Aged Care with Integrity

Peninsula Village

Finding high-quality aged care for seniors is always a challenge for their loved ones. Peninsula Village makes it easy, providing facilities and services to meet the diverse needs of its clientele.

Located in Umina Beach on New South Wales Central Coast, 90 km north of Sydney, Peninsula Village provides people with continually improving Aged Care Services that enhance their quality of life. The facility is community-owned and was and still is designed with the needs of the modern-day senior citizen in mind.

CEO Gareth Norman and Environmental Services Manager Jackie Bennett spoke about Peninsula Village and its services and progress over the years.

“We provide different levels of person centred care depending on the needs of our customers,” Mr Norman explains. “We provide independent / self-care, low-care, and high-care services all on one site.”

Named for its location on Woy Woy Peninsula, Peninsula Village was started in 1975 by local residents who saw the need for quality aged care in the area. Local fundraisers, instead of government funding, initially funded Peninsula Village.

The word “Umina” was derived from the Australian Aboriginal word meaning “place of sleep”, and there are plenty of beds in Peninsula Village for residents to rest their heads. The Peninsula Village Hostel & Don Leggett House comprises 187 beds in total, including three for booked respite and 26 for secure dementia. The facility provides tri-level care for a variety of individual care needs.

Cooinda Village consists of 62 independent lifestyle apartments with one or two bedrooms each. Each unit comes with a dishwasher, wall oven, hot plates, clothes dryer, and LCD TV. Residents also have the option of meals and in-house cleaning services. Cooinda Village also boasts an onsite recreation hall and sunroom, and residents have the choice to attend social club activities. Other facilities at Cooinda include facility bus and a hairdressing salon.

Peninsula Village also owns a third facility, Ambleside, at Morisset Park, 66 km to the north of Umina Beach. Ambleside consists of 13 apartments on the waterfront of Bardens Bay. The apartments at Ambleside are surrounded by landscaped gardens, providing a serene atmosphere for its residents. All the units at Ambleside have a 24 hour emergency call system in place, catering to the residents who wish to remain independent but still have security and peace of mind. Ambleside is a 30 minute drive from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

Besides its lifestyle apartments, Peninsula Village also has a number of residential aged care facilities to cater to the needs of residents who may require more attention.

The Jack Aldous House offers holistic care for residents with high care needs, and has a team of physiotherapists and qualified staff to assist residents in their daily living. Breakfast is delivered to customers in bed and is prepared onsite by a chef. Jack Aldous House also has a variety of activities to keep its residents occupied.

The Don Leggett House is a facility built for low care residents. Each unit has a large flat screen TV, a bar fridge, and air conditioning with individual room controls. Don Leggett House is an ageing-in-place facility, which means residents are not required to move to another site within the Village. Residents who require a higher level of care can stay in the units they moved into or to another unit of the same size where there is a higher staff-to-resident ratio. Don Leggett House also offers lounge areas and balconies for residents to enjoy and an activities programme with a variety of things to do. The facility is on beautifully maintained grounds with a teahouse set over a fish pond for residents to enjoy with their friends and relatives. They also have the option to barbecue or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

As people age, they pass through different stages of their lives. To address the ever-changing needs of seniors, Peninsula Village offers ‘Ageing in Place’ under its Model of Care Program. This means residents can move through various care stages during their lifetime without relocating to a new service provider. For example, The Pam Palmer House offers 104 low-care residential apartments. If the care needs of its residents increase, Peninsula’s Residential Care Service offers high-level care in the Jack Aldous House.

Peninsula Village also offers respite care services. Respite care helps assist people who are frail and aged or disabled to remain as independent as they are able to in their own homes for as long as possible. Peninsula Village’s respite service is tailored to the needs of the individual and offers high and low-care placements.

Peninsula Village has Wellness Centres that provide alternate therapies. Peninsula allies itself with local schools to bridge the generation gap between seniors and youth. Also, there is a pastoral carer available to provide assistance to residents and family members. The Village also provides a dietician-approved meal service to meet all dietary needs. The Village has a teahouse along with an indoor, heated swimming pool, bowling green and hairdressing salons.

Other services include home meal delivery service to provide healthy meals right at a resident’s doorstep. There are also home cleaning services and care assistance for those who require assistance with showering, hygiene, medication, wound and pain management, and social integration.

Peninsula Village also provides day therapy staff to break down boredom some residents may experience by providing fun and stimulating activities for them. This assists with socialisation for those who may feel isolated in their environment.

Having a variety of facilities and services that cater to the needs of its residents is an important part of Peninsula Village’s mission and purpose. “We’re a culture that fosters open communication,” says Mr Norman. “Our vision is that of openness, honesty, and integrity.”A dedication to this vision has paid off for Peninsula Village over the years, and in 2011 and 2012 the company was the winner of the Positive Living in Aged Care Awards.

Mr Norman says providing high quality care and treating residents with the utmost respect is a major principle of Peninsula Village; and treating people well doesn’t only apply to the residents. “We don’t differentiate; the same processes and principles apply not only to our residents, but to their families, our staff, and the community,” he explains. “We embrace everyone and treat them equally.”

Recent events at Peninsula Village include the start of its ‘Play Up Forum’, catering to residents dealing with dementia. This program was paid for by the Village and was encouraged by the Board and CEO who have a passion for providing person-centred care. The program has been successful, giving hope to families and staff. The Model of Care at Peninsula Village continues to expand and strives to keep residents laughing and interactive and continue to provide the highest of quality care.

Other projects include an arts program called ‘Bringing in the Colour’ to foster creativity throughout the village for the enjoyment of residents, staff and families. Peninsula is hiring local artists to display their works within the Village and rotate the artwork on a regular basis. Work from the artists will be for sale in the Village and they will host an Art and Craft Festival twice a year. Various artists will conduct workshops and launch new works in the village, as well as holding special events for residents.

Of course, Peninsula Village is also known for its high quality staff members, who work hard to meet the needs of its residents. “We have a highly regarded education program for our current employees,” shares Ms Bennett. “This adds to our staff retention level. We’re a highly regarded provider on the New South Wales Central Coast, so we’re able to attract good quality candidates in each division.”

Over the last eight months, Peninsula Village has completed a learning and development centre to educate its staff and keep them up to date on the latest industry standards. “We’re the envy of other facilities in the area,” says Mr Norman.

The Village does face its share of challenges, namely being in the transitional stage of the Living Longer Living Better care reforms for aged care facilities, which are effective 1 July throughout Australia. These reforms affect funding for aged care facilities and how it is distributed. “The reforms potentially present changes such as consolidation, which may be the next stage in how the aged care industry will be transformed,” explains Mr Norman. “We must ensure that we can still attract and retain staffing and embrace the reforms both strategically and financially.”

For almost forty years, Peninsula Village has provided high quality aged care for citizens along the Central New South Wales coast. As the largest employer on the Woy Woy Peninsula, the facility has cared for many aged residents in the area and plans to do so for the foreseeable future.

“We are a community organisation that is an integral part of this community,” says Mr Norman. “Our strategy today is as it was in 1975; Don Leggett had the vision of building an aged care facility and we value and uphold the vision, and will continue to provide quality aged care for our residents.”

For more information about Peninsula Village, please visit http://peninsulavillage.com.au.

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