Stepping into one of Group Homes Australia’s nine houses in Sydney, it’s quickly evident that it is not a traditional aged care facility. The difference goes far beyond the spacious rooms and soft furnishings that make residents and families feel at home. What really sets it apart is the way the forward-thinking team is personalising care for those with dementia and high care needs.
An experiential concept designed to balance aged care with independent living, Group Homes Australia provides small groups of residents a safe and comfortable home with daily activities that stimulate their interests. It’s a more personal approach to care which helps residents remain connected to their communities.
Tamar Krebs, Founder and CEO, said the vision for Group Homes Australia came about after 18 years of working in aged care where people often said they simply want to be cared for at home. “I wanted to create a home environment, offering 24/7 clinical care but more importantly opportunities for meaningful and purposeful engagement.”
Group Homes Australia takes a multidisciplinary approach to care with clinical and social workers partnering together with families to meet residents’ individual needs. While this is not uncommon in an aged care setting, Group Homes Australia takes it to the next level with detailed resident profiles in Salesforce putting everyone on the same page when it comes to resident care.
For instance, carers can arrive on shift and quickly get a view of residents’ care and progress over the last 12 or 24 hours. They can view notes from the social worker’s visit the day before and add insights of their own. And as the day progresses, carers can check residents’ profiles to ensure care is tailored to their personal needs and interests.
“We’re not a home where all our residents wake at eight, have breakfast at nine and then play bingo together at ten. Instead, we use insights from Salesforce to guide residents’ individual routines and see what makes them flourish,” said Krebs.
Group Homes Australia provides an open environment where families can check in on residents whenever they like and share a meal with them at the kitchen table. However, for busy families caring for both children and parents, it can be difficult to connect on a daily basis. Group Homes Australia saw the opportunity to change that and bring families closer together with Salesforce Community Cloud.
Today, a resident’s husband or daughter can log onto a secure community to get an update on their day. They can see pictures of the resident’s excursion to the beach or the meal that they prepared with friends. It helps them to stay connected between visits and also aids in conversations with dementia residents who may have difficulty communicating.
The online community also lets families access clinical notes so that can stay closely involved in the resident’s care and have more productive conversations with the homemakers.
In choosing a system to support personalised care and service, Group Homes Australia knew it needed to be easy to use and accessible from anywhere. Salesforce ticked both of those requirements with a mobile app carers can access from the bedside of a resident or on their way home from work.
“Our team doesn’t need to go and sit at a computer every time they need to check or update a resident’s profile. They can do this on the fly with no disruption to resident care,” said Krebs.
Also, with all information flowing through to a single system, reporting is easy and provides management with new insights to improve care. For example, they can identify patterns in resident behaviour and then work to resolve any unmet needs. They can also track clinical issues for faster resolution.
Opportunities are also managed in Salesforce, helping management to stay on top of demand. However, for Krebs, success is not about scaling but treating every resident as an individual and nurturing them on their journey.