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Anglicare Chesalon Beecroft (NSW)

Beecroft Rd, Beecroft, NSW

5 Magic Minutes

Metropolitan - Residential - 30 - 79 beds/ Consumers

Award descriptors

  • Dementia care
  • Social participation and lifestyle
  • Workforce development

Improving communication and person-centred care through initiatives such as providing resident profile cards with information on personal background, musical preferences and interests.

About the program

  • The Eulogy is too late to find out information about the residents!
  • Communication is a 2 way process.
  • In aged care it is the simple things that often have the most impact on our residents each day.  Imagine if our residents were to receive 5 minutes of “magic” from each member of staff, what a better day it would be for them.

Staff reflection of existing systems highlighted a gap where resident information was not readily accessible throughout the home without using a computer or asking other staff.

A simple, cost effective system was proposed.  With an increasing part-time and casual workforce, increased volunteers, and staff from non-English speaking backgrounds, coupled with an increasing number of residents with dementia, we needed a system to provide individualised information about residents to enable meaningful and dignified communication.

Thus, the 5 Magic Minutes project was born.

5 Magic Minutes was established, trialled and evaluated and extended throughout the home.   An initial trial with profile cards containing key information about residents, including personalised music tastes was attached to their walkers or chairs, or in a common area for mobile residents. 

Formal staff training was conducted to explain the project philosophy and how to use the tool.  Staff were guided to discover how information from the tool could be used to gain insights into resident behaviours, which in turn could inform opportunities for non-pharmacological interventions.

The project team leader had regular contact with the staff on the floor to promote and encourage the staff and volunteers on how to use the tool most effectively.  Resident families were most supportive and we achieved 100% participation rate.  Phone calls made to the families about this project also lead to other positive outcomes such as numerous donations to our Reminiscence Room.

Concurrently, as part of the 5 Magic Minutes project we explored the use of personalised music as one of the criteria on the profile card.  This proved to be exceptionally successful.  Volunteer school group input into this project lead to “music equipment drives” which resulted in donations of equipment.

Care without communication is like hotel care.  In order to provide a more holistic approach to care and enable residents to retain and maintain a sense of self-worth and belonging, we have demonstrated that much can be achieved in the way we communicate and enable communication opportunities for our residents.  This may include the creation of a supportive social environment in which we can enable residents to continue to communicate, maintain relationships and be socially included, despite declining capabilities. 

5 Magic Minutes is innovative, maximising time and resources.  It is empowering, it reduces isolation and ultimately impacts the overall wellbeing and quality of life of residents. This project whilst simple has the power to directly impact each resident in the home each day.

More information on this program: 

Sharyn Cumming at or call (02) 9869 0505.

Friday, 21 December 2018 - 6:17am