Whiddon's MyLife Model of Care Awarded Two Prestigious Accolades

The Whiddon Group have been caring for older Australians across metropolitan, regional, rural and remote New South Wales and Queensland for more than 70 years. Whiddon is a large not-for-profit organisation providing residential aged care, in-home care and retirement living services to more than 2000 residents and clients. Whiddon’s approach to care has always been directed by the wishes and needs of our residents and clients, and supporting them to be as independent as possible. This means offering a holistic approach to care and a great deal more than quality clinical care. Enabling them to stay connected to the people, interests and communities that they love is what really makes the ageing journey a good one.


Whiddon have recently been recognised with two prestigious accolades for their new relationship based model of care, MyLife, and its impact on the wellbeing and quality of life for their residents.


Whiddon was listed in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Innovative Companies ANZ for 2018 and awarded a Better Practice National Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Award by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, for the design, implementation and proven benefits to residents and clients of Whiddon’s new MyLife relationship based care approach.


Whiddon CEO, Mr Chris Mamarelis welcomed the news of the awards and said that the accolades are a reflection of the forward thinking work of the wider Whiddon team, but also a great achievement for the wider aged care industry.


Whiddon 1 Better Practice 2018

Whiddon staff Karn Nelson and Vicky Coumbe accept the “National Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Award” from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency at the Better Practice National Conference awards ceremony in Sydney.

“Recognition by The Australian Financial Review and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency through these awards, within the space of a few months, has been outstanding for our organisation. They recognise the incredible work our people perform each and every day to make a genuine difference to the lives of those we care for.”


“Our care philosophy has always been based on a belief that personal growth and meaningful activity is possible, regardless of age and frailty, and we’ve always offered programs to enable this. The launch of our new model of care, MyLife, which integrates care for social, emotional and physical needs, has provided us with the opportunity to ensure a consistent and holistic approach to care and create true cultural change.”


“I am delighted that the work of our teams across our organisation in delivering exceptional outcomes for our residents and clients, has once again been recognised,” Mr Mamarelis said.


Whiddon Executive General Manager Strategy and Innovation, Karn Nelson, who worked on the design and evaluation of the program, said the award speaks to Whiddon’s commitment to empowering and engaging residents, clients and families to be true partners in their care.


“Relationship based care aims to put residents and families at the heart of their care, and allows our staff to go above and beyond to find ways to keep them connected and participating in the things that matter most to them.”


“The MyLife model has helped staff to understand the people they care for on a much deeper level, even if they felt they already knew them well. Through a major retraining program for all staff, new processes and initiatives such as All About Me and Best Week, we have seen incredible outcomes. Residents have achieved lifelong goals they may have never thought possible like riding a motorbike at 99, or going fishing again after a gap of 30 years, renewing past passions and reconnecting with family members and their communities,” Ms Nelson said.


Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Most Innovative Companies ANZ

Recognised for the second consecutive year in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Innovative Companies in Australia and New Zealand, Whiddon was named 46th on the list this year, the highest ranked not-for-profit organisation and the only aged care provider in the top 50.


Better Practice National Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Award

The Better Practice Awards recognise providers who demonstrate leading edge, innovative practices in aged care that represent ‘excellence’. The Whiddon Group were recently awarded the “National Innovation and Excellence in Aged Care Award” by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency for their new MyLife relationship based care approach. Whiddon was just one of three organisations to be recognised with this coveted award at the Better Practice National Conference awards ceremony in Sydney on the 23rd of August 2018. Whiddon also won a Better Practice Award in 2016 for the HenPower trial in residential aged care.


MyLife Model of Care

MyLife is Whiddon’s new relationship-based model of care which sees staff truly getting to know residents by finding out what matters most to them through a major retraining program that enables and empowers them to build strong personal relationships. Three key elements to implementing relationship based care were identified – continuity of staffing, greater personal connection and meaningful activity. MyLife Buddies (focus carers), were allocated to each resident to develop the relationship, partner with family and advocate for the resident to other staff.


Through an All About Me process, care staff learn about the people they care for by identifying life stories, gaining knowledge of what is important for each resident and client as individuals with their unique and rich lives and experiences.


The stories that we find out through All About Me, and the things that our care staff learn, encourage staff to go above and beyond in suggesting and making things happen for our residents, that they know will make a difference for each resident, and tap into their history. So many of our residents have wonderful stories – for example, one resident used to chauffer the Beatles and another was the first female racehorse strapper in Australia!


Building on All About Me, Best Week is a new way of introducing really tailored and meaningful activity into the life of residents and brings it to life for them. Every quarter, each resident gets a week that is completely tailored to them, helping them to make their wishes come true by achieving personal goals, reliving old hobbies, or ticking off items that may be on their wish list. These can be smaller goals like going swimming at the local pools, or taking a fishing trip, to more ambitious goals that people may not think possible for people with high care needs living in residential aged care, such as going on a holiday or riding a horse again.


The MyLife model of care has been rolled out across all 27 Whiddon residential and community care services.


Whiddon 2 Ron Bethany Reg and co in the jeep

Whiddon residents having the time of their life on their MyLife “Best Week” adventure!