16-22 October was National Carers Week, a time to recognise and celebrate the 2.65 million Australians who provide care and support to a family member or friend. SVC would like to acknowledge all of the family members and friends of St Vincent's residents who help to provide care and support for their loved one. Our Partner in Care program takes a person-centred approach to promoting existing relationships of care between a resident and their family members or close friends. Becoming a Partner in Care means family members can provide care and companionship to residents, even when homes are facing periods of outbreak.
What is a Partner in Care?
A Partner in Care is identified by an aged care resident or their representative, who they have a close and continuing relationship with, such as a family member or close friend. A Partner regularly visits and provides care and companionship to a resident. Partners in Care may provide support such as:
• Helping with dressing
• Sharing stories, food or other pastimes
• Helping to practise exercise routines
• Helping to visit places of special interest
Yennora Facility Manager, Paula Welfare, said that Partners in Care had an extremely positive impacts on residents during recent COVID Outbreaks.
“This is a great option for family members who are still actively involved in their person’s wellbeing,” says Paula. “For example, they may assist with personal hygiene, or they may have good strategies or interactions with the resident that helps to calm and reassure the person in care.”
What are the benefits of becoming a Partner in Care?
“The real benefit here is that even during an outbreak the family member who is now a trained volunteer is still able to be a part of their person’s life but have the added bonus of understanding what they need to do to keep the residents and themselves safe.” says Paula.
“The overall positive effect was very noticeable. Residents whose family members were Partners in Care were generally happier and maintained their nutrition and hydration.”
Becoming a Partner in Care can help:
• Keep families together to support each other through life experiences and times of need
• Support the daily routines of people living in aged care homes including during infectious outbreaks
• Improve the overall health and wellbeing of people living in aged care
• Decrease the psycho-social impacts associated with visitor restrictions, lockdowns and sustained social isolation including loneliness, anxiety, boredom, fear and depression and cognitive decline
How do I become a Partner in Care?
To become a Partner in Care, you must do some training with SVC and become a volunteer for the organisation. By doing this we also undertake some screening processes to keep everyone safe.If you’re interested in becoming a Partner in Care or would like to find out more information about having a Partner in Care, please get in contact with your home or your loved one’s home.