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Finalists announced for LASA 2021 innovAGEING Awards

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innovAGEING and its foundation partners the Commonwealth Bank and KPMG Australia, have announced the finalists for the 2021 innovAGEING National Awards.

The organisation finalists in the six categories are:

  • Age Services Innovator of the Year Award: Cameron van den Dungen (Sleeptite), Natasha Chadwick (New Direction Care), Prue Densley (St Vincent’s Care Services with RateIT), Ruth Falconer (BallyCara)
  • Enhancing Consumer Experience: Anglicare and Playgroup NSW, Dementia Australia, Motefiore, New Direction Care, St Vincent’s Care Services and Griffith University
  • Improving Consumer Choice: BallyCara, Blackall Tange Care Group, Embracia QLD and Person Centred Software, The IRT Group, Mercer
  • Increasing Access to Care and Services: Brotherhood of St Laurence, Cabanda Care and Rauland, Dementia Australia, Signature Care, Tanunda Luthern Home
  • Increasing Care and Productivity: Bethanie, Hayylo and Chorus, Just Better Care, LiveBetter and Risk Managed, Western District Health Services with South West TAFE, Herd Mentality and Start beyond
  • Realising Wellness and Reablement: ECH, Membo Noticeboard, Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC), Bolton Clarke

Merlin Kong, head of innovAGEING, congratulated this year’s finalists, saying it is ‘inspiring to see their incredible work in the service of older Australians’.

Enhancing Consumer Experience Award finalist, Anglicare and Playgroup NSW have enjoyed great success with their Timeless Play: Connect program.

“The calibre and number of entries this year has been excellent, and it’s especially great to see this given the challenging 20 months everyone in the age services has experienced,” Kong said.

Now in its third year, the innovAGEING Awards are a highlight of the age services sector, and continue to provide a credible platform for age services innovators to be recognised and celebrated.

“We have a dynamic sector constantly innovating, and developing practical novel solutions,” Kong said.

“Many of this year’s finalist cohort had a business model innovation focus and/or staffing focus.

“There’s now a visible sophistication to how we as a sector are innovating, and it’s clear that successful innovations aren’t just solely about technology, design, or commercial imperatives alone.

“In the present reform climate, as we look to developing new advances for older Australians, lasting innovation is a multi-dimensional endeavour that takes into consideration all organisational aspects.

“If you’re not delivering change, you’re probably supporting someone who is.

innovAGEING is the national network for the age services industry, funded by the Federal Government.

Realising Wellness and Reablement Award Finalist, ECH and their Dandelion care hotel provides a similar experience to a hotel stay.

Its network includes providers, suppliers, researchers, consumer groups, investors and public sector agencies, coming together to accelerate innovation, translate ideas into action and deliver better outcomes for older Australians.

Kong said innovAGEING’s role is to showcase innovation in the sector, share this across the country, and be a steward of the sector’s innovation ecosystem.

“Innovation is integral to everything we do in scalling organisational scale excellence, transformation, and designing and implementing person-led services,” he said.

“Thanks to the hard work and courage of those in our sector, we see proof that we’re ever closer to being a world leader in better ageing through our national awards.”

Winners will be announced at a virtual awards at 6pm AEDT on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

To attend the final awards ceremony, interested parties can fill out the registration form here, and will later receive an invitation to attend.

Details of innovAGEING National Awards Finalists

Innovator of the Year

  • Cameron van den Dungen, Sleeptite for his sector co-design work in developing REMi, a ‘safety net’ technology that is virtually undetectable to consumers, and able to provide the support carers to prioritise services, regardless of whether the consumer was utilising a residential aged care or an ageing in place model.
  • Natasha Chadwick, New Direction Care for her work in developing a facility that centres on an inclusive village-like community known as a MICRO TOWN®, where people live together with shared facilities allowing mutual support, freedom of movement, and choice, all in a familiar home-like atmosphere.
  • Prue Densley, St Vincent’s Care Services for her leadership in utilising technology to ensure service continuity, maintain consumer experience, and that staff and residents were safe and connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ruth Falconer, BallyCare for spearheading her organisation’s Creative Engagement art therapy program fostering multi-modal environments in which people feel safe and supported to create as a community and as individuals.

Enhancing Consumer Experience

  • Anglicare and Playgroup NSW for their collaboration with Apple to create a virtual intergenerational play program called Timeless Play: Connects, where elders joined with 3-6-year-olds and their carers to learn and connect with each other, thus increasing digital literacy, and providing valuable social interaction and developmental play experiences.
  • Dementia Australia for their Post-Diagnostic Support (PDS) Program, which provides support for people who have recently been diagnosed with dementia, their families and carers — reducing the time it takes to diagnose dementia and increasing the number of people accessing support.
  • Montefiore for their Engagement Plan initiative, ensuring consumers were kept engaged and mentally fit the pandemic and beyond by focusing on resident well-being, positive mental health, and engagement via a structured plan of multidisciplinary team involvement.
  • New Direction Care (NDC) for their work in reimagining aged care through a resident-centred, de-institutionalised model, and where success is not measured by revenue and profitability, but by the changes NDC has made to the lives of residents and their families.
  • St Vincent’s Care Services and Griffith University for their collaboration in designing and implementing the Biography Project, a service to aged care residents that addresses both the loneliness and isolation experienced during such an unpredictable time (COVID-19), and to enhance their quality of life.

Improving Consumer Choice

  • BallyCara for their Wellness program offering many wellness activities not typically funded in residential aged care, and through business model innovation, are able to provide continuity of self-directed care for those transitioning from HomeCare to Residential Care with the organisation, and maintaining connection to local community.
  • Blackall Range Care Group for their expansion of technology-driven services during COVID-19 to keep residents and their families connected, and their investment in digital literacy to help clients and staff to take advantage of digital tools.
  • Embracia QLD and Person Centred Software for their work in supporting staff meet an ever-growing workload, enabling them to instead focus on delivering high quality, personalised care to residents. Equally, for allowing residents and/or their representatives to be actively involved in planning care and have access to their own information.
  • The IRT Group for establishing Jasmine Grove an innovative, collaborative housing community, providing independent living for older single women who want to feel connected, while also addressing three major societal challenges: social isolation, housing affordability and economic disadvantage being faced by women over the age of 55.
  • Mercer for their CaLM self-help portal, a digitally-enabled, human-supported service designed to help older Australians and their families plan, implement, and monitor arrangements for their ageing care and living needs provided as a benefit through an employer, superannuation fund or other consumer-oriented organisation.

Increasing Access to Care and Services

  • Brotherhood of St Laurence for their philanthropically funded Critical Interim Support program to support vulnerable and socially isolated older Victorians who are unable to engage with the formal aged care assessment process and are left without support, thus addressing a fundamental gap in the aged care system.
  • Cabanda Care and Rauland for their work in improving clinical workflow and response times by reducing alarm noise and associated alarm fatigue experienced by staff, improve staff response times to resident calls, and create a peaceful living environment for residents and their families.
  • Dementia Australia for their Dementia Carer Wellbeing Program to empower carers of people living with dementia with strategies and complimentary services that support the improvement of their health and wellbeing outcomes.
  • Signature Care for their Connecting Families mobile app, whereby families can receive updates as to their loved one’s participation in lifestyle activities and socialisation within the home (including photos) as well as GP and allied health visitations, thus providing service design and delivery transparency.
  • Tanunda Lutheran Home for their initiative to employ an embedded pharmacist as part of its clinical team to help manage the ever increasingly complex medication related requirements that many other RACFs are facing daily.

Increasing Care and Service Productivity

  • Bethanie for their development of a wound care dashboard, which itemises the process details for correct wound care measures alongside staff compliance in a real-time visual output. As a result of this initiative, clients receive accurate, targeted wound analysis and care without a corresponding strain on staffing.
  • Hayylo and Chorus for their mobile app to empower care support staff, and foster improved communication and understanding between clients and staff. This initiative led to the implementation of Australia’s first true Buurtzorg model of care.
  • Just Better Care (JBC) for their My JBC app enabling staff to access everything they need form one app. Previously, staff had to log into four different systems, with different logins and passwords, to access the information they needed for the care of their clients.
  • LiveBetter and Risk Managed for their work in supporting manual handling safety and efficiency, and innovative training delivery. In turn, staff can get the personal care services done so they can focus on support that is meaningful to the client.
  • Western District Health Services, South West TAFE, Herd Mentality, and Start Beyond for their Dementia Micro-credentials program with virtual reality experiences to improve their ability to respond to complex situations, and manage difficult conversations with improved soft skills, empathy and understanding.

 Realising Wellness and Reablement

  • ECH for their Dandelion care hotel concept to scale short-term services in a more economical way compared to delivery in the home, but still delivered in a home-like environment to avoid hospital admission where possible. Dandelion provides a similar experience to a hotel stay, with a range of choices available and the freedom and independence to access required services.
  • Membo Noticeboard for their direct-to-consumer model to help carers and families with elders in the delivery of additional services eg clinical services, showering etc, by keeping them fully informed – Who, What, When and Why.   
  • Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) for their Short-Term Restorative Care program that aims to reverse (or slow) the functional decline of older adults, which includes understanding of client goals, and regular weekly multidisciplinary meetings to inform care plan modifications and service progression.
  • Bolton Clarke for their My Wellness Plan initiative, which shifts the focus from being centred on a person’s limitations and challenges, to empowering them to take an active role in their own reablement and wellness journey.
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