Join an ACH Group supported Fringe night out

ACH Group is offering three different fully supported entertainment packages so you can experience the Adelaide Fringe with ease.

Experience the mesmerising power of gospel singing with the Soweto Gospel Choir night out. Take your time to discover the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Yabbarra Dreaming in Light show night out, or travel back to the 1920’s to the golden years of magic with Auslusion in Improbable Deductions.

Or would you prefer to book your own Fringe show and want cheaper tickets? Get $10 off your Fringe membership just by being part of the ACH Group community.

Being a Fringe Member gets you exclusive access to discounted gigs, shows and venues all year. To claim this offer, call FringeTix on 8100 2088 or visit the Fringe website and apply the discount code ACHGROUP20

See you at the Fringe!

New dog park to create connections

Dog park at ACH Group Perry Park

A new dog park at Port Noarlunga is set to get tails wagging and create community connections at ACH Group’s Perry Park.

Located alongside the Perry Park residential care home and adjoining retirement living units on Murray Road and Riverview Drive, the park has been created in an enclosed communal space with a barbecue and seating, shading and dog water fountain.

ACH Group’s CEO, Frank Weits, said it was hoped the park would bring together owners of dogs and others in the community.

“For many people, young and old, our dogs can be a connection point, a way of bringing people together, starting a conversation and helping people form new relationships,” he said. “Pets are our companions, they can reduce loneliness and depression, relieve stress, lower blood pressure, provide opportunities for social interaction and exercise, a sense of purpose and belonging.”

Residents also experience other benefits living in retirement villages as they can make use of a range of shared spaces, like Perry Park’s new dog park.   Common spaces and activities, whether they be a BBQ area, a community hall or a simple park bench make catching up with neighbors easy; helping to connect and bring people together and reducing social isolation and loneliness.

“ACH Group is committed to providing good lives for older people, which includes connecting and supporting our communities to be as healthy and happy as possible.”

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson and ACH Group CEO Frank Weits officially opened the park at Perry Park Retirement Living Village Murray Road this week.

Residents from the village together with their dogs Bertie, Benji, Scruffy, Roxy, Holly, Olly and friends joined in the opening, enjoying ‘puppuccinos’, dog treats and free vet checks.

ACH Group allows people to bring a small pet with them when they move into most Retirement Living locations across South Australia and Victoria.

ACH Group innovation recognised in national aged care award

hesta innovation winner

ACH Group’s work to attract more nurses to the aged care sector has been recognised in the 2019 HESTA Aged Care Awards announced yesterday.

ACH Group’s Student Placement Team has taken out the Team Innovation category in the awards, which recognise Australia’s most innovative and proactive aged care organisations, teams and individuals.

ACH Group was one of four finalists in its category and 12 finalists in the national awards.

Samantha Manoel, Student Placement Manager at ACH Group, said the award provided recognition of the organisation’s aim to attract more nursing students to work in aged care by developing a strategy to improve the experience students have during their university placements with ACH Group.

“We identified that negative stereotypes were a significant factor in the shortage of nurses working in the sector,” Ms Manoel said. “We set out to develop a strategy to demonstrate first-hand to students that working in aged care can be a rewarding job and career.”

The team has developed a number of student placement initiatives to change student perceptions, including a pre-placement education day, providing an informative online orientation, developing an induction booklet and conducting pre- and post-placement student evaluations. Since these changes in 2012, more than 4,000 students have had placements in ACH Group services.

“Post-placement feedback shows that students now consider aged care as a unique and dynamic work environment, with 68 per cent of students saying they were interested in working in aged care compared to only 40 per cent who said they were interested prior to their placement.”

Ms Manoel said pre-placement education day touched on a range of areas including healthy ageing, dementia, the admissions process and relationship building. “We find that this day helps alleviate any stress or uncertainty about working in an aged care environment,” she said. “Students are given an insight into all aspects of care from all disciplines, including allied health offerings and early intervention initiatives. We want people to understand that the aged care workplace is a place that’s dynamic, and that it’s about supporting people to live a good life.”

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said this year’s finalists were selected for their outstanding compassion, leadership and innovation in improving services and standards of care in the aged care sector.

“This year’s finalists have pushed the boundaries and developed innovative services and programs that rise to the challenge of providing high-quality care to the growing number of ageing Australians,” Ms Blakey said.

Update on the Royal Commission

Royal Commission update

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released an interim report on 31 October 2019, providing insight into what the Commission has learnt from 13 hearings held across the country and over 6800 submissions since January 2019.

The Commissioners identified three areas where immediate action can be taken to:

  • provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list for higher level care at home
  • respond to the significant over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care
  • stop the flow of younger people with a disability going into aged care.

The report also identifies systemic problems in aged care with a system that;

  • is designed around transactions, not relationships or care,
  • minimises the voices of people receiving care and their loved ones,
  • is hard to navigate and does not provide information people need to make informed choices about their care,
  • relies on a regulatory model that does not provide transparency or an incentive to improve, and;
  • has a workforce that is under pressure and under-appreciated and that lacks key skills.

Despite the identified failures, the Commissioners also heard many examples of providers who deliver innovative and effective models of care and examples of individual staff members dedicating themselves to providing exemplary and compassionate care, despite the challenges of the system and their environment.

The interim report can be read here: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/Pages/interim-report.aspx. The final report is due by 12 November 2020.

ACH Group strongly supports the work of the Royal Commission because it:

  • is committed to continual improvement and transparency
  • values its passionate and dedicated workforce and recognises the great service they provide with empathy and professionalism
  • wants the aged care sector to be strengthened through industry-wide improvements so all older Australians have access to affordable, quality care and services that meet their changing needs as they age.

As part of ACH Group’s commitment to excellence, feedback on our services and the care provided to residents and customers is always welcomed via www.achgroup.org.au/contact/feedback or by calling 1300 22 44 77.

Dementia a focus of exchange

ach group volunteers posing for photo

A group of aged care workers from Sun-Vision Social Welfare Corporation in Japan will spend a week in South Australia learning about the latest in dementia care, prevention and understanding as part of an exchange with not-for-profit aged care provider ACH Group.

The group of 11, including social workers, care workers, team leaders and unit leaders, will focus on innovation and the latest thinking on brain health ahead of Sun-Vision Social Welfare Corporation’s international symposium on dementia care next year.

Sun-Vision Coordinator Tomoko Suzuki said the group was interested in ACH Group’s Planning Ahead Advisory Service which supported people to complete an Advance Care Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney. “We would like to learn how ACH Group supports people living with dementia who have difficulties communicating their decisions, will and preferences,” she says.

Welcoming the group, ACH Group CEO said: “For over a decade we’ve exchanged ‘students’ to learn about aged care from different cultures and perspectives and share best practice developments. A key learning has been our shared passion for working with older people to support them to have their best life.”

The group will hear about ACH Group’s strategies to reduce employee turnover, innovation in mobility and independent living equipment and focus on early intervention to improve health outcomes. They will also learn about ACH Group’s holistic approach to physical, mental and cognitive health at each of its residential care homes to help residents continue to live healthier, happier and more active lives.

During the week the group will participate in a range of activities that are of benefit to people living with dementia including a mosaics and tai chi class at Colton Court, McLaren Vale and will participate in a dementia master class with dementia expert Teresa Moran at ViTA, Daw Park. The exchange will wrap up with a visit to South Australian attractions Gorge Wildlife Park and Beerenberg Farm at Hahndorf.

In its 12th year, the Sun-Life exchange program involves annual visits to Australia and bi-annual visits by ACH Group employees to Japan.

A delegation from ACH Group who travelled to Japan in October as part of the exchange will help as hosts and translators on this visit.

ACH Group a finalist in 2019 HESTA Aged Care Awards

Uni SA nurses training on patient

ACH Group’s work to attract more nurses to the aged care sector has been recognised in the 2019 HESTA Aged Care Awards.

ACH Group’s Student Placement Team is one of four national finalists in the Team Innovation category. A total of 12 finalists have been announced in the awards, which recognise Australia’s most innovative and proactive aged care organisations, teams and individuals.

Samantha Manoel, Student Placement Manager at ACH Group, said the award provided recognition of the organisation’s aim to attract more nursing students to work in aged care by developing a strategy to improve the experience students have during their university placements with ACH Group.

“We identified that negative stereotypes were a significant factor in the shortage of nurses working in the sector,” Ms Manoel said. “We set out to develop a strategy to demonstrate first-hand to students that working in aged care can be a rewarding job and career.”

The team has developed a number of student placement initiatives to change student perceptions, including a pre-placement education day, providing an informative online orientation, developing an induction booklet and conducting pre- and post-placement student evaluations. Since these changes in 2012, more than 4,000 students have had placements in ACH Group services.

“Post-placement feedback shows that students now consider aged care as a unique and dynamic work environment, with 68 per cent of students saying they were interested in working in aged care compared to only 40 per cent who said they were interested prior to their placement.”

Ms Manoel said pre-placement education day touched on a range of areas including healthy ageing, dementia, the admissions process and relationship building. “We find that this day helps alleviate any stress or uncertainty about working in an aged care environment,” she said. “Students are given an insight into all aspects of care from all disciplines, including allied health offerings and early intervention initiatives. We want people to understand that the aged care workplace is a place that’s dynamic, and that it’s about supporting people to live a good life.”

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said this year’s finalists were selected for their outstanding compassion, leadership and innovation in improving services and standards of care in the aged care sector.

“This year’s finalists have pushed the boundaries and developed innovative services and programs that rise to the challenge of providing high-quality care to the growing number of ageing Australians,” Ms Blakey said.

Winners will be announced at the 2019 HESTA Aged Care Awards on 14 November 2019 in Adelaide.

Please click here for more information about ACH Group’s Student Placement program.

Read more about the award from HESTA here.

Nature Play

Finding ways around too much ‘screen time’ is a constant challenge for today’s parents, grandparents and carers. We’ve tracked down some great outdoor play spaces to help get you and the kids out and about this spring.

 

St Kilda Mangrove Trail

Explore a real mangrove at St Kilda where a 1.5km boardwalk provides an easy walk through tidal salt marshes, samphires and sea grass channels to a lookout. The walk is a short drive from the popular St Kilda Adventure Playground, which underwent a $3.5 million revamp in 2015.

Mangrove Street, St Kilda

walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/st-kilda-mangrove-trail/

 

Woodhouse Activity Centre

Head to the hills for a day in the bush at Woodhouse, owned and operated by Scouts SA. Kids can climb, swing and crawl their way around 30 obstacles at Challenge Hill, try a giant split level maze, whizz down two new tube slides, try the nine-hole disc golf field or try an orienteering course. Woodhouse is open seven days a week and runs drop-and-go school holiday activities.

37 Spring Gully Road, Piccadilly

woodhouse.org.au

 

Morialta Play Space

Designers spent months creating a nature-based play space at the Morialta Recreation Area. Five themes are featured: Kookaburra nests, climbing boulders, frog island, eagle’s nest and great snake. Created from natural materials such as stone and timber, including recycled timbers, the design incorporates Aboriginal culture, native plants and animals and offers serious physical challenges for all ages.

Stradbroke Road, Morialta

parks.sa.gov.au/Safety/park-alerts/172209-morilata-conservation-park

 

Oaklands Estate Reserve

Opened in May this year, the Oaklands Estate Reserve has a wetland, skate park, education centre and rotunda. Upgrades include two km of paths, a new playground and nature play area with logs, ropes and a timber climbing frame, three new shelters and two barbecues and a Japanese garden with sand and water play areas.

Oaklands Estate Reserve, Oaklands Road, Oaklands Park

marion.sa.gov.au/things-to-do/parks-and-playgrounds/oaklands-estate-reserve

 

Jervois Street Reserve, South Plympton

Opened in 2016, this reserve has a nature play focus with logs, stacking stones and sand play. It’s also popular with older kids with a cycling ‘pump track’, basketball, a games area with table tennis and chess, a mini bike circuit and fitness equipment. This park has a barbecue, grassy areas, tunnels, swings and beams. The reserve is dotted with public art.

Jervois Street, South Plympton

marion.sa.gov.au/things-to-do/parks-and-playgrounds/jervois-street-reserve

 

Carrick Hill

Set in majestic grounds of the home that once belonged to Sir Edward and Lady Ursula Hayward, Carrick Hill is the perfect place for a picnic on a spring or summer day. Kids can roam the gardens, play ‘horses’ in the stables, and explore the Story Book Trail – a magical collection of stories brought to life. School holiday programs are available in October and April and self-guided quiz for its Story Book Trail is on offer during the December/January holidays.

46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield

carrickhill.sa.gov.au

 

Nature Play to-do list

Visit the Nature Play SA website where you can download lists of nature play ideas along with beautifully illustrated lists of South Australian plant and animal species found in the Myponga Reservoir Reserve and the coastline between Glenelg and Seacliff Beach.

natureplaysa.org.au/families/nature-play-downloads/

In the garden with Sophie Thomson

Going up! Vertical gardens can save on space, add shade and screen unwanted areas. Sophie Thomson shares her tips on going up and over.  

Vertical vegies
If you only have limited space, why not grow something productive? A passionfruit is evergreen but can get rampant, so consider growing some vegies. Depending on the season and position, you can choose from tomatoes, Tromboncino zucchini, cucumbers, climbing or Malabar spinach, peas and beans. 2 metres plus

Climbing roses
These are a joy in a sunny garden; grown against a wall or fence, up a post, over an arch or through a tripod. Choose a repeat flowering variety in the colour and form you like. You can even choose one which is either truly thornless, or virtually so, such as Iceberg (pure white), Kathleen Harrop (pale pink) or Zephruin Druhin (cerise pink). 2–5 metres

Chinese star jasmine
Possibly the most used evergreen climber because it is so reliable, this climber will grow in sun or semi-shade. It is not a true jasmine and as such doesn’t give people headaches. It produces white starry flowers which have a delightful sweet scent in spring and summer. It has dark green leathery foliage and can be trained to keep its foliage all the way to the base of the plant. 2–4 metres

Climbing geraniums
While sometimes viewed as old-fashioned, these really are a hardy water-wise climber for a sunny spot. Often seen growing on Stobie poles, they also grow well along fences or screens and can take radiant heat off metal fences, buildings or road and footpath surfaces. They produce a mass of blooms over a long period in colours ranging from pure white and every shade of pink and lavender to red. 2–4 metres

Mandevilla cultivars (eg ‘Aloha’ series)
These showy evergreen climbers produce a mass of large trumpet flowers throughout the warmer weather. They are available in a white, pink and several shades of red. Note: these plants are not frost hardy. 2–3 metres

Sweet peas
While only annuals, these delightful climbing plants produce sweetly scented blooms in spring which make excellent cut flowers. Sow seeds in autumn at around St Patrick’s Day (March 17). 2 metres

TIP
Always check your selection with knowledgeable gardening staff at your local nursery or garden centre, and of course be prepared to prune any climber to keep it compact.

Explore New Zealand

For its size, New Zealand offers plenty of awe-inspiring and epic sights.

On the North Island you’ll find miles and miles of spectacular coastline and tranquil beaches, rolling green hills and rugged mountain ranges, geothermal wonders and sprawling farmlands, rich Maori culture and not one but two beautiful harbour cities.

Visit the modern city of Auckland with its melting pot of culture. Enjoy a leisurely harbour cruise, catch a ferry to one of the nearby islands or stroll along the waterfront, dining in one of many popular restaurants, cafés and bars.

Take a scenic flight above the 144 islands that make up the gorgeous Bay of Islands or drive along the west coast up Ninety Mile Beach towards the northernmost point and the lighthouse at Cape Reinga.

Visit the underground labyrinth of limestone caves in Waitomo, where glow-worms twinkle in the enchanting Glowworm Grotto. Discover ‘Middle-Earth’ in Matamata, on a magical Hobbiton Movie Set guided tour.

For something out of this world, wander around the ethereal moonscapes of Hells Gate Park, the most active geothermal field in Rotorua, or the captivating Waimangu Volcanic Valley where you can witness Lady Knox Geyser, sizzling hot pools, steaming fumaroles and vividly coloured terraces.

Witness Giant Sperm Whales and frolicking dolphins on the Kaikoura Peninsula. Soak in the warm open-air thermal pools in the charming alpine hamlet of Hanmer Springs.

The gorgeous South Island has some of the most magnificent landscapes you will find anywhere in the world comprising untouched wilderness, spectacular glaciers, beautiful fjords and breathtaking scenery.

Take a helicopter ride over the remarkable Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers or hike across the frozen landscape.

Beautiful Queenstown is the adventure capital of the South Island and where you’ll find the best ski slopes and plenty of thrill-seeking adventures.

Explore the dramatic wilderness landscapes of Milford Sound for crystal clear lakes, jagged mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls.

Still emerging from the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Christchurch is a city in transition.

Rebuilding and re-emerging as a funky, arty and modern version of itself, the city centre is a fascinating blend of creatively repaired existing buildings and improved infrastructure using shipping containers for shops and cafés.

To experience all the wonders and delights of New Zealand for yourself, contact your nearest Phil Hoffmann Travel branch.

In the swim

benefitsofswimming

Exercising in water offers many benefits to people who are recovering from injury or living with a range of conditions, from mild to chronic.

As well as its abilities to calm, relax and ease pain, water also supports our body weight reducing stress on joints.

“People are often surprised at what they can do in the water; when weight is dispersed across the body, it is so much easier. This means water exercise is a lot more suitable for those living with a range of chronic conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS) and fibromyalgia,” said ACH Group Exercise Physiologist Daniel Peacock.

Daniel, who runs hydrotherapy and water exercise classes across ACH Group’s health sites, said water exercise is an ideal way to stay active for any age group.

“By simply walking or moving in the water, you activate a range of muscles. For people who have found exercising on land too challenging or painful,

it can be great for confidence, giving people that little bit of hope and helping them in their recovery.”

Hydrotherapy is modifiable and exercises can be prescribed and adapted according to an individual’s goals or needs. Instructors are in the pool with the class to ensure exercises are done properly.

As well as building strength, water exercise can help people lose weight, manage pain and improve cardiovascular health or lung function, balance and mobility.

“Besides the physical health benefits, there are a range of mental health benefits from mood modification, a reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in sleep.”

Like any exercise, it’s always best to start slowly and not overdo it.

“One of the key things we tell people is not to go too hard in the first two weeks because when you’re in the water, you’ll feel great, and feel less pain, but you’ll feel it the next day when you’re out of the pool.”

Daniel has witnessed many ‘good news stories’ as a result of hydrotherapy including a customer who started classes as part of her recovery from a car accident.

“This customer was having trouble walking and struggled to get into the pool – now the steps are no problem and her walking is almost back to what it used to be,” he says.

 

Water wise

Lap swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise and can contribute to the recommended 150 minutes moderate to vigorous activity per week for those aged 65 plus.

Water is about 50 times thicker than air and supports our body weight. Swimming in water can require four to six times more energy.

All ACH Group hydrotherapy pools are heated at 30 to 34 degrees Celsius and have hand rails for customers who are less confident in the water.

Water exercise provides an excellent alternative to land exercise for older people with the same cardiovascular, strength, balance and mobility benefits.

 

Project to create dementia-friendly pools

ACH Group is leading a project that aims to create dementia-friendly swimming experiences and environments.

Funded by a grant from Dementia Australia, the project has enlisted the help of people living with dementia, their carers, family and care workers, along with people who work at swimming pools, to find out what changes could be made that make swimming easier and more accessible for all.

Project Coordinator Fiona Telford-Sharp says online surveys and face-to-face interviews helped shape a series of fact sheets for swimming pool venues, swimming coaches, people living with dementia and their families.

“We know that swimming offers many health benefits and we recognised the need to raise awareness of the needs of people living with dementia and to take steps to create a welcoming and safe environment for all swimmers.”

To find a hydrotherapy or water exercise class near you call 1300 22 44 77.