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We hosted the two ladies from the Aged Care Quality Standards Commission for three days from 27 June.

They provided feedback on what they had observed and on what they had heard from staff, volunteers, clients and board members. We were very happy with the verbal feedback report.

Not too long after we received the written report which ran for many pages. The length was due to the comprehensive review of all eight standards which govern Aged Care organisations.

Again we were excited about the report and what was put into print. We had the opportunity to give comments before the final report was released.

Last week that report arrived with its nice colourful cover and comments we are very proud of becuase we try hard to care for our clients and volunteers everyday. And from the report we are achieving our goal and the mission ste by the Board in its latest Strategic Plan -Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels helps make our commuity stronger by providing services that contribute to the health, wellbeing, and independence of people.

The report is on the Commission's website, but we can also share this with anyone who would like to know what we do and why we are a sought after Aged Care service within the Eurobodalla.

Thank you to the staff and board for their dedicated service; and to the smiling volunteers who are the 'backbone' of our organisation; and to the wonderful clients who share their lives, tales and experiences with us every day.

I recently received this lovely letter from one of our new Group Social Support clients on the Out and About programme she experiences each week.. She has allowed me to print it here and let you know what she has experienced with our service.

Dear Alan,

Replying to your request for feedback about services I am getting from "Out and About".

I am new to the area having to leave our home, being a camp on an opal mining claim for 27 years, with health being the reason. Since being here I have been my husbands sole carer. While able to get my husband into the van, I was able to manage but that of course didn't last long. Anglicare have been wonderful and without their help I dont know what I would have done. To cut a long story short....

My husband of 67 years passed away. The end of my world had come!

I could't talk, wouldn't leave the house. I just sat and cried and cried!

After 3 months of just wanting to die, my sons had had enough of me! Then along came "Out and About". No way!

I had no friends here, left then all at the Ridge! At  this stage we had been here for three and a half years. The only people I had any contact with were the Chemist, Doctors, Hospital, IGA and Vinnies.

The thought of mixing with a group of OLD people, going to clubs, hotels and on other outings just wasn't on my death wish!!

Well of course, under pressure the first trip was organised! Of course the rest is history.

The lass who helped me into the bus was Cathy and she told me it was her first day and she was as nervous as me, but it was the best thing that happened to me!

With the bus full of all these OLD people, this was the first of my weekly social outings.

I get picked up right at my door, different places, wonderful stops, morning teas, hotels,and clubs for lunches (Still haven't found one who can cook real Fish and Chips! Having had a Fish and Chip shop on Manly Beach for 27 years, perhaps I am set in my ways about how REAL Fish and Chips should be cooked!)

They never stop planning our trips. Honestly, can't tell you how they mother us! It's like we are their parents (or children!)

It makes me feel ashamed I don't do anything to help them!

My Tuesday outings are my only social life and gives me something to look forward to. It's like we are all one big family. All the girls are so thoughtful and the drivers know all the special little hideaways to make every trip special.

My two sons live in Batemans Bay and check only that "I'm still with it"!  I'm sure such has been my mental state.

I was very isolated here. No friends and nothing to go out for. Going out with them for coffee made no sense, can have coffee at home.

I am now socially independent, part of a wonderful family. I have gone out more in 3 months than ever. Never had heard of 'Out and About' but sure do now.

I thank you all again. What would life be worth for us oldies without these wonderful volunteers. They sure make these oldies are very happy.

SC

Why not join SC and her friends on one of these outings.
Call Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels on 4474 4464 and discuss what we could do for you.

Starting in May, Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels launched its annual surveys.

The first survey was for clients.

This has now been completed. It closed on 10th June and the intial results were presented to the Board on 20 June and a more detailed report will follow.

The survey was delivered to all clients and included a self address reply envelope. Many clients took the opportunity to give their views on a range of questions under four headings.

The Survey asked questions under

  • Meals
  • Communications
  • Social services
  • Future

Many of the questions were in line with the last four surveys and will be collated to give not only a view on this year but on the last five years. Trends will be looked at and these will assist us to continue planning for the futrure.

The future section was established during the development of our present Strategic Plan and will continue as we move closer to the preparation of the next Plan.

The second Survey was for volunteers.

This was last completed two years ago due to the pandemic.

The Survey will close at the end of the month and already many returns have been received.

Again these will help us know if our volunteers are enjoing their role and how we could make it better.

Once again, the study will be completed over five years to monitor how we make this most important cornerstone role, within Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels, valuable and exciting.

These two Surveys, and the various client and volunteer Forums, give us very valuable data and assistance as we look to make ongoing improvements.

Continuous Improvement has always been an important part of our culture; it is now formally recognised in our Strategic Plan as one of our four Values and was a highlighted recommendation of The Aged Care Royal Commission.

We appreciate the time that clients and volunteers have taken to answer the questions and support our desire to continually improve.

Two representatives of the Aged Care Quality Standards Commission spent two days in our office at the end of June.

The purpose of the visit was to assess how we were meeting the 8 Standards that have been established to secure the performance of those providing aged care services.

The Standards are

  • Consumer dignity and choice
  • Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  • Personal care and clinical care (the latter part does not affect our services)
  • Services and support for daily living
  • Organisation's service environment
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Human resources
  • Organisational governance

Before the two days started, there was some background work completed with a zoom meeting between the visiting team members and the Manager. There was telephone contact made with clients who receive our services.

During the visit the staff were interviewed against set questions, our documentation was sought and checked, our Policy documents were read and further interviews of clients continued. As well volunteers who were working on the day were spoken to and two Board members (being the President and the Chair of the Policy and Administration Committee) meet with the Team Leader for half an hour.

The process has a set agenda and the Team members now write a report and submit it. We are ranked in each Standard as 'meeting the standard' or 'working towards meeting the standard'. If we were doing neither I imagine we would have failed the assessment and unable to provide services until we have improved. 

I am confident that we are doing what should be done to meet each standard.

Our view of teh process was to take this evaluation as a learning opportunity. Any comments received verbally, or in a report, will be acted upon to fine tune our services futher. 

Continuous Imporvment is one of the four values as set our in our Strategic Plan.

This visit, and the whole process, is seen as a vital part of our Continuous Improvement programme. We look forward to a positive report and guidance on where we can do even better.

The Federal Government established the much welcomed Royal Commission into Aged Care. The Commission presented a large report with a huge number of recomemndations. The Government has accepted these and started work on developing the new future for Aged Care.

The key will be a new Aged Care Act which is expected to be in place during 2023. Work towards this is happening and the necessary changes are starting to be made.

Australia Meals on Wheels Association has been working hard to present the case for the many Meals on Wheels agencies throughout the country. The AMoWA President has been on a Working Party which is looking at funding for the future. It was good to note that two others on the Working Party were also very much Meals on Wheels 'people'.

New South Wales Meals on Wheels has been to the fore in the submissions being discussed, developed and delivered to the Government by AMoWA. They have rasied a number of issues with the Unit price for meals and services being the biggest issue amongst these.

Ths new funding model will see organisations being paid for services delivered rather than the present system of a Bulk Grant against propsoed Outputs. For all organisations this will be a major change and Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels is looking at a very different future.

Our Bulk Grant allowed us to plan and develop knowing what our income would be each quarter. The new funding model will not allow the same flexibility but we are already thinking how we can prepare for the future.

The new Strategic Plan has been deliberately designed to take us through to when the new Act comes into place; our staffing will allow us to be able to send in our account each month and gain our funding quickly; and our computer system will be able to meet reporting requirements. We are in a strong position for the future as long as nothing 'new' is delivered to us.

We are lucky and believe we are well placed at this time. We hope other organsiations will be able to cope and get through the transition to the new way of doing things.

The future is exciting for how we will care for those within the Aged Care system but the tansition may be difficult for some.

 

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About Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a household name and of course we do provide meals to people in their home, but did you know we are offer more than just a meal?  We also provide support to people to maintain and expand their social connections, through our Out and About Centre and through other in home social sevices. See our service page for more details

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