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Awards success further proof of Feros Care’s better practice

Aged care provider and disability services organisation Feros Care has reinforced its reputation for innovation after a double dose of success at this year’s national Better Practice Awards.

Two of the not-for-profit’s groundbreaking programs were honoured with coveted Commendation Awards at last night’s gala dinner in Sydney hosted by the Federal Government’s Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

‘Trials to Smiles – Sunbeam Legacy’ saw Feros Care ambitiously build a unique restorative care program aimed at improving the physical strength of seniors in residential care through personalised rehabilitation programs.

Led by a Positive Living Co-ordinator recruited specifically for the program, it is the only trial to date to implement such a level of exercise in a residential care setting and resulted in a 55 per cent reduction in falls in the village that conducted the trial.

Feros Care also received an award for ‘Grow Bold – Independent Fulfilled Lives’, a series of more than 15 fun and active programs backed by an ambitious multimedia marketing campaign to raise awareness of the value of seniors, normalise the ageing process and reduce age discrimination.

Feros Care Chief Executive Officer Jennene Buckley said the awards were a credit to the vision and commitment of the organisation’s most valuable asset – its people.

“I’m fortunate to see the wonderful work our teams do every day to improve the lives of our community’s seniors and I’m so pleased they’ve had their efforts recognised publicly,” she said.

“Be it trialing new ways to improve a resident’s strength or creating an initiative that shatters stereotypes of ageing, their focus is always centred on creating a better life for the people they care for.

“Trials to Smiles helped one bedbound resident gain enough strength to get in a car and join his wife for a ‘home date’. Grow Bold saw a group of residents from one of our villages become ‘Graffiti Grannies’ when they painted street art installations in an urban space.

These programs have had – and are continuing to have – a positive impact on so many lives.

The Better Practice Awards are held each year to recognise and showcase better practice, innovation and excellence across Australia’s aged care sector, with this year’s honours aligned to focus on consumer outcomes and the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

Feros Care’s awards success comes only weeks after Jennie Hewitt – the architect of the Trials to Smiles program – received a lifetime achievement award at the 2018 Aged & Community Services Australia NSW & ACT Aged Care Awards.

Ms Hewitt, who has been a Positive Living Co-ordinator since early 2015, rolled out the first-of-its-kind solution to provide fully-integrated clinical and lifestyle therapy, with programs such as physical rehabilitation, art therapy, horticulture therapy and silent discos helping residents reach personal goals that may otherwise seem unattainable.

“I’m one of those people blessed to have their dream job and am inspired by how both my colleagues and the inspirational residents of our villages have embraced Trials to Smiles,” Ms Hewitt said.

Feros Care is an agent for change and we will never stop searching for ways to better the lives of our seniors.

The organisation’s commitment to promoting the value of seniors was also recognised when it was a finalist in the Best Social Good Campaign at this month’s Social Media Marketing Institute Awards.

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