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Better Together - Aged Care

06 Aug 2013

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“We are delighted to receive HESTA’s prestigious award and be recognised for an innovative program that makes it possible for residents to be independent, embraces choice and encourages more interaction between staff and residents,” says Wahroonga Team Leader, Mary Fromberger.

“It’s a tremendous honour for the Wahroonga team and Australian Unity,” Mary said.

Residents electing to take part in the pilot program were relocated out of traditional aged care accommodation and moved into the Cottage—a self-sufficient, remodelled 18-bed section of the facility where the 12-month trial is underway.

Residents wake up at a time of their choosing, decide what they want to have for breakfast and sit anywhere they like at the dining table; they can eat breakfast in the living room while watching television, and talk to staff if they choose.

“It’s uplifting to see the residents who previously spent most of their time on their own in their bedrooms, now spend more of the day in the living area, enjoying conversations with staff and other residents.

“Wahroonga Aged Care staff have seen the benefits of the relaxed, home-style environment. The Better Together model gives staff more time to get to know the residents which make them feel as if they’re caring for their families, rather than working, resulting in higher staff satisfaction,” Mary explains.

Helen Jones, Australian Unity Retirement Living General Manager Strategy and Service Development, says Australian Unity is keen to create a living environment for residents that feels cosier and a place where they feel they have more control, so we want to do whatever we can to help them be the best they can be through this innovative model of care.

“The outcomes of the Better Together Cottage trial will help shape our future building design and roll out to new aged care projects. It will also inform the aged care service model for our flagship development project in Carlton, Melbourne—Rathdowne Place, an innovative wellbeing precinct—which is poised to be one of Australia’s largest inner city retirement and aged care developments,” Helen says.

The HESTA Aged Care Awards recognises national excellence in a wide range of professions and skills in the aged care sector. The winners of the awards were announced at an awards dinner in Sydney on 4 August 2013. Wahroonga Aged Care received a $10,000 development grant to put towards their initiative.

To learn more about the awards visit

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