March 2017

110 APAC / March 2017 , Julian Simpkins, CEO of Olivet Aged Care, talks to APAC Insider about the company and the services it offers. Support & Peace of Mind Olivet is a service providing care to the elderly and infirm. The benefit of the service is twofold as it also relieves stress experienced by family of trying to provide the care themselves and we aim, where possible, to promote an independent lifestyle to the people who live with us. Olivet is a home for around 140 people living in community units and centralised accommodation serviced by 24hr nursing care. We’ve been providing these services since the mid 1960’s from the same location and are entrenched in the community fabric and familiar to a large portion of the local population because of our ongoing interaction with the community and our connection with the infrastructure that supports care for elderly people. Our goals of serving the community have remained unchanged since our service was formed. It was started with the expectation of bringing skills in aged care to a landscape that depended significantly on religious and charitable organisation and who focused on delivering services within the budget allowed by the funding body (i.e. public funding). However, for better or worse the Government of the day has recognised that the elderly must now pay a larger proportion toward the cost of their care so that now the role of the “industry” is expanding to create an improved service for the elderly and marketing a range of aged care products to suit lifestyle and budget. It is at the same time, an exciting period where we can produce a variety of lifestyle packages over and above the essential care which is the core of our service. We are emerging from a solely “not for profit”, public funded aged care service into part of a competitive market and the impact on our business structure as well as our philosophy is going to be challenging. Ultimately, we aim to develop the organisation to meet the challenges of a changing business environment and produce a successful service that acknowledges our core values and continues to be financially sustainable without compromising any of those values that motivated us to enter the aged care sector in the first place; to deliver care with compassion, kindness and respect and that we project these values to each other as well as our clients. These ideals are worthless if carers don’t have the resources to deliver a quality service that we aspire to. Human resource is the most important part of our service delivery: Retaining Staff: Retaining experienced staff who have a shared commitment to the care of older people and who enjoy their working environment is a major priority. Our culture and ideals are transmitted to our clients through our staff and we endeavour to let these people know how valued they are and how their dedication is recognised by the clients and the community. Training & Education: We expect to see self- improvement within the organisation and education is an opportunity to enhance skills and qualifications. We work with a formal education provider who can teach skills that will improve the knowledgebase of and quality of care within our workforce but within the industry. Up to date equipment and facilities: A major goal in our development is to design our accommodation to suit what we believe are conducive to delivering relevant healthcare in an environment that could pass as an hotel. The new buildings we are planning will incorporate the standards that the new generation of elderly expect and the most up to date features for carers to carry out their work. Our goals over the next five years are the replacement and upgrading of our building stocks through construction of new residential accommodation and bring existing structures into the 21st century in both design and technology. There are so many applications for IT in managing business communication to meet regulatory obligations and medical record management. But this is just the beginning with on line medical consultations between the client and specialists or General Practitioners becoming routine. The new generation of clients are expecting IT to be part of their lives and our task is to tailor the technology to suit their needs. We will have the flexibility to customise care and lifestyle to the individual. We will expand on this site to a size that will give us the most efficient operation but we are not in the business of expansion to multiple sites or facilities. This is an established boutique aged care business that is comfortable with its own character and culture. There is a big demand for aged care accommodation which will increase at a rate well into mid-century so our challenge will be to meet the needs of those people at an affordable price. K Name: Julian Simpkins, CEO Company: Christadelphian Welfare Association (Vic) Inc. Olivet Aged Care Address: Ringwood, Victoria 1701AP47