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Lutheran Church of Australia - Queensland District

Union Street Toombul QLD

Living Life in Aged Care 

Zion Lutheran Home

Residential - Metropolitan - 80 beds/Consumers or more

Award descriptors:

  • Consumer engagement and/or co-design
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Leadership and culture

Developing and applying The Living Life in Aged Care program to place the resident’s life and community activities at the heart of the service delivery model.

About this program

The Living Life in Aged Care program was developed to place the resident's life and community activities at the heart of the service delivery model. This shifts service provision from a medical/care needs driver to a lifestyle driver. The basis of this program shifts decision making to the Resident - who can control their own life choices through being offered a wide range of activities that they choose, that enable them to stay connected, involved and in control.

The supporting model of care reflects a resident-focused approach emphasising flexibility and a "yes" culture. This is essential to enable residents to maintain a level of autonomy even in an environment where they may have significant physical and/or cognitive impairment.

Developing and applying this approach over the last four years has resulted in a significant cultural change across the site, impacting on every area of the aged care service. A key aspect of this change has been the mutual valuing of all the people at the service regardless of their role including: Resident, Visitor, Family Member, Nurse, Carer, Cleaner, Kitchen Hand, Chef, Laundry person, maintenance, chaplain, administration, managers etc.

Everyone has a voice, and an opportunity and an acceptance to put forward ideas, complaints, concerns, and compliments, with assurance they will be addressed under a framework of "customer value co-creation" " and "person-centred approach which underpin the service’s ethos. An open door policy practiced by all the management team supports this approach.

The program has been successful, along with the introduction of pets, in creating a working "family" environment that places the Resident in the middle as a valued and revered family member. Residents live very diverse lives with access to large range of activities within the home and the community that they participate in and often facilitate. Encouraging connections with family, church and all social connections has broadened this community significantly. Usually decided by Residents there are frequent trips to movie theatres, cafes, restaurants, museums and cultural displays.

An emphasis on offering creative arts within the home is significant in creating connections with those who may not be able to enjoy some of the external activities. An Art, Music & Dance Therapist supports the more traditional site-based activities such as concerts, bingo, quizzes, which many residents continue to enjoy. The service has a Lifestyle team, with tertiary qualifications to support the requirement to assess, trial, evaluate and implement Resident's ideas. Activities are reviewed regularly by Resident groups and altered to support new ideas or waning interest. Residents are encouraged to facilitate groups to pass on their knowledge to others. We have successfully taken six Residents on a three-day cruise in 2016 and are about to embark on another three day cruise in April 2017 for Residents who wish to participate. This reflects the "yes" culture, where extensive research was conducted to overcome what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles. This enabled residents to participate and enjoy something that they never thought they could do.

More information about this program

Gaye O'Connor at or call (07) 3266 5911

Friday, 21 December 2018 - 6:33am