Patient and Consumer Centered Care

I often wonder how much the staff who work in the nursing homes know about the residents, or is this something they call privacy.    I would hope, and maybe I need to ask a few more questions, that the staff do know their clients, and have been given briefs about who they are, and their life prior to moving to the home.

When you think about it we are all different, and some have enjoyed life in ways others might think is awful.   I love to be outside, not shut in a room or house for long, where others may prefer the security of being inside.   Little things like this can mean so much when we are in the latter stages of our life, and to me I would have thought this is very much part of Patient Centered Care.

Where possible nursing homes should allow these small pleasures to continue, and not be forced into a routine to suit the staff and management because of time and lack of staff.    Below is from the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

consumer carePartnering with consumers is about healthcare organisations, healthcare providers and policy-makers actively working with people who use the healthcare system to ensure that health information and services meet people’s needs.

There are lots of terms used to describe the concepts that underpin partnerships with consumers, such as patient-centred care, consumer engagement, patient participation and citizen engagement. Essentially, partnerships with consumers exist when consumers are treated with dignity and respect, information is shared with them, and their participation and collaboration is encouraged.   read more…

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End of life care in aged care homes

This is very important information from the MyAged Care website and I felt it important to share.     When our loved one is placed in a nursing home, often long before Palliative Care stage, there are questions we don’t think about asking.  I know this is something that certainly did not go through my mind with my mother.   Be sure that the Nursing Home will be able to offer Palliative Care support to both your loved one and yourself.

My Aged Care

Staff in the aged care home can help in developing a care plan to best support the care needs of the person, and their family and carers. A good care plan may:

  • show how pain and other symptoms might be managed
  • show how emotional and spiritual support could be provided
  • show how cultural support could be provided
  • help family members make decisions about care options
  • help those involved know what to expect
  • show how support to families and carers through the bereavement process could be provided.

Staff will also be able to assist with nursing support or pain management. If you think extra support is needed, you can ask staff if you can purchase additional staff hours to help.

Will the person have to leave the aged care home?

A person nearing the end of their life may need to leave if the aged care home can’t provide the care and support that’s needed.

The Resident Agreement should outline whether or not the home will be able to provide care at the final stages of life. Depending on the terms negotiated in the agreement, the decision to go to hospital for treatment may lie with the person themself, in consultation with their doctor.

If a person does go to hospital, their place must be kept at the home while they’re away.

Palliative care

For people who have an advanced illness, with little or no prospect of cure, palliative care can be provided in an aged care home. The aim of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life for the person, their family and carers. It focuses on ‘living’ well until death.

The Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care provides support and guidance to aged care homes in providing palliative care.

Caring for someone at the end of their life

As a carer your presence and actions can provide emotional and physical support for the person who is nearing the end of their life. You know first-hand their wishes and needs and can help staff in the aged care home to make things as comfortable as possible during this stage. There are services for you as a carer that can provide additional assistance at this time. This could include information or counselling.

Support for carers

When you spend most of your time looking after other people it’s easy to forget to look after yourself too. It is very important to take time to look after yourself, to help you stay fit, healthy and relaxed. Here are some tips to help you take care of your own health and wellbeing. There are also counselling and other support services available to help you.

Next Steps:

Phone My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to talk to someone about what options may be available.

Read more about planning end of life care.

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My BIG wish for 2018

Only a few days and the new year begins, it hardly seems 12 months since 2017 began, is it because I am getting older that times seems to be moving faster, or is technology speeding everything up.    Regardless, I don’t have the answer, but I certainly want to wish you all a very healthy and prosperous 2018,  and hope that most of your New Years resolutions are achieved.

One big wish for me this new year is that we can find some Quality Patient Care standards throughout ALL Nursing homes in Australia.   I understand that the Accreditation standards cover:
1.  Management systems, staffing and organisational development
2.  Health and personal care
3.  Care recipient’s lifestyle
4.  Physical environment and safe systems
So,  why do we hear so much about abuse and neglect to Patient Care in a number of nursing homes throughout Australia?    Something is missing from the systems and staffing, that residents are missing out on the attention and support they deserve, and most pay highly for.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is working with the aged care industry, consumers and other key stakeholders to develop guidelines and supporting material for the draft quality standards being developed by the Department of Health.   This is in line with their commitment to improving quality in aged care, through developing education and guidance material that helps ensure compliance with the aged care standards.

To register for updates/announcements about the development of new guidance material related to draft standards and the Single Aged Care Quality Framework, please submit your details via their Subscribe to updates form.

Join in and have your say, we need to know that the nursing facilities are more like ‘homes’  and we would be happy to live in them in our latter years of life.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL, and don’t forget, we at Special Care Clothing Solutions design and manufacture dignified and comfortable clothing for people with limited mobility, as we care about your family, and their freedom from painful dressing.


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Designed for dignity and respect

Yvonne from Special Care Clothing Solutions designs clothing to preserve the dignity and respect of people with limited mobility either in their own home, out shopping or in a nursing facility.

A call was received from a Gentleman who needed assistance with clothing, to help when he was out in public and needed to use the toilet.   He was ok removing his trousers, but unable to pull them back on afterwards.    He has spoken to many people, including the home care nurses,  who had no idea how to help him, until he scrolled down the google list and found Special Care Clothing Solutions.

The same day Yvonne made a visit to the gentleman who lived close by, and discovered that the Open back trousers Yvonne had designed, were the answer for him.     He is now the proud owner of 4 pairs, and says they have truly brought back his dignity and freedom to go out in public, and know that he looks good, and will never be caught out again feeling embarrassed.       Watch the video below for more information.     Never be afraid to ask Yvonne for personal service, she can be contacted on the toll free no. 1300 780 755 or by email 

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When Are Older People Going To Realise That It’s Alright To Ask For Help?

Posted by  | Jul 25, 2017 |  |  |     

The recent tragic deaths of an isolated old couple in their 80s, in their Sydney home, have caused a lot of controversy. As pointed out by journalist Jenny Noyes in the 21 July edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, this has been prompted by a statement from the local police implicitly blaming younger people for being too absorbed in their selfie culture and digital technology.

Specifically, The Northern Beaches Area Command have implored people to “put down their iPhones and iPads, and hold back the selfies, and make friends with people you don’t know, and have a real conversation with your elderly neighbour who is living a simple life devoid of all electronic gadgets that contribute little to community cohesion.”   read more

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Laugh Yourself To Good Health

A fun article provided by LiveWell Club 

Laughing with friends seems like a pretty great way to help with anxiety, pain,and stress!

How would you like a laugh-fest each morning? A hearty laugh really gets the day going! Laughing clubs are a place where individuals can practice Laughter Yoga. Also known as Hasyayoga is packed with psychological and physical benefit. Developed by the Indian physician Madan Kataria, these clubs encourage members to participate in prolonged periods of voluntary laughter.
The activity is seen as an exercise, and as a way to encourage fun, healthy joy without equipment or constraint. Laughter relaxes the whole body and has the benefit of being socially contagious, hence Laughing Yoga is so often done in groups rather than as an independent activity.

A class will typically start with socialising and talk, followed by stretching and breathing exercises. Participants then begin exercises with specific elements associated with various forms of yoga, often under the guidance of an instructor. If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental and physical health, as well as that of friends and family, why not give Laughter Yoga a go?    read more..

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Adaptive Clothing

When a loved one is placed into an Aged Care facility for residents with High Care needs, it is a very emotional time.   I have been through this myself and totally understand how difficult this is.   I always said it felt like I was giving up my child, as I had cared for Mum for an number of years at home.

I must admit, that when Mum settled into the Nursing home, I started to see how comfortable she became with the staff and her surroundings,  as they understood what was happening to her, and her needs, much better than I could at home.  We were very fortunate to have found a wonderful nursing home, with great staff.   I must admit that was back in the early 90’s, and there was not as much awareness of Alzheimer’s and where to get help back then, as there is now for families and carers to assist with home help.

Due to these circumstances and the need for specially designed adaptive clothing for ease of dressing, I created my own designs and started my business Special Care Clothing Solutions  in 2006.     The clothing is manufactured in Australia to ensure quality control, and I use Australian fabrics, being careful that the dye in the fabric is not full of heavy chemicals like some fabrics from China and that they are suitable for the facility laundries.

The designs prevent pressure on the skin as they close and secure at the shoulder with small nylon stud on tape.   As they open completely to enable ease of dressing from the front, there is no lifting of arms or ducking of head required, which can be painful as joints stiffen.       For personal service call Yvonne on 1300 780 755 or download a catalogue here.

We look forward to answering any of your questions and assisting with your loved ones transition in life.


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Alzheimer’s disease

This article is being shared from Health Direct.
Alzheimer’s disease attacks brain cells and neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry messages between brain cells), affecting the way your brain functions, your memory and the way you behave. It is also the most common form of dementia.

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline in mental abilities.

While the exact cause is unknown, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may be increased by a range of factors, including:

  • age
  • a family history of the condition
  • previous severe head injuries
  • lifestyle factors and conditions affecting heart and brain health.

If you are worried that you may have Alzheimer’s disease visit your doctor to get some advice. Your doctor may ask you about any new or worsening problems you may have noticed such as:

  • forgetfulness
  • speech problems such as difficulty finding the right words
  • difficulty in understanding what people are saying
  • personality and mood changes
  • difficulty with performing everyday routine activities.

There is no single test that can be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. If your doctor suspects you may have Alzheimer’s disease, they may refer you to a specialist to confirm the diagnosis.

Although Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of ageing, it is more common in older people and may affect about one in four people over the age of 85.

Are you a carer or helping someone out?

Carers are everyday people who provide unpaid and ongoing care and support to someone they know who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.

Support for carers

Learn more about practical, financial and emotional support and services that are available for carers. For carers services in your state or territory visit Carers Australia.

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Innovation Grants Support Dementia and Aged Care Choices

Innovation Grants Support Dementia and Aged Care Choices
The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP    11th July 2017

The Australian Government has released $34 million in funding grants to support innovation in dementia care and other aged care services.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the grants would help the aged care system to meet the challenges ahead.

“The projects to be funded are cutting-edge and will strengthen the capacity of the aged care sector to respond to consumer-directed care and the challenges of dementia,” Minister Wyatt said.

“We know Australia’s population is ageing, and we know the aged care system must adapt to meet the community’s changing needs.”

42 projects will receive grants, with the focus on six priority areas.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting the aged care sector as it moves towards consumer-directed care,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Supporting these projects will identify barriers that restrict access and choice and help ensure the special needs of consumers from diverse backgrounds are met.

“Australians deserve an aged care system that is responsive and sustainable and empowers them to receive the services they need. My priority is a flexible system that people understand works for them, not against them.”

“These grants will help ensure our aged care system is able to deliver high- quality and more innovative services, now and into the future.”

The successful projects will receive funding through to 30 June 2019.

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Taking life for granted

When you are young you don’t really give much thought about getting old.  It is time to have fun and enjoy life, good health and friends.  At twenty do you remember thinking that someone who was 50 was “old” and grandparents in their 60’s & 70’s were really ready to be put to pasture?

As we creep closer to these ages and beyond, we still want to feel young, but just know the body no longer lets us be so agile.   I was looking at my hands yesterday realising how they have aged, now like I remember my mothers looking.   I then drew back and thought about how I felt inside.   I have been fortunate and lived a healthy life, but certainly as I am ageing, parts of me are starting to tell me to slow down, few aches in the hips etc, and that maybe I should exercise a little more, to keep the joints from stiffening up.

It is not hard to understand how painful it must be to move, when joints are stiff and movement is limited.    I am so proud to feel that I have been able to work with the Care Managers to design the right clothing for their residents with High Care needs.    For more information about dignified and comfortable clothing, please browse my website here.


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