Anglican Care's Lifestyle Resource Van 'Rene'
Anglican Care have been providing aged care services for 60 years and today care for over 1200 residents and consumers through a number of care and support options including Residential Aged Care, Home Care and Retirement Villages in the Newcastle, Central Coast, Taree, Bulahdelah and Mid Coast regions of NSW.
Anglican Care were recently awarded the honour of a Better Practice Award by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency for developing and running a unique mobile lifestyle and well-being resource service called the Lifestyle Resource Van (LRV).
Our Lifestyle & Wellbeing Programs
Anglican Care is committed to the provision of ‘excellent care and enhanced lifestyles’ to its consumers and residents. Our innovative and award winning lifestyle and wellbeing programs aim to support and enhance the social, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of our consumers and residents. Our goal is to assist seniors to maximise their independence and support them to remain active, healthy and socially connected and this is embedded throughout our organisation.
Our Lifestyle and Wellbeing staff plan and deliver stimulating lifestyle and wellbeing programs that enhance the care we provide and promote quality of life, pleasure, enjoyment and positive ageing. Programs are based on the individual interests and needs of our consumers and residents. Our staff undertake a comprehensive assessment with all of our new consumers and residents in consultation with families, carers and volunteers. This assessment takes into consideration a person’s past/current interests, cultural and religious background, their sense of identity and life experiences.
About the Van
The Lifestyle Resource Van (LRV) is a modern twist on a mobile library. Anglican Care residents and consumers are able to borrow items that provide them with additional means to enhance their lifestyles.
The LRV concept was developed to help with the continuing need to provide innovative ways to achieve positive social, cognitive, physical, sensory, behavioural and spiritual outcomes to residents and consumers across the organisation.
The van is equipped with items including large print reading books and other literature, DVD’s, board and floor games, knitting, music and art therapy items, together with information technology items such as iPads.
The wide ranging nature of resources means the van is able to assist many people; from those with a dementia related illness to those who may be socially isolated. It also has resources to cater for people from different cultural backgrounds via communication cards and links with interpreting/translating services.
The LRV is a free service and operates on a rotating roster visiting Anglican Care’s residential aged care facilities, travelling to each site enabling residents to borrow resources through a specific ‘library style’ system. The LRV also visits people in the community who have been identified as needing the additional support the van can provide, together with Anglican Care’s retirement living residents.
Why we did it
The LRV was operationalised following an exploration of consumer/resident needs, assessment of the evidence base and a range of internal quality processes, including focus groups, consumer/carer surveys and informal staff and volunteer feedback. Agency specific processes and tools, based on the internationally accepted Project Management Body of Knowledge, in conjunction with our Incident Reporting System have been used to develop, plan and implement the LRV service.
An initial search of the published evidence base discovered that the concept of a mobile lifestyle and wellbeing resource service was a unique idea to the aged care industry. There are examples of mobile or satellite healthcare delivery programs, providing an outreach service to certain population groups, such as those living in rural and remote areas, or those at risk of homelessness who are unable – or less likely – to access mainstream services.
Additionally, it is well documented that with Australians living longer, and more elderly people choosing to remain living at home, combating social isolation and loneliness is an increasing challenge. This is exacerbated with older Australians also more likely to live on their own, as evidenced by Census data.
The LRV project was developed following extensive stakeholder consultation, involving managers and consumers. Discussions were also held with external industry experts, including aged and disability service providers, local councils and software companies. This consultation process was used to guide the purchase of the vehicle, lending software and resource products for the project.
The LRV was initially piloted with one residential aged care home together with community and home care consumers and an evaluation undertaken by Dr Jane Sims. The evaluation was guided by a population health framework called RE-AIM. Following the successful evaluation of the pilot including positive feedback from users a decision was made to implement the program across the organisation.
Anglican Care have presented the Lifestyle Resource Van initiative at the following Conferences:
- Total Aged Services Dementia and Community Care Conference in Melbourne - May 2017
- Better Practice Conference 2017 in Sydney - August 2017
- AAG National Conference 2017 in Perth - November 2017
To watch a short documentary on the development and implementation of Anglican Care’s ‘Rene’ click here.
Jane Meldrum, Lifestyle & Wellbeing Coordinator