Calvary Matters August 2016
To the new digital version of our fortnightly Calvary Matters Employee Update. This newsletter is distributed to all Calvary Community Care employees so you can stay in touch, connected and up to date with all things relevant to our work, organisation and community. The digital version has been designed to make it easy to read on the go on any device – a mobile, tablet or desktop computer. I trust that you enjoy the first issue of this essential reading and look forward to your feedback and contributions.
Cheryl De Zilwa
CEO, Calvary Community Care
An Insight into 24 hour care
Vicki, Melbourne South East Support Worker has been part of the Calvary community for five years. “I was originally a Secretary for a Chartered Accountant. After becoming a mother of two boys, one of whom was diagnosed with Autism when he was three, I really wanted to do something to help people.” Vicki explains.
“It was through caring for my son, and attending to his needs that I really developed a passion for helping people. I found it very rewarding, and I could see that I really made a difference.”
Vicki found her calling in ‘Community Care’ and has never looked back. “I began in the traditional way, with many single Personal Care and Domestic Assistance shifts, driving from client to client. I spent a lot of time on the road”. When Vicki was first approached about doing 24 hour care, she thought it was not possible with her family commitments, but ended up helping out by covering a section of the shift between 11am – 4:30pm until a full replacement was found.
“I thoroughly enjoyed caring for this client, and when a replacement was found, I really missed going” says Vicki. “When the opportunity came up to work with this client again on a 24 hour basis, I had a discussion with my family to see if we could manage, and with their support I accepted.”
Vicki still cares for this client today. She explains that to her “24 hour care takes caring to the next level – you become part of the extended family – it does comes with more complex tasks and responsibility, which has opened the door to a lot of training and upskilling opportunities for me. I also get experience liaising with GP’s, specialist’s and case managers.”
While being organised is an imperative, Vicki says there are many benefits.
“Firstly, the rewarding feeling you get from caring for someone in this way, you really make a difference to them and their family, and there is so much appreciation. It’s a unique, special and very personal arrangement. I really enjoy the ‘quality’ time I can spend with the client in between tasks and appointments, I can give them a meaningful structure to their day. I also enjoy spending less time on the road, it’s a relief to stay in one place and I am saving so much time in the car. I find that 24 hour care gives me a break from my usual daily routine and parent duties, which is nice, and I really look forward to going each week.”
Vicki also shared her top tips and advice for anyone considering 24 hour care:
- Communication is so important. With the client, family, extended networks and the Calvary CSO’s and Case Managers.
- Make sure you and the client “fit” with each other. If you and the client have a connection, this helps build trust and makes the client feel comfortable. After all you are in their home.
- Get to know what the clients likes, in regards to their routine and other activities. You are constantly learning about them and I have found walking, music, games and family photo albums are some activities my client really enjoys.
- You and the family need to be on the same page, and it’s important they are involved, so you are all working towards the same goal.
- Know your boundaries. It’s important that the client can still have their own space when they need it. You need to mindful of that and pick up on certain signs. When my client’s family visits I purposely give them their own personal time and find tasks to do in other rooms of the house.
If you have considered 24 hour care or would like more information please contact your Service Coordinator on 1300 797 522.
Calvary’s Discharge Program in action - South Australia
Calvary Community Care in partnership with the Calvary Adelaide Hospitals have recently began working together on a client discharge support program.
The project aims to understand client’s needs, and assist with the blockages that patients experience when attempting to return home from hospital.
The program offers patients a convenient and supported transition home from hospital with the assistance of Community Care services, such as:
- Grocery shopping
- Meal preparation
- Household tasks
- Personal Care
- Overnight and 24 hour care
And if required additional clinical services including:
- Acute nursing
- Complex and general nursing
- Medication support
- IV Therapy
- Would Management
The program is just starting off, and we have already received some positive feedback from patients and their family members. Pictured here is Calvary Nurse Kim, leaving a client’s home.
It’s OK to Speak Out
As Support Workers you play an important role in the lives of our clients. Not only are you providing services to improve the independence and quality of their life, you also play an important role in their well being. Sometimes you may be the only person they regularly see, and you become the eyes and ears for the rest of their family.
Unfortunately, at times you may see or hear things that don’t seem right, notice a change in behaviour or pick up on an unusual comment or action. If so Speak Out! We are here to support you and the wellbeing of our clients – it’s our priority. You can reach your local service centre or our afterhours team at any time on 1300 797 522.
Remember, if you would prefer to speak out confidentially, you can access Calvary’s Speak Out program. The Speak Out Program is run by an independent organisation, Optum, and provides employees the opportunity to report corrupt, unethical or inappropriate behaviour. Optum acts solely as a conduit for recording and reporting information received through the Program. After receiving a call, Optum follows a structured feedback process, which involves sending an incident report to the nominated key representative within our organisation. You will remain 100% anonymous.
If you notice something that doesn’t seem right, don’t keep it to yourself, you can call Optum 24 hours, 7 days a week on 1800 582 551.
Support at Home for New Mums
Calvary Community Care is now providing postnatal support at home for new mums. The service is designed to provide immediate and practical support at home while new mums settle in at home with their newborn.
Services can include:
• Preparing and cooking family meals
• Shopping and unpacking groceries
• Cleaning and tidying the house
• Picking up newborn essentials
• Washing, folding and ironing laundry
• Picking up or dropping off other children at school/day care or sporting events
Know someone looking for a new mum gift?
Calvary’s Support for New Mums service can also be purchased as a gift for a new parent.
For more information contact your Service Coordinator or call 1300 66 00 22.
Pause for Applause - Latest Nominations
The Monthly Pause for Applause Awards
These awards recognise the Calvary values in action.
All employees are encouraged to nominate their work colleague/s by submitting an online nomination form by the 25th of each month.
HR will collate all nominations each month and present them to the Executive for assessment and selection. Award recipients will receive a certificate and award voucher to a designated value.
Monthly award winners will automatically be eligible for the Annual and CEO Awards.
In May we would like to celebrate the award recipients for Stewardship – The Hunter Reginal Assessment Team. The team includes Judith Henriksen, Amanda Hall, Justin Lea.
“The RAS team were formed following a successful consortia bid for the Regional Assessment Service. New to the sector this service was adopted in all States except WA and Victoria in June 2015 commenced from 1 July. Working through myagedcare there have been numerous challenges and the team has worked hard to match outputs and ensure income for CCC. Managed by Judith as an interim structure they are remotely managed, fully technical in applications and complete a high volume of assessments per month.
The small team have shown skills and competencies linked to the best outcomes for clients and generate an income based on the number of assessments completed. The CCC reputation and image has been enhanced by their ability to learn a new system, manage change and collaborate with key stakeholders.”
- Leanne Shellsell
- Jan Patton
- Adelaide Staff – Sharyn Prestwood & Jolene Van Zyl
- Donna Gannon
- Donna Abbott
- Anne Wied
- Casey Weston
- Regional Assessment Team
- Leonie Lowe
Messages of Thanks
The Melbourne South East Team
A lovely message of thanks was received this week from a client’s family member in Melbourne South East. Well Done to the Calvary Team! A small passage is shared below:
“She had great care and support from the Calvary team and we have all enabled her to remain independent until 90, a great achievement. She will be missed by many. My sincere thanks to all at Calvary who have cared for and supported Biddy over the years. It really made a difference to her life and she so treasured her independence.
The Alice Springs Team
The Alice Springs Palliative Care Team brought a Chocolate Cake in to the Alice Spring Service Centre to say ‘Thanks’.
Dying to Know Day - August 8
Dying to Know Day, on August 8 encourages us all to bring life to conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement.
It’s not a subject that people feel comfortable talking about but we should. After all, it will eventually happen to someone we know, people we love and it will even happen to you!
- 9 out of 10 people never tell anyone their end-of-life wishes.
- 45% of people die without a will.
- 70% of people express a wish to die at home. 14% get to do so.
So by talking about it, expressing our wishes and discussing what’s important we can make sure we all have a good death.
Fortunately, organisations such as The Groundswell Project, are raising awareness about having a ‘good’ death, with initiatives such as Dying to Know Day and there is an array of material available, to assist and guide these conversations with your partner, family and friends, you can find out more information at http://www.dyingtoknowday.org/
Did you know you can even visit a Death Café?
At a Death Café you eat cake, drink tea and talk about Death with people, even with strangers. It is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.
To find a Death Café near you or for more information visit http://deathcafe.com/
Get the low down on incontinence with Philip Wilkinson
World Continence Week was recently celebrated and this year the theme was ‘Improve your bottom line’. The theme is about encouraging people to adopt healthy bladder and bowel habits to prevent and improve incontinence.
Philip explains that incontinence refers to the accidental or involuntary loss of urine or faeces. While it can seem like an uncomfortable topic to discuss, 65% of women and 30% of men sitting in a GP waiting room report some type of urinary incontinence, yet only 31% of these people seek help from a health professional. Faecal incontinence is one of the three major causes for admission into a residential aged care (Continence Foundation of Australia).
These alarming statistics highlight the importance of managing incontinence and seeking support to maintain wellbeing and an independent lifestyle.
The good news is that there are ways to prevent or delay incontinence, and also strategies to support someone with bladder or bowel difficulties.
“A good balanced diet and fluid intake, pelvic floor exercises and daily physical activity are a great start to preventing or delaying incontinence” explains Philip. “However, if you suspect a client is having incontinence difficulties, I would suggest asking the person if they have any issues in a gentle way, suggesting they discuss their concerns with a GP and reassuring them that there is help available.’
Philip also says that “As Support Workers, there are simple ways you can assist your incontinent clients, these include things like toileting or prompting the person regularly, changing continence products often, monitor skin integrity, using appropriate continence products such as pull ups, and by encouraging clients to use hand rails and footrests where possible.”
“It’s also important to be patient with the person and perhaps encourage the client or their family to enquire about funding. There may also be the possibility of having the toilet and bathroom assessed by an OT to see if any modification could assist further.”
“Using the correct continence products and ensuring the correct fitting and capacity is the client’s key to maintaining their lifestyle, and having the confidence to be out and about in the community.”
There are plenty of resources available and you can start by visiting http://www.continence.org.au/ or clients and their family members can seek over the phone support by calling the Continence Foundation of Australia on 1800 33 0066 or alternatively visiting their GP for independent advice.
Philip Wilkinson, Incontinence Nurse from Independence Australia.
Handy Hints from Margaret, Support Worker Melbourne West
Margaret has worked with Calvary for over eight years, and has kindly shared some practical safety and courtesy tips for carrying out Domestic Assistance in client homes:
- Suggest a client buys a dry mop to stop them slipping on a wet floor.
- When soaking used cloths in the laundry sink with the plug in, make sure that if the washing machine is on that the outlet hose does not overflow on the floor.
- Knock on bedroom doors before entering to vacuum.
- If you notice the top of a jar is loose don’t tighten it, as the client may have difficulties opening tight jars.
Photos and News
Hunter’s Dinner for Occupancy
The Hunter Team recently celebrated a wonderful dinner for occupancy. The team enjoyed a meal in recognition of hitting their Home Care Package occupancy target – Well Done All!
Pictured: Angela West, Kyall Coulton, Renée Yates, Ebony Ranclaud and Basia Pinkowski,.
Congratulations to Gaurav Sondhi from the Canberra Service Centre who has just received his Australian residency
Pictured from left are: Rebecca Colson, Gaurav Sondhi, Leeanne Houssenloge and Rhett Guthrie – at Gaurav Sondhi’s celebratory lunch at the ACT Service Centre.
Happy retirement to Support Worker Johannes Van Der Merwe and congratulations to Support Worker Susan Allen who was recognised for ten years of service in the Darwin Service Centre.
New and Improved Calling Cards
A new look and design for our calling cards has been released. The improved cards are larger in size, feature a Calvary Support Worker and are printed in colour. These changes create increased awareness and identity for our clients.
You will see the new version Calling Cards at your service centre in the coming days.
Important: When leaving a Client Calling Card
Client calling cards are to be used when a client is not home for a scheduled visit. You should complete the details on the card and leave the card in a place that is easy to see. However, the most important step is to contact the service centre and advise them the client is not home. The service centre then begins a number of steps to reach the client.
You can reach your Service Centre or our After Hours Service Support Team by calling 1300 797 522.
Working Safely in Winter
While Calvary Community Care’s health and safety policies and procedures are relevant all year round, winter can pose some increased risks. Daylight hours are reduced and it becomes more likely that community appointments may start or finish in the dark. Not to mentioned the likely poor weather conditions at times.
The tips below will help to ensure you are safe when arriving, leaving and working in the community:
- Park as close to your destination as possible – at Client homes this may mean parking in the driveway or directly outside the house.
- Take note of your surroundings – including the ground surface, lighting, proximity to other people etc. Remember that you may arrive in daylight and leave in the dark, check the safety and security of the area with this in mind.
If you need to park in the street try to park under a street light. Check ground surface and determine if it would be adequate in the rain.
- Always be alert when returning to your car – it is easy to get distracted if you are rushing to avoid the wind and rain. Keep your head up, look around and into the distance.
- Many current model cars have safety/security features that may assist with your safety and security – for example headlights that turn-on when the “unlock” button is pressed, to assist vision when returning to the car, features where only the driver’s door will unlock when the “unlock” button is pressed or doors that lock automatically when the car is started. These functions are different on every car and often need to be activated.
- In poor weather or fog, driving with your head lights on, even during the day, increases your visibility to others and reduces the risk of accidents.
- As always, use your safety switch when using power points in a client’s home. Poor weather conditions and the likeliness of a storm can create increased risk of electricity faults.
- Reporting concerns to your Service Centre before an incident occurs is the best way to prevent incidents.
We are very pleased to share a recent story about the use of a safety switch in a client’s home.
This story really illustrates the importance of the safety switch device and why it is an imperative for every Support Worker.
An incident occurred where a Support Worker was vacuuming in a Clients home, using a Safety Switch. Before the vacuuming was complete, the vacuum cleaner stopped working. When the Support Worker went to check the plug it became clear that the safety switch had tripped, causing the vacuum cleaner to stop working. When the SW went to remove the Safety Switch from the wall it was hot to touch. In this instance the safety switch had done its job and potentially prevented a fire or worse, an electric shock, confirming that our current procedure of requiring all workers to use a safety in client homes is the working.
This incident demonstrates the very real need to use a safety switch, it may save your life. If you have any further questions about your safety switch or require a replacement please contact your service centre on 1300 797 522 as a matter of urgency.
Has your availability changed?
Is it time to update, review or amend your availability?
Have you had changes to your availability recently? It’s important this information is regularly updated at your Service Centre using the – Support Worker Availability Request form.
This information is used by service centres when scheduling new client services, offering additional hours of work or when looking to cover client services. If your availability is recorded accurately we can ensure you are contacted with suitable services.
If your availability needs updating please contact your local Service Centre on 1300 797 522
Improvements to Email Junk Folders
In recent weeks it has been reported that in some cases Support Worker Schedules were being delivered to the Junk email folder instead of the email Inbox.
We are pleased to report that our spam filter has now been updated. All emails from Calvarycare should appear in the Inbox as expected.
If you do continue to receive important emails to Junk mail, or have other questions about our email system, please call the Link Plus Helpdesk on 1300 164 802.