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Aged care excellence acknowledged as winners of 2021 innovAGEING National Awards announced

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NewDirection Care Bellmere made history on Friday night, becoming the first organisation to win two awards in the same year at the prestigious 2021 innovAGEING National Awards.

NewDirection Care won the Enhancing Consumer Experience award and the company’s CEO and founder Natasha Chadwick, pictured above, was this year’s Age Services Innovator of the Year Award recipient.

Chadwick said she was honoured to receive national recognition for the success of her vision to build an inclusive village-like community known as a MICRO TOWN®.

Innovation is the only way forward if we want to improve aged care in the future … It’s not only up to aged care providers to innovate and I call now on our Government and the Quality Commission to join us on our journey to innovate and transform our aged care industry.

Age Services Innovator of the Year Award recipient, Natasha Chadwick

“Innovation is the only way forward if we want to improve aged care in the future,” she said.

“As I highlighted in my acceptance speech, it’s not only up to aged care providers to innovate and I call now on our Government and the Quality Commission to join us on our journey to innovate and transform our aged care industry.”

Chadwick also paid tribute to her team and the residents at NewDirection Care.

“These awards are also testament to the work achieved by our team … and our wonderful community of residents,” she said.

From a village-like community, to de-institutionalising age services, innovative manual handling training delivery, and a care hotel to avoid hospital admission, head of innovAGEING, Merlin Kong, said this year’s winners highlight an exciting range of ingenuity and resourceful creativity to make ageing better.

“This is a true celebration of what is creative, impactful and good in our sector,” Kong said while announcing this year’s winners.

“Year-on-year, we’ve had impressive finalist cohorts for the innovAGEING National Awards, and this year’s winners were selected from a remarkable list of practical applications.

“Their success means better care and services for older Australians, and sustainability for our sector.”

Year-on-year, we’ve had impressive finalist cohorts for the innovAGEING National Awards, and this year’s winners were selected from a remarkable list of practical applications. Their success means better care and services for older Australians, and sustainability for our sector.

Head of innovAGEING, Merlin Kong

The individual and organisation winners are:

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.

Increasing Care and Service Productivity: 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.

Increasing Access to Care and Services: 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.

Age Services Innovator of the Year Award: Natasha Chadwick, NewDirection 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.

Enhancing Consumer Experience: NewDirection 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.

Improving Consumer Choice: 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.

It is critical that the aged care sector continues to innovate, as it is one of the critical factors to support the changes that need to occur in the sector in order to transform, which will deliver improved quality and safety for older people.

Nicki Doyle, Partner for Health, Ageing, and Human Services at KPMG Australia

KPMG Australia, who hosted this year’s awards event, said it was incredible to see the number and calibre of applications.

Nicki Doyle, Partner for Health, Ageing, and Human Services at KPMG Australia said while the last two years have been incredibly challenging for the aged care sector, challenging circumstances are often the drivers for innovation.

“This can be seen in the work the winners and finalists have undertaken, innovative ideas being implemented that are leading to better outcomes for older Australians.

“It is critical that the aged care sector continues to innovate, as it is one of the critical factors to support the changes that need to occur in the sector in order to transform, which will deliver improved quality and safety for older people.”

Belinda Hegarty, Head of Strategy and Insights CommBank Health, said her organisation is pleased to be supporting ‘this fantastic initiative’ that highlights the commitment and innovation in the health sector.

“Congratulations to all the winners for their ingenuity and dedication,” she said.

“It is because of their dynamic and collaborative approach that they will drive positive and meaningful outcomes across the age services industry.

“We are passionate about supporting the sector and look forward to seeing these programs and services come to fruition.”

innovAGEING and the foundation partners expressed their appreciation to all who entered the innovAGEING Awards this year, and those who made the final selection.

“I’d like to thank the Commonwealth Bank’s Belinda Hegarty, KPMG Australia’s Nicki Doyle, and Leading Age Services Australia’s Kerri Lanchester for offering their time to be judges this year,” Kong said.

“All finalists were exceptional, and selecting the winners was not an easy process for the judging panel.”

“We congratulate every winner and finalist in the overall Awards – you are paving the way for our sector to define the future, now.

“Your creativity, ingenuity, and courage have no equal.

“Your grit and determination to improve care, and change the lives of older Australians and their families are stories worth sharing with our respective communities.”   

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