A home away from home

Care: Resident Leslee Finn pictured with homemaker Tathra Witherow is enjoying the freedom of new model available at Uniting Care Services.
Care: Resident Leslee Finn pictured with homemaker Tathra Witherow is enjoying the freedom of new model available at Uniting Care Services.

Choosing what time to get out of bed is the biggest perk for Leslee Finn, whose aged care home has recently adopted a ‘household model’ approach.

Leslee is a resident of Uniting Lindsay Gardens Hamilton which has recently adopted this model.

The model takes the approach of giving more freedom to residents over things like when they wish to get up and when to eat, and is based on the latest thinking in residential care.

For early riser Leslee, this means no more having to hang around in the mornings while she waits for the other residents to wake, so she can have her breakfast.

“Sometimes I wake very early and everything is quiet,” confesses the 86-year- old.

“Now I can choose whether to wait for the others or to eat early.”

Uniting Service Manager, Tina Clift, that moving over to the new set up and away from a more institutional framework where there are set times for everything has been a huge success for all involved.

Residents live as part of a vibrant and active household.

The 18 to 20 residents share their own kitchen, dining room, living room and small cosy spaces like you would find in any home.

The daily rhythm and fabric of life is decided by the resident and those that they live with.

“This model allows residents to feel like they are in their own home.

They get to make decisions about their lives instead of having them dictated to them,” Tina says.

Uniting provides a range of aged care services including residential, home and community care and independent living.

Local residential services are available in Belmont, Garden Suburb, Elermore Vale, Mayfield, Hamilton, Singleton and Salamander Bay and all homes offer quality, caring environments for residents.

Under the new household model, the residents in Hamilton have the freedom to go to the kitchen to access snacks such as soups, sandwiches, chips, fruit and biscuits whenever they please.

This has brought about more of a community spirit.

“It used to be in the afternoons that all you could hear was people’s buzzers as they called staff into their room to ask for a snack.

Now the corridors are silent as the residents are able to come down to the kitchen and get what they like, as and when they want to. There’s so much more of a community spirit.”

Tina says that without the restrictions on time that a strenuous routine can mean, staff are freed up to offer a more hands-on approach to the residents too.

“One of the staff members took me for a big walk around the block the other day which was lovely,” says Leslee.

“We haven’t ever done that before.”