Everyone has a moment where the only words that come to mind are ‘oh no’!
We let the ‘oh no’ settle, and often, it’s followed by an ‘aha!’.
Founder of Group Homes Australia, Tamar Krebs shares some of the biggest moments in her previous aged care career.
“In 2010 I was running a big aged care facility that had a low care, high care and a dementia facility. We had every resource you could want, and we were aspiring to deliver on person centered care every day. Our resources were in abundance but unfortunately I didn’t think this was being translated to the resident. I thought everything was task focused, and very much focused on a human warehoused approach.
I began to ask myself, “why do we disconnect people that have been living in a community for 70 years and disconnect them from the things that give them meaning and purpose?”.
Ageing is not a disease. It’s a chapter of life, and when planned and prepared for, people can exercise choice. I couldn’t understand why we were essentially moving people from their communities and placing them in big facilities. I realised I couldn’t continue to preach person-centered care when it wasn’t actually being done. This was my ‘oh no’ moment. So I went looking for other options.
I began searching for other jobs, but couldn’t find one that could answer my questions. I decided to go back to University and began researching alternative models of care around the world. I started to investigate the ‘disability model.’ People living with disabilities are able to live in the community in a small group home, but this wasn’t the same with aged care.
One Saturday afternoon, I was flicking through the real estate pages in the newspaper. I noticed an advertisement for a 6 bedroom home. My mind started to consider if 6 people could live there and I could figure out how to bring the care to them. People could still be part of the community and live in an actual home.
My heart began to beat faster, it was an ‘aha’ moment.
I began researching group homes for aged care in Australia, but couldn’t see any other similar models. I felt so much excitement when I knew I could do something that could support people to stay at home, or in a home environment as they age.
I didn’t realise it fully at the time, but I was in the process of founding Group Homes Australia.