Aged-care home wins industry award

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Perfecting a program aimed at helping the elderly have a peaceful passing was a goal Hall and Prior’s Rockingham Aged Care Home nursing director Linda Marlow set out to achieve.

Through a palliative care program, Mrs Marlow embedded her belief that everyone deserved a content end to their life, throughout the Rockingham aged-care facility.

She helped change how the facility operated and the opinion of the service in the eyes of community members.

Mrs Marlow said she was overcome with joy when the home was announced a winner in this year’s Aged Care Accreditation Better Practice Awards for its established Palliative Care program.

“To win the award you had to do something that is over and above what is expected,” she said.

“For me it is the highlight of my career — I’m really proud.”

Starting at Hall and Prior nine years ago, Mrs Marlow said she knew changes needed to be made.

“I felt that when I first came here people just looked at the elderly as people who died and they didn’t look at it as what we needed to do to give them a good passing,” she said.

“Lots of staff were quite fearful of death and dying — and families were sometimes unprepared.”

In 2010, a team of five staff from Rockingham Aged Care took part in education sessions run by the Cancer Council WA on how to help people die peacefully, and with holistic care.

“We did the course and then we came back to the facility and implemented it,” she said.

“We got doctors on board, did lots of teaching with the staff, and got family conferences going for all of the residents.”

The success of Rockingham’s palliative care program has seen it implemented throughout the Hall and Prior aged-care facilities.

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