The future of aged-care facilities and how they can prepare
According to the Victorian Government, it’s expected that by 2050, 27% of Victorians will be older than 60 years — up from the current 21%. This increase is sure to drive a demand for aged-care facilities that can provide and support those who require care.
Planning for the future can be a tricky and tiresome task no matter what industry or facility you’re in. A recent example of change involves adapting the new quality standards released earlier this year, which are structured so that aged-care providers only have to meet those standards that are relevant to the type of care and services they provide and the environment in which the services are delivered.
Planning and execution
Even though an exact picture of the future may not be available, identifying the key factors that drive change will enable aged-care facilities to decide on an end goal. Having a plan in place is the first key element — to identify goals that aged-care facilities want to achieve in the future. The onus is on the facilities to ask the correct questions and determine the right conditions to put a plan in place to be followed, adjusted and executed.
As a passionate aged-care professional, Anthony Heslop, State Manager of Infinite Aged Care, South Australia, believes “it is the responsibility of those working in aged-care facilities to plan the best action for care and push the boundaries to deliver a service that is truly focused on the wellbeing of the resident.”
The benefits of flexibility
Being flexible is another key component for aged-care facilities, as the ability to adapt to changes swiftly and positively allows for seamless care and productivity for residents and staff. Staff flexibility within the working environment allows decision-makers to work around schedules and processes according to the needs of residents. Furthermore, according to research from The University of Adelaide, working in the sector is rewarding, socially important and valued for flexible work arrangements that allow staff to combine work and life responsibilities.
For residents, flexibility on tasks such as the time they get up, go outdoors and go to sleep provides some control over their day-to-day activities. Being open to providing flexible options and processes will help aged-care facilities have better clarity on how they manage staff and residents in the future and will assist in creating a harmonious atmosphere for everyone.
The implementation process of any new plan or product is a crucial element to be considered for the future of aged-care facilities. With regards to a product launch, if an aged-care facility decides to trial a new product moving away from traditional mopping to a microfibre system, it’s important that facility managers trial the product at all stages of implementation, receive feedback on the product and fine-tune any issues or concerns staff may have.
When discussing the topic of product implementation, Anthony Heslop said, “The journey from idea to adoption is not a quick journey, [particularly for] an organisation that does not have a dedicated resource. For this reason, a product trial is vital for a business. All of the hard work, planning and trialling a product means nothing if implementation fails.”
Taking this into consideration, it’s important to remember that implementation does not finish once a product has been rolled out across a facility. In order for a product to be successful, facilities require ongoing support from their distributor or point of contact.
With a growing demand for improved lifestyles, aged-care facilities face higher expectations than ever before to provide superior services and amenities. As baby boomers begin entering aged-care facilities, they will expect to be able to fund a standard of living similar to one of their independent years. Moreover, they will expect aged-care facilitates to plan for their future, be flexible and follow an implementation process that caters to their needs.
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