Inside Ageing awards winner for reablement and restorative care

16th March 2020 | 5 mins

George Yusef Ashfield Terrace

The Future of Ageing Awards recognise leadership and innovation across Australia’s aged care sector. These aged care awards bring together organisations dedicated to driving change to improve the lives of ageing Australians. We are excited to announce that together with our wellness partner, Concentric Rehabilitation, we have been awarded first place in the Reablement and Restorative Care category.

This award recognises our innovative partnership, which reimagines healthcare delivery for people living in Opal care homes and the wider community. Located in our Opal homes, our centres are uniquely designed to provide physical reablement and rehabilitation services that encourage intergenerational and community socialisation.

We know that quality of life for older people is closely tied not only to mental wellbeing but also to physical independence. Co-locating wellness centres within our residential care homes ensures that residents can focus on their wellness goals with easy access to individual programs and regular sessions without the need to travel to external locations.

At least one-third of people aged 65 and over fall once or more annually. Falls can result in injuries, loss of confidence and a subsequent reduction in activity levels and social participation. There is evidence that appropriate exercise-based interventions can help prevent these falls1. Our wellness centres provide specific programs, which combine high-level balance and moderate intensity progressive resistance training which has been shown to be effective in reducing the rate of falls and help our residents lead their best life in care.

George lives at Ashfield Terrace (formerly Opal Cardinal Freeman). Following a stroke that left him in a wheelchair, George is now experiencing the benefits of our integrated wellness centre. Through consultations with George and his family to agree on desired outcomes, the Concentric physiotherapy team put together a tailored rehabilitation program to help him improve his limited leg and upper-body strength.  Together with physical therapy, the FitMi: Full-Body Stroke Rehabilitation System - which is designed to assist people with neurological injuries to improve strength and dexterity - formed part of his program.

George’s goal was to regain the ability to stand up out of his wheelchair and transfer into a car, so that he could more easily visit his much-loved children and grandchildren. Following a three-month program to regain upper-body strength and increase stability in his torso, George achieved his goal. For George, regaining some independence meant restoring his dignity and maintaining his family connections. As a result, George’s overall health and wellbeing has significantly improved. George’s wife says the program has had a very positive impact on his wellbeing. She shares, “The service is wonderful and the team are very encouraging and patient. It also gives George more social interaction, which he doesn’t normally aspire to, especially since his stroke“.

Most of Opal’s wellness centres are also open to the wider community, providing a valuable resource for both privately funded patients and those supported by the NDIS. This enables our homes to become a more integrated part of the local community.  In many areas where rehabilitation services are difficult to source, our Opal wellness centres provide valuable support for our local communities.