Doing Dementia Differently
Unique Professional Services
Integrated Equipment Into Home Design
An Alternative to Traditional Aged Care
Group Homes Australia recognises that today’s generation of Australians want something more than traditional aged care homes. They, and their families, want options that provide high levels of respect and personal care combined within a warm, friendly environment, that is local and enjoyable to visit.
At GHA, we specialise in in-home care, respite, dementia care, high care, palliative care.
Is it Time To Consider Permanent Care?
For many, living at home alone might appear fine, but sometimes this might result in stoves and hoses being left on, wandering, forgetfulness around eating and taking medications. It can also be socially isolating, which can cause depression. Personal care can become neglected, which fosters further disengagement. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Group Homes Australia provides dementia care services that are very different to your standard dementia unit or nursing home. Our international model has been successful in many countries around the world and involves small groups of residents (6-10 max) in each home, with a high carer-to-resident ratio (averaging 1:3). While being under-pinned by best practice clinical care, our specialised approach focuses on getting residents involved in day-to-day life activities that bring them purpose and meaning, including:
- Cooking and baking
- Exercise and yoga
- Helping to hang the laundry
- Gardening activities
- Shopping outings if desired
- Walks around the neighbourhood
- Public outings to cafes, art galleries, visit other houses
Our homes feature soft, period-sensitive décor and our floorplans are designed for convenient living, socialising, but importantly, to reduce trip hazards and other safety design features. Our homes also have ample garden spaces for gardening or simply enjoying the benefits of the outdoors. Residents can also enjoy smart, wireless technology and modern medical equipment, ensuring that they receive the very best care available.
Our Clinical Care
Our clinical ethos is to deliver care to our residents that is individualised and within the comfort of a traditional home environment.
Our initial assessment is performed in the resident’s own home where we endeavour to build a relationship, learn about the resident’s life and what makes them unique, as well as form an understanding of their clinical care needs. Assessments are completed by our RN and social worker who collaborate to ensure we welcome the new resident to the correct home within our network, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
We understand our residents for who they are, which is an essential ingredient in the delivery of person-centric care. Our care is modelled on a partnership between the resident, their family and us as the care deliverer.
The transition for a resident from their home to our home is not an easy one and so we work closely with the family, remaining transparent and supporting them from the initial settling-in period right throughout their GHA journey.
Alzheimer’s Australia (Now Dementia Australia) benchmarked Group Homes Australia against over 80 competitors in the traditional aged care sector and revealed that it outperformed on every measure in relation to transition into care.
A dedicated clinical team of RNs support our regular Homemaker teams to provide all the necessary clinical care for our residents within the home. We have 24/7 RN support with an RN team working across the homes 6 days a week with an RN on-call for each home 24/7, ensuring no gaps in care.
Our primary focus is to support our residents to stay in the home. From a resident’s perspective, the need to go to hospital can be a confusing and difficult experience. In the event that additional services are needed, we endeavour to bring in the necessary resources to support and care for the resident in a familiar environment surrounded by people who know them. Mobile X-ray, mobile dentist, and Hospital in the Home are examples of some of our key relationships that we bring into the home to support our residents if required.
Our residents are cared for with dignity and comfort right through to their end of life journey. Our residents do not need to move out. A person’s end of life journey can be a beautiful experience when a person is in the home surrounded by family and friends. Family and friends have the support of the clinical team and homemakers throughout this difficult stage of their loved one’s journey.
We are supported by a visiting GP who visits our homes regularly. We also have a social worker on our team to support the emotional needs of our residents, families and team throughout their journey at GHA.
We have a very high staff ratio. Each home has 2-3 staff working, with some 6-10 residents per home. Unlike nursing homes, we do not use agency staff. Our staff are all employees. We have the same team working in each home, on an on-going basis, which enables us to build a proper clinical understanding of the resident and build the necessary relationship to celebrate an individual, know their needs and support their clinical changes. Agency staff can be ephemeral, which can make the continuity of care difficult.
Education is essential in delivering a high standard of care and our team are part of a continuing education and training program. Our program is not only based on theory and best practice but the shared learning experience from our residents.
The group home model is popular across the United States with established players like The Green House Project.
- “The Green House concept is the most comprehensive effort to reinvent the nursing home.” – The New York Times
- “The Green House Project Reinvents Long-Term Eldercare.” – The Huffington Post
The Green House Project creates “caring homes for meaningful lives” for elders where residents have private rooms and baths, can move freely through the home, build deep knowing relationships with each other more and even participate in preparing their own meals. It is based on a philosophy seeking to reverse the “enforced dependency” of life in a traditional nursing home by creating small intentional communities of 7-10 elders designed to foster late-life development and growth.
Residents of Green House Project homes have shown “increased reports of mobility and social interaction, and fewer reports of weight loss and depression” compared with those living in traditional nursing home facilities.