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In the 2017-18 period, we continued to strengthen our residential aged care, home and community care and retirement living options for senior members of our communities. Across Queensland and Victoria, we operated 23 retirement villages, 30 residential aged care services. Our home and community care services supported 7968 people in the comfort of their home across 14 regions. By measure of government subsidies received, Churches of Christ Care is the fourth largest non-government aged care provider in Queensland. We have four new integrated community developments that include seniors and supported living services underway, with some nearing completion. Rollout of the internationally acclaimed Virtual Dementia Tour™ (VDT™) which offers Australia’s only scientifically proven, fully immersive experience of what it might be like for a person living with dementia commenced this year.
We provide residential aged care, home and community care and retirement living options for senior members of our communities. We express the light of Christ in the services, care and support we provide through the facilitation of meaning, purpose and connectedness of our clients.
Living an abundant life that is filled with hope and meaning, preparing for and experiencing quality end-of-life care in the later stages of life are expressions of our mission to the ageing. By meeting people in their time of need, we create places where people can belong and where they can connect, feel better, are valued and are able to contribute to meaningful purpose. We enable people to improve their lives and live a life of abundance.
Retirement living continues to maintain sound levels of occupancy and we remain in the industry’s benchmarked standard, in spite of real estate downturns in regional areas such as Maryborough and Townsville.
Accreditation was achieved for 20 of our retirement villages, which demonstrates our commitment to external review and offering quality accommodation and services. We will have 100 per cent of our villages accredited in the next financial year.
We began preparing for amendments to retirement village legislation to ensure we comply with the necessary requirements resulting from Queensland Parliament’s passing The Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017 on 17 October 2018.
The new legislation significantly amends the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (RV Act) with major changes affecting the Retirement Village Industry and operators. The date of commencement of the Amended Act has not yet been announced however we have implemented an 18 month buyback for Queensland, which was given royal assent on 10 November.
Further master planning for the Gold Coast campus including Lady Small Haven Retirement Village continued for the proposed Stage 1 construction of a new retirement village apartment building (which has subsequently been approved by the Board in August) and commenced in September 2018.
During the year Churches of Christ Care delivered the following Home and Community Care services:
Most clients access our services using means-tested government subsidies, however they are also available to privately funded clients. All services operate under and comply with relevant quality standards, regulations and funding body guidelines.
Our Home Assist Secure alongside our Commonwealth Home Support Program means we have the ability to offer a continuum of care to our clients and is a significant point of difference and vital to the success of our client’s safely remaining at home.
Following the deregulation of Commonwealth Homecare Packages in February 2017, we are able to provide continuity of care to existing clients who would otherwise have been required to change providers.
However, national wait times continue to place pressure on seniors being able to have timely access to entry-level services such as the Commonwealth Home Support Program and increased consumer choice has also led to clients choosing to save for equipment and/or future medical events. We began work on a new approach focused on supporting people waiting on the National Queue System and at high risk of early hospital or residential admission so they can access support when they need it.
In June 2018 we ceased operation of our Community Service in Melbourne, based at our Chesterville Retirement Village in Cheltenham to focus on Queensland operations. We worked with each client to ensure they successfully transitioned to a new service provider.
We continue to improve our business support systems to support business decisions and preparedness for future changes to the industry - data analysis through our client software system now provides dashboard and KPI reporting capacity.
We achieved 100 percent accreditation results at our Community Care services in Townsville, Gold Coast, Blackall and Brisbane.
83 percent of our Community Care Service teams are now co-located with other Churches of Christ Care services. One in four retirement village clients now receive support to maintain their independence through our Community Care teams—an increase of 9 percent since last year.
Planning is well underway in the lead up to the new Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission that will be established on 1 July 2019 and the Single Aged Care Quality Framework that will encompass both residential aged care and community care services. This reform agenda has and will continue to demand significant management and executive focus to ensure we continue to meet consumer expectations and regulatory compliance in a tight fiscal environment.
This year, work continued on our new integrated communities, including the $36 million Warwick Campus development containing a 128-bed aged care service, café and community centre which will be co-located with our existing Regency Park Retirement Village.
At Little Mountain, we are constructing a $37 million campus containing a 96-bed aged care service, cafe, community centre, auditorium and aquatic centre (which is on track for an early 2019 opening).
At Boonah, we continue detailed planning to replace part of the existing aged care service with a proposed 64-bed new development.
A 68-bed extension at Stanthorpe Aged Care Service was completed, bringing the total number of beds at the service to 103. We subsequently closed Carramar Hostel, a nearby older service, with residents transitioned to the updated facility.
Two residential aged care services were acquired in Ingham and Acacia Ridge. The Acacia Ridge service, Mortimer Aged Care, was transitioned to our adjacent Brig-O-Doon Aged Care Service, with the service now offering 82-beds.
At our Yapunyah Aged Care Service in Cunnamulla, we ensured its continued operation and support for the local community by transitioning from traditional ACFI (Aged Care Funding Instrument) funding to a block-funded, Multi-Purpose Service to ensure its financial sustainability as well as gaining access to registered nurse capacity from the neighbouring public hospital.
We supported the professional development of 20 staff who completed the 12-month Management Development Initiative. Almost half the graduates were promoted during the course. We will be running the initiative again in 2019 for another cohort.
Fun and Fitness initiatives progressed at our services with the installation of gyms with equipment specially designed for seniors, in Toowoomba, and planned deployment at our new Warwick and Little Mountain aged care services supplemented by experienced physio teams. Gyms are also operational at Moonah Park, Buckingham Gardens, Marana Gardens and Bribie Island services.
We have also made further investment in information systems to improve responsiveness to resident care needs, enhance our clinical governance capability, and to support our staff with more efficient rostering processes. Updating our financial/billing systems with the replacement of IBA with EPICOR and development of a Client Relationship Management System is continuing.
We commenced rollout of the internationally acclaimed Virtual Dementia Tour™ (VDT™), which is scientifically proven to be the closest experience we can give a person with a healthy brain of what it might be like for a person living with dementia.
The VDT™ was successfully delivered to:
We have also formalised our engagement with The University of Queensland in establishing a Memorandum of Understanding that includes developing initiatives for research funding, exploring opportunities for research students, and co-hosting conferences/seminars.