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Good Shepherd Lodge Ltd

A Truly Integrated Supported Living
Good Shepherd Lodge Ltd

Kerrisdale Gardens, Beaconsfield, Qld 

Residential - Regional, 30 -79 Beds

Award descriptors:
Autonomy and choice, Technology, Living environment

About the program
The total facility has been built to comply with 9C Regulations allowing for flexibility for care options. Residents of apartments, admitted under the Retirement Village Act, can remain in their apartment and receive care and services if and when needed under the Residential Care Act. This model of care, as far as we are aware, has not been implemented to this level before.

We do not refer to our facility as a Residential Aged Care Facility or Nursing Home, rather, we have integrated supported living. We believe that this provides residents with greater dignity.

Our facility provides for a true community living environment, presenting more as luxury apartments or resort type accommodation centred within a growing suburban residential community. Beautiful garden settings, chemist, café with some grocery items, allied health services, medical centre, playground, hairdresser, postal and dry cleaning services are all open and utilised by the general public.

Residents of both the Village and Care Suites participate together in activities and provide each other with support and companionship.

Many technological services have been implemented to provide excellent staff/staff and staff/resident communications, allowing residents who would otherwise be restricted in a chair/bed close to a nurse call point, access to staff from anywhere in the facility or grounds. Staff also have the security of knowing other staff are accessible quickly via “hands free” systems.

Staff, having undertaken a specifically designed customer service training program, provide a high level of customer focused care and services in a strong team environment.

What we did
Strategic planning sessions, involving members of the Board, staff and community stakeholders, were held prior to and during the master planning stage of the development. Community feedback was sought via forums and survey forms to determine what services prospective residents were most interested in receiving. This information assisted us through all stages of the planning process to ensure most, if not all, suggestions were incorporated into the design. Members of the public were kept informed of proposed design and services via media such as television and newspapers as well as printed material via direct mail, throughout the planning stages.

The focus of this facility is on positive ageing, offering varied medical and allied health services on site to provide residents a range of professionals to promote a healthy lifestyle. 

Ground level includes reception, administration and amenities for residents, families and visitors to enjoy, with a café opening onto an outdoor eating area, our own allied health practice, a pharmacy, medical suite, hair salon, all easily accessed from adjacent parking areas while a walk through the function areas with a bar, library and chapel, will lead you to flourishing herb and raised garden beds and areas to relax and enjoy a barbeque.

Levels 1 and 2 of the main building house the care suites, designed with all services and amenities suitable for contemporary high care delivery. Levels 2 and 3 comprise 23 one and two bedroom apartments all compliant with current accreditation requirements, therefore allowing residents to remain within their own home, with partners if applicable, while receiving fully accredited care and services.

With respect for privacy and dignity of residents, innovative design features such as a breakfast bar within each kitchenette, allow choice and flexible meal times.

The building is equipped with a fully integrated communication system with Nurse Call, telephone and WiFi system which allows residents to talk directly to staff via the Vocera communications system through their nurse call speaker from anywhere within their room. Apartments also have been fitted with nurse call points in bedrooms and bathrooms. A Wireless Call bell system, worn on the wrist or around the neck, allows residents the freedom to enjoy outdoors with the security of knowing staff can be contacted if needed.

Bariatric specific rooms have been incorporated into the design with overhead lifting tracks, appropriate furniture and wider ensuites.

The villas and apartments offer an independent lifestyle, yet have been designed to meet ongoing care requirement with access to 24 hour Registered Nurses for emergency assistance. Provision has been made on each apartment level, with adequate space for storage of items such as cleaning and linen trolleys, lifting equipment and other essential stores in the event of residents requiring care.

The apartments are accessible by elevators and have been designed to be bright, spacious and functional with wide corridors, doorways and walkways, plenty of storage space, large bedrooms and balconies. This will allow for the adequate space to manoeuvre beds, lifters and other equipment safely.

Why we did it
As an organisation, we felt an approach was needed to allow residents who were still living within a retirement village to be able “age in place” without having to move from their home when and if their care needs changed, as was currently required under the existing retirement village model. Many residential aged care facilities are co-located within a retirement village, however, we felt an integrated approach would provide a more secure, caring setting.

Residents who were moving from a retirement village into a residential aged care setting, reported that they were more distressed at having to move from their home twice, once into the Village and again at a time when they were feeling vulnerable.

With changes under current reforms, Government is encouraging residents to remain within their own homes for as long as possible with the provision of different home care support packages. Our facility offers the best of both worlds with residents having the peace of mind that they will be surrounded by their friends, family and other members of the community in their time of need, provided with the security and provision of care and services as and when needed, as well as being in a familiar environment surrounded by their own possessions.

Who worked with us
A customer service training model was developed by an independent organisation to reflect our model of care and all staff undertake this training as part of orientation.

We engaged the services of consultants, experts in their field, to assist with the information technology implementation, aged care specific architects and builders, key stakeholders and members of the general public to ensure a project that was designed and constructed with features that provided a safe and pleasant environment for all who resided or worked within the facility. 

Community forums were held at various stages and strategic planning workshops were facilitated by an external consultant. We worked closely with Government departments, regional council and industry bodies from the early planning stages to completion.  General practitioners, residents and families were canvassed throughout for their feedback. 

One resident who was admitted into a studio apartment not long after the facility opened was receiving some services such as cleaning and meals.  As she deteriorated and family were growing concerned for her well-being, she transitioned into a fully funded RACS bed within her apartment and remains at home while receiving all care and services under residential care legislation.

What we learned
This model of care, along with the commitment by all staff to provide a more homelike, truly integrated community, has proven to be a desired place for residents. The care suites are now 100% occupied and currently only four apartments are still empty.

Results of recently completed resident/family and staff satisfaction surveys have shown 93% consider it a beautiful place to live.

David was already a resident of a facility prior to the completion of this facility and Irie, who is partially blind, was dependent on others to take her to visit - which happened on a daily basis. With both now residents of this new facility they have meals together and can relax with a glass of wine in Irie’s apartment. 

On their wedding anniversary staff arranged a breakfast, dressed David and took him in his evolution chair, complete with bunch of roses, knocked on the door and left them to a surprise romantic breakfast. This was the first time in a number of years that they were able to celebrate in comfort and encompasses the true model of care we are trying to achieve.

One resident has already made the transition from being an independent village resident to a fully funded care recipient while remaining in her own apartment. “Barbara” was initially a resident in a studio apartment, receiving meals and cleaning services into the apartment. Unfortunately, within a short period of time, Barbara became more and more frail and forgetful, requiring staff to assist with medication administration and some cares. After consultation with family, the seamless administrative transition into a fully funded bed was undertaken and now Barbara receives all care and services under the Quality of Care Principles 1997 (amended 01 August 2013) whilst still residing in her apartment. Barbara maintains her independence to the best of her ability with the knowledge that assistance is available whenever needed.  Feedback from family has been extremely positive with comments such as “Mum is so much more settled” and “we couldn’t have wished for a better outcome”.

This flexibility also allows couples the peace of mind in knowing they can remain together or at least remain on site to enjoy each other’s company.  One couple, in a recent television interview stated, “it has given us our life back”.  Other residents have also been able to receive assistance with medication, wounds, personal care and housekeeping while staying within their independent unit with the security of knowing assistance is at a press of a button.

Staff satisfaction is very high with 98% of staff stating they are happy with their working environment. With state of the art communication systems, modern equipment and resources, focus on customer service and teamwork as well as a bright, open and tastefully decorated working environment, workplace health and safety incidents have been very low, with only a small number of minor incidents reported since opening.  

Electronic systems implemented throughout all departments i.e. nursing with documentation and medication administration; catering with menu planning and food ordering; maintenance with faults and preventative maintenance, as well as a facility wide integrated communication system, have improved efficiency throughout the whole organisation.

We are comparing data with our other facility to identify any improvements at either site that could be implemented.  One area of improvement to date has been to review the menu and improve food services to both sites. All production cooking is undertaken at the new site with food being transported to the other, larger site. This involved a total review of all processes, additional training of staff and major refurbishment to the receiving kitchen.

During the process we endeavoured to cause minimal disruption, now after all works have been completed and the new process has been fully implemented, resident satisfaction with meals has increased.

With the completion of the major project, refurbishment of our existing site is currently underway. The availability of empty beds at the new facility enabled residents to be moved across temporarily to allow construction to take place without disruption to resident care and services.

More information on this program:
Raelene Phillips, , or phone (07) 4965 4400

Friday, 21 December 2018 - 6:50am