As a Village Manager part of our job is being the resource centre to assist residents and their families throughout their life journey.
I often get asked by Village Managers, “How do I help family and friends make decisions about a resident’s need for more services, or an aged care package?”
Whilst My Aged Care is the obvious place to start, I also like to provide a link to our own Aged Care 101. It offers additional resources like videos that explain in plain English, what can be a very complex process. (It has over 40,000 visits a month now)
You can also look to referral groups like CareAbout.
Building a link to a retirement advisor who specialises in aged care is really valuable.
Australia faces a massive challenge delivering suitable housing for our ageing population.
The country is expected to have nearly 9M over 55s by 2034, that’s just 15 years away.
Over 2400 Australians aged 55 and over, took part in a survey recently conducted by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute through focus groups in metropolitan and regional WA, NSW and VIC, including older Indigenous Australians, about their housing aspirations in later life.
It found housing meets the current needs of nine out of 10 older Australians. But only around 70% thought this housing met their longer-term aspirations, so the other 30% would be seeking to move.
Regardless of their current housing tenure, 80% of older Australians want to live in a home they own, no matter the type, size or location which offers security in later life.
So, where do we want to live in retirement?
Among those aged between 55 and 74, there was a strong aspiration to live in small regional towns.
Those aged 75 and over were more likely to indicate a preference for the inner suburbs of a capital city.
Few older Australians wanted to live in the CBD of a capital city.
And apparently size matters, with 50% of older Australians wanted to live in a house with three bedrooms.
The people in our villages are likely to be at various stages of their later years, ranging in age from late 60s to 100, some fit and agile others more dependent and anywhere in-between.
‘Well-being’ is the new buzz word, but what is it?
As a Village Manager achieving resident well-being isn’t about
Having the fullest activity schedule
The latest and greatest facilities or technology
Getting 100% of residents to village events
Working against illness and making sure they stay fit
What it is about is having a genuine interest in supporting those living in our community to lead the life they choose.
As Village Managers we have the opportunity to listen and respond, to be the link and facilitator of information.
This can be done in different ways:
Village interest groups – cards, walking, tennis, bowls, Local interests/service,
Local community activities – life-long learning U3A, Local & State government activities, volunteering,
And then with more support type services:
Meal deliveries, independent aides, home care providers
Council services – transport,
Allied health services, GP centres
Having a sense of the right times to step in and step out is of paramount importance.
Resident home visits
A good village plan is to have a resident home visit policy in place.
The visit, which should be done at least annually or at times when significant life events occur (illness or the death of a partner) can be a valuable tool for the Village Manager in ensuring he/she is empathic with the residents in the village.
The visit doesn’t need to be complex and ideally as a minimum it would touch on
Checking up on how the last 12 months have been in the village.
Any maintenance matters the resident might like to raise.
Discussion around additional support requirements – home care, transport, meals
Connection with interest groups both inside and outside the village
Update of contacts and personal information
There are many benefits to the home visit.
It allows you, as the manager, to support residents, and in some cases, you may be the resident’s only point of contact on a social front. The home visit provides an opportunity for both sides to reach out.
It generates ‘well-being’ for both the resident and you – through the satisfaction of fulfilling our roles well.