Princes Court - Honoured with LASA’s Prestigious “Organisation Award”
Princes Court is an independent not-for-profit community owned organisation and has been part of the rural North West Victorian community for more than 61 years. Princes Court offers a wide range of services including independent living, residential, respite, dementia and palliative care. The facility provides a home for 100 residents and approximately 76 retirees across our 55 lifestyle retirement units.
Princes Court was recently honoured with the prestigious LASA “Organisation Award” for our innovative and engaging programs including the Mallee’s Living Histories Project and a partnership with the Mildura English Language Centre at the VIC/TAS LASA Excellence in Age Services Awards in Albury. The award recognises an age services provider who has made an outstanding contribution to care and services development or provision of high level support to the aged by demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence. Princes Court were also co-recipients of the LASA “Team Award” along with 3 other local providers including Chaffey Aged Care, Jacaranda Village and Murray House. The collaborative team initiatives focused on enhancing the lives of older people in North West Victoria and included a partnership with Sunraysia Institute of TAFE to provide leadership training for our staff.
“We were just so humbled to receive the award, especially being from a regional area. We were pleased to stand next to Jacaranda Village as finalist, and we were up against some of the larger metropolitan based organisations who have multiple outlets and facilities,” said Jenny Garonne, Princes Court Chief Executive Officer.
“It was terrific for the organisation and the staff to be recognised for the contribution to care and the service that we provide, and in addition to that, we were also the recipients of the ‘Collaborative Team Award’, which we shared with Chaffey Aged Care, Jacaranda Village and Murray House”, Ms Garonne said.
“The Team Award highlighted the success we have achieved is collaboration through initiating an innovative leadership course. We were determined through working together, and that's proving to be very worthwhile and it demonstrates that together we could achieve increased scale and create a better, more specific aged care program. This was the first time that LASA had received an entry from a collective of aged care organisations”, Ms Garonne said.
Princes Court is a community bonded by a belief that everyone deserves to feel happy, safe, valued and respected. Our residents are supported to create a life that is truly theirs. Their abilities and differences are celebrated and they are encouraged to pursue their interests, maintain their independence, stay active and connect with others in ways they feel comfortable.
The foundation of our facility is the excellent and committed staff, valued for their contribution to the lives of the people we serve. We work with staff to understand their needs and offer flexibility and advancement through personal development, ensuring we have an engaged, enthusiastic and passionate team who provide the best environment for our residents.
Programs Making a Difference:
“Passion, positivity, innovation and linking multiple aspects of the local community in creative ways” is the cornerstone of how we continually enrich the lives of our residents, for example:
Connection with Mildura English Language Centre students;
11-14 year old refugee children visit regularly with their senior partner to practice the English language in create ways. Together with residents they play games, collaborate in activities including gardening and cooking, and read. Some children visit out of school hours to maintain the strong bonds formed with their Australian “grandparents”. One young girl stated “I like coming here as they help us and we help them and when I read to them, I pretend I am reading to my grandmother as I probably won’t see her again - she is in Pakistan”.
To show people they are valued, let them tell you their story;
The “Mallee’s Living Histories” project illustrates that residents are individuals, have led diverse lives and have enriched stories. Through their connection with volunteer writers, new and renewed friendships were forged in recounting living histories of soldier settlements and irrigation settlements far from the metropolitan areas. Surprising moments were recounted amid laughter and companionship, more often in the community coffee shop where a lifetime of living, past and present were shared. The impact on resident’s wellbeing is being measured and studied by Monash Rural Health. The 400-page published book, containing 15 individual stories, was successfully launched on 10 February 2020, with over 180 community members coming together to celebrate the publication.
Respect & Integrity:
As an overt example of demonstrating respect for residents, we seek opportunities for their participation in a range of operational and decision making processes such as residents participating in interview panels for prospective staff, in nominating “staff of month awards”, by forming food tasting committees and by continually providing opportunities to seek feedback and suggestions for improvement.
Regular meetings with residents, families and staff are held as Princes Court seeks to ensure multiple opportunities for feedback. This requires creating a safe, kind and empathic environment and is underpinned with a high level of professionalism and fairness and is assisted by ongoing training opportunities for staff, regular education and briefing sessions, and seeking external expertise when required.
Regular “cup of tea and scone meetings” are held with residents, families and leadership staff in each of the dedicated units. This builds confidence, empowers residents and families and builds ongoing trusting relationships in a genuine culture of openness, understanding and respect.
“It is really about the staff their passion, commitment and the caring that they bring to their roles in providing the best in care for our residents,” Ms Garonne said.
“They often go out of their way to be able to support our residents. It’s about respecting our residents, understanding that they are valued members of our society and we need to ensure that they continue to be connected to the community, and in turn, that the community is connected to us. Through sharing time and understanding, we can all live enriched lives as a result.” Ms Garonne said.
Quality & Accreditation:
Prince Court successfully achieved 42 out of 42 requirements of the new Aged Care Quality Standards in a rare 100% success rate in reaccreditation in January 2020. In response to receiving this news, Amanda Fieldhouse, Principal Consultant Residential Aged Care, LASA stated, “The love, and commitment shown by the Princes Court team to your residents is palpable. It’s been a privilege working with you all.”
This result was achieved through consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral principles, values and ethics which are underpinned by a demonstrably vibrant culture of caring, consistency, consultation and improvement in all areas of service delivery.
“Organisations such as QPS Benchmarking has allowed the facility to improve decision-making through understanding how we compare to other aged care facilities and then implementing action for continuous improvement. One area in particular that contributed to our success was the 100% compliance received as a result of our recent reaccreditation process. The benchmarking information was seen by the quality assessors as a positive management tool and assisted to prove our quality governance stance”, Ms Garonne said.
New Developments & Innovative Initiatives:
Dedication to improving the lives of Princes Court residents is omnipresent. In considering the housing, medical and recreational needs for the next generations of an aging population, early in 2019, Princes Court engaged specialist consultants and architects to design future buildings and grounds. Development will ensure the new facility meets the needs of future generations of elderly and others requiring assisted living. Also, our current residents have been excited with the $220,000 investment in refurbishment and improvements to existing lounges, kitchens, bathrooms, gardens, lighting and information technology.
Seeking ways to continually expand community involvement and ensure a culture which seeks to embrace change and diversity is paramount. Princes Court has appointed a community liaison officer to explore innovative programs through schools and community groups, developing connections that will provide companionship, stimulation, sharing of experiences, music and outings.