Achieving the impossible: How Aged Care Managers create connection and love in care

Unfortunately, no matter how determined, motivated, and resilient an Aged Care Manager may be, they still face some walls that simply cannot be overcome without additional help or resources.

Aged Care Managers continuously achieve the impossible. This opinion piece explores why they need more help to be able to create loving, connected environments for residents, and how families can sometimes make their job more difficult. I worked in Aged Care for over 10 years, and this is something that has always stood out to me.

The impossibly high workloads of Aged Care Managers

To this day, I don’t know how they do it. From working to extremely tight margins and maintaining 24/7 care to frequent rostering challenges, to dealing with the complex behaviours of residents, managing families with high expectations, meeting the criteria of the regulators, and so much more. 

All the while, these managers are pushing to provide an engaging program of activities and events that won’t compromise the safety of the residents. If you have ever sat in the manager’s office for a couple of hours then you will know that interruptions are constant, and there is always someone else’s need to be attended to. 

“…interruptions are constant, and there is always someone else’s need to be attended to”

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. 

Despite all this, we expect our aged care homes to be welcoming. We expect embracing places of joy, laughter, peace, and serenity. A place where no problem is too big or small to solve. A place where the needs of residents are attended to before they even realize they need something.

As tough a gig as being an aged care manager is, I see many of them creating exactly that kind of home for the residents. Often joy, laughter, and love is something residents feel on a daily basis. I can’t speak more highly of what the managers and staff achieve.

Unfortunately, no matter how determined, motivated, and resilient an Aged Care Manager may be, they still face some walls that simply cannot be overcome without additional help or resources. 

Dealing with resident families

 

For example, something that is often extremely difficult for Aged Care Managers is to meet the expectations of residents’ families. This group is often highly emotionally charged, and their mix of confusing emotions about putting their parents or loved ones into a home creates understandable difficulties. This is particularly evident when they communicate with staff.

They can be grieving, hurting, anxious, fearful, disconnected, and overwrought. They often struggle to come to terms with accepting that Mum, Dad, or their life partner now need 24/7 care. 

Families expect, quite rightly, the best for their loved ones whilst they are in care. However, as the royal commission has highlighted, residential aged care is not funded to meet these expectations. Keeping families in the loop on all the great things taking place in the aged care home is incredibly challenging. As a result, Aged Care Managers are often faced with complaints from families that are largely unaware of the extent of day-to-day interactions and involvement the resident has. Enabling two-way communication between staff and family members remains a key pain point for Aged Care Managers and these organizations as a whole. 

“Keeping families in the loop on all the great things taking place in the aged care home is incredibly challenging”

Award-winning community engagement apps

Why we exist


We built the Pluss Communities platform deeply embedded in the challenges that residents, staff, and families face every day. Namely bringing to life a sense of community, vitality, love, and connection in an aged care home. To do this, we formed co-design partnerships with some of Australia’s leading Residential Aged Care providers. We sat with families and residents and watched the staff interact with the platform. We listened to activity and lifestyle officers, sales teams, and heard from site managers and CEO’s. All to enable us to acutely understand the needs of the end-users. These insights guided us to build a software solution that won us an Australian Good Design award in 2019. 

What I love hearing on a regular basis from our customers, and one of the main reasons I joined this company, is that because of the Pluss Communities App, families feel more connected and engaged with their loved ones than ever before. Some of the anxiousness, guilt, anger, and uncertainty of disconnected families subsides and the whole community can get on with providing the most vibrant life for residents in their care. 

The recent Royal Commission report is sure to bring some more exciting developments in Aged Care. I hope the support for Aged Care Managers will improve significantly. If you’re ready to explore your options there are companies, like us, that are already here and ready to help. 

My hope is that we can play a part to help these families stay connected and ultimately, help our Aged Care Managers thrive. 

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Achieving the impossible: How Aged Care Managers create connection and love in care

Unfortunately, no matter how determined, motivated, and resilient an Aged Care Manager may be, they still face some walls that simply cannot be overcome without additional help or resources.

Aged Care Managers continuously achieve the impossible. This opinion piece explores why they need more help to be able to create loving, connected environments for residents, and how families can sometimes make their job more difficult. I worked in Aged Care for over 10 years, and this is something that has always stood out to me.

The impossibly high workloads of Aged Care Managers

To this day, I don’t know how they do it. From working to extremely tight margins and maintaining 24/7 care to frequent rostering challenges, to dealing with the complex behaviours of residents, managing families with high expectations, meeting the criteria of the regulators, and so much more. 

All the while, these managers are pushing to provide an engaging program of activities and events that won’t compromise the safety of the residents. If you have ever sat in the manager’s office for a couple of hours then you will know that interruptions are constant, and there is always someone else’s need to be attended to. 

“…interruptions are constant, and there is always someone else’s need to be attended to”

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. 

Despite all this, we expect our aged care homes to be welcoming. We expect embracing places of joy, laughter, peace, and serenity. A place where no problem is too big or small to solve. A place where the needs of residents are attended to before they even realize they need something.

As tough a gig as being an aged care manager is, I see many of them creating exactly that kind of home for the residents. Often joy, laughter, and love is something residents feel on a daily basis. I can’t speak more highly of what the managers and staff achieve.

Unfortunately, no matter how determined, motivated, and resilient an Aged Care Manager may be, they still face some walls that simply cannot be overcome without additional help or resources. 

Dealing with resident families

 

For example, something that is often extremely difficult for Aged Care Managers is to meet the expectations of residents’ families. This group is often highly emotionally charged, and their mix of confusing emotions about putting their parents or loved ones into a home creates understandable difficulties. This is particularly evident when they communicate with staff.

They can be grieving, hurting, anxious, fearful, disconnected, and overwrought. They often struggle to come to terms with accepting that Mum, Dad, or their life partner now need 24/7 care. 

Families expect, quite rightly, the best for their loved ones whilst they are in care. However, as the royal commission has highlighted, residential aged care is not funded to meet these expectations. Keeping families in the loop on all the great things taking place in the aged care home is incredibly challenging. As a result, Aged Care Managers are often faced with complaints from families that are largely unaware of the extent of day-to-day interactions and involvement the resident has. Enabling two-way communication between staff and family members remains a key pain point for Aged Care Managers and these organizations as a whole. 

“Keeping families in the loop on all the great things taking place in the aged care home is incredibly challenging”

Award-winning community engagement apps

Why we exist


We built the Pluss Communities platform deeply embedded in the challenges that residents, staff, and families face every day. Namely bringing to life a sense of community, vitality, love, and connection in an aged care home. To do this, we formed co-design partnerships with some of Australia’s leading Residential Aged Care providers. We sat with families and residents and watched the staff interact with the platform. We listened to activity and lifestyle officers, sales teams, and heard from site managers and CEO’s. All to enable us to acutely understand the needs of the end-users. These insights guided us to build a software solution that won us an Australian Good Design award in 2019. 

What I love hearing on a regular basis from our customers, and one of the main reasons I joined this company, is that because of the Pluss Communities App, families feel more connected and engaged with their loved ones than ever before. Some of the anxiousness, guilt, anger, and uncertainty of disconnected families subsides and the whole community can get on with providing the most vibrant life for residents in their care. 

The recent Royal Commission report is sure to bring some more exciting developments in Aged Care. I hope the support for Aged Care Managers will improve significantly. If you’re ready to explore your options there are companies, like us, that are already here and ready to help. 

My hope is that we can play a part to help these families stay connected and ultimately, help our Aged Care Managers thrive. 

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Facebook
Share on twitter
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Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

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