can be a difficult realisation for many of us and can take some time to accept.
Relying on others to support us in our daily tasks is a big adjustment, and one that can bring a vast array of emotions. You may decide to have health care professionals tend to your needs within your home, or you may choose to move into a residential care setting where more holistic and supported care can be professionally offered.
A high quality of care and service should be the expectation of all consumers when you enter care, but unfortunately this hasn’t always been the case in all residential aged care homes.
The Australian Government has announced a new set of Quality Standards that define what ‘good care’ should look like. These new standards have been published and will come into effect from 1 July 2019.
When searching for good care and service in aged care the types of questions you should be asking include:
- Are staff friendly and approachable to you when you enter the home, and at all times?
- Do staff respond to your individual needs?
- Do you feel well cared for, by compassionate and skilled staff who know their job?
- Do you feel you have enough people to talk to about things that matter to you?
- Is the organisation well run?
Each of the new standards sets out in easy to read language what you can expect from your aged care provider, and what they need to do in order to meet the desired care and service level for you. There are eight standards, each covering an aspect of care that contributes to your safety, health and well-being. These standards reaffirm our belief at Infinite that we need to care for you beyond just your health requirements. It is about the whole of you as a person, and ensuring your ongoing connectedness to your family and community.
1. Consumer dignity and choice
This standard recognises the importance of a resident’s sense of self. It also highlights the importance of the resident being able to act independently, make their own choices and take part in their community. These are all important in fostering social inclusion, health and well-being.
2. Ongoing assessment and planning with residents
This standard sets out what a care provider needs to do to plan care and services with their individual residents. The planned care and services should meet each residents specific needs, goals and preferences and optimise their health and well-being. While a resident might have some challenges with their health and abilities, they still have goals they want to achieve, roles that have meaning, and want to live as well as they can.
3. Personal care and clinical care
Residents and the community should expect the safe, effective and quality delivery of personal and clinical care. The standard applies to all services delivering personal and clinical care specified in the Quality of Care Principles, 2014.
4. Services and supports for daily living
While a resident might have some challenges with their health and abilities, they still have goals they want to achieve, and they want to manage their day-to-day life and live as well and as happily as they can. This standard covers a wide range of options that aim to support residents to live as independently as possible and enjoy life. They may be any services (other than clinical or personal care services) that an organisation provides under the Quality of Care Principles, 2014.
5. Organisation’s service environment
This standard applies to the physical service environment that the organisation provides for residential care, respite care and day therapy centres.
6. Feedback and complaints
This standard requires an organisation to have a clear system in place in order to resolve complaints. The system must be accessible, confidential, prompt and fair. It should also support all residents and their families to make a complaint or give feedback. Resolving complaints within the organisation can help build relationships between residents, their families and the organisation. Continuous improvement in this manner can only lead to better resident outcomes.
7. Human resources
This standard requires an organisation to have and use a skilled and qualified workforce to deliver safe, respectful, and consultative care and services.
8. Organisational governance
The intention of this standard is to ensure that organisations have structures for clinical governance in place to ensure the effective delivery of safe, quality care and services that meet the Aged Care Quality Standards, 2018.
No matter who you are, your history, where you live, your identity, beliefs or culture – every person who receives care has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and have their personal and clinical needs attended to.
At Infinite Care our philosophy has always been that people matter. We are attentive, supportive and encouraging to our residents and to each other. We firmly believe that our residents are at the centre of their care decision and choices. We listen deeply to our residents and what they need and want.
Our vision and values as an organisation are important and we aim to demonstrate them in everything that our team do. We do what we say we will do, and we make every care decision in consultation with our residents, for their best interest.
At Infinite Care we understand the importance of delivering the highest levels of clinical care and ensuring that our resident is front and centre in engaging, participating and guiding us for their improved wellbeing and health outcomes. We also aim to provide our residents with fun and happy homes and new levels of empowerment to live their best lives, at times albeit with some incapacities. We watch miracles occur every day in aged care.
Read more about the standards here