Key things to help you everyday Latest industry developments

DCMI participant Bethanie trial app detecting early signs of COVID-19 in elderly

With the cases of COVID-19 escalating, Perth-based retirement village and aged care provider Bethanie is taking the lead by participating in a six-month trial of a smartphone app aimed at detecting the virus early in older people from the safety of their own homes.

Up to 100 residents of Bethanie, whose village managers participate in the DCM Institute, will be monitored by a team of healthcare professionals to determine the effectiveness of the digital platform Openly.

The Early Digital Intervention for Covid Therapy (EDICT) program, a collaboration between the University of Western Australia, clinical biotech company Emyria, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, the Bethanie Group, and the Institute for Respiratory Health, is working to develop leading technology to detect the early signs of the coronavirus in the elderly.

The $880,000 Western Australian Government-funded pilot program will monitor a person’s general health and wellbeing through the platform. It will also record vital signs such as heart rate using a smartphone.

“We know the elderly are among the most vulnerable members of the community if infected with the virus,” Bethanie CEO Chris How (pictured above) said.

“It is important to embrace new technology which has the potential to save lives and keep people out of hospital.”


Leilani found her true vocation as a Village Manager after 25 years working for Woolworths

Leilani Leslie had worked for Woolworths in Queensland for 25 years when she was made redundant.

“I had spent my entire career there in various roles including Internal Audit and Food Safety,” Leilani said.

“I had successfully survived many re-structures within the company, however in 2019, my world as I knew it came crashing down when I was made redundant. Over the next three months I applied for 37 roles, most in the fields I had worked in previously, however three had popped up in my SEEK profile for the Retirement Industry.”

Leilani was given an insight into the retirement and aged care sector when her late father had dementia for the last five years of his life. She started as a Village Manager at Reside Communities’ Brookland Robertson retirement village in August 2019 and has never looked back.

“One of the most wonderful things about life as a Village Manager is the varied days you have,” she said.

“There really is no ‘typical’ day, however as an example, it could be made up of one or all of the following tasks: meeting with a resident regarding a question or suggestion they have, making a coffee for a resident in the café, sorting mail, setting up chairs for the next event scheduled for the community centre, editing and printing newsletters, putting out a notice for EKKA Sundaes or Hot Chip Fridays, showing a new resident our facilities, sharing a resident’s proud photos of their grandchildren over a coffee, helping a resident access social media, planning for a Melbourne Cup function, taking a phone call from various tradespeople about maintenance within the village, driving the village bus to Sunnybank Plaza or Bunnings to pick them up after their shopping outing. There really is no start or end to my role, which I find to be fabulous!”

Leilani said the qualities needed to be a Village Manager are patience, a sense of adventure and imagination, the ability to organise and a good memory for names.

“You need to have the ability to laugh and cry with the residents, to be able to put yourself in their shoes, to be ‘real’ in the true sense of the word. I know it might be cliché, however I have come to think of the residents as my extended family. It’s like I now have over 100 grandparents!”

The greatest pleasure is to see the excitement on her residents’ faces when on an outing or at an event.

Key things to help you everyday

Recent trends in retirement village dispute resolution

The attendees at the quarterly Professional Development Day in Adelaide earlier this month were treated to a great presentation by Michael Spencer of O’Loughlins Lawyers.

Michael has been a litigation lawyer for over 20 years, and he regularly represents retirement village operators in the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Health, Aged Care and Retirement Living team at O’Loughlins Lawyers has been recognised this year by Best Lawyers as the Law Firm of the Year (for Australia) in Retirement Villages and Senior Living Law.

Michael explained that between 2019 and 2021, there was an increase by more than 50% in the requests made to the advocacy program of Aged Rights Advocacy Service (which is the SA member of the Older Persons Advocacy Network. O’Loughlins Lawyers have similarly experienced an increase in retirement village disputes coming to them in the past few years.

The reasons for this include:

  • the transition to Baby Boomers as residents;
  • increased awareness of rights;
  • more residents with behavioural problems associated with cognitive decline and mental illness; and
  • more children of residents being concerned about their inheritances.

While Michael talked through the relevant provisions of the South Australian legislation, and the general tactics that village managers might adopt in their management of disputes, the highlight of the presentation was his “war stories” from recent tribunal cases.

Those stories from recent South Australian cases where O’Loughlins Lawyers represented the operator included:

  • The resident who was a hoarder, and it took three crime scene cleaners (yes, the people who clean up murder scenes!) three days to clean the resident’s apartment. The smell from the apartment had been wafting through the building, and maggots were crawling out under the front door to the distress of other residents and staff. The Tribunal made an order that the resident move out of the village.
  • The resident who verbally and physically attacked (including with a frying pan!) other residents and their visitors. The evidence of the psychologist who had been brought in early to resolve disputes between this resident and other residents was key in the resident voluntarily leaving the village – before the Tribunal could order her out.
  • The accountant daughter of a resident who disputed the calculation of her father’s exit entitlement. The Tribunal sided with the operator, notwithstanding the daughter producing legal advice from three different law firms supporting her interpretation of the residence contract.
  • The resident who sought compensation associated with moving out of his village because the operator had not taken sufficient action against a second resident who had been behaving badly. The Tribunal decided that the operator had not been obliged to bring a case to the tribunal against the second resident, and thus dismissed the first resident’s case.
Facility Manager Key things to help you everyday

Jacqui Perkins hosting the next two DCM Institute Professional Development Masterclasses

Leadership learning guru Jacqui Perkins is hosting the next two DCM Institute Masterclasses.

The world-renowned expert is hosting the Selling Solutions Masterclass ‘Closing with Confidence’ on Tuesday, 9 August.

This Masterclass will change the way participants think about ‘closing’. Contrary to what managers  might think, it’s not about ‘selling’, it’s about empowering your client to make an informed decision. A decision that best meets their stated, and unstated, needs.

Jacqui will also cover how to convert undecided leads, using tension building questions to fast-track their decision-making process.

Jacqui will discuss the concept of ‘closing’ as simply being the final step – in a series of small steps – with a potential resident.

Please look out for the pre-work videos that will add value to your experience of the masterclass!


Jacqui Perkins’ Selling Solutions Masterclass
Closing with Confidence
Tuesday 9 August
WA |
1:00pm SA | 1:30pm QLD, NSW, ACT, TAS & VIC | 2:00pm

Seven days later – Tuesday, 16 August – Jacqui will present Masterclass No. 7 of the Intentional Leadership series, addressing the topic of ‘Developing Resilience as a Leader’.

This Masterclass will discuss the concept of resilience not simply being a trait —but a skill to be developed. She will be looking at tried and tested techniques that participants can keep in mind to help build resilience.

Once again, look out for the pre-work videos that will add value to your experience of the masterclass.


Jacqui Perkins’ Intentional Leadership Masterclass
Developing Resilience as a Leader

Tuesday 16 August
WA |
1:00pm SA | 1:30pm QLD, NSW, ACT, TAS & VIC | 2:00pm

Key things to help you everyday

Is dispute resolution possible with a bully?

This was a question last week when we spent a day in each of Adelaide and Perth meeting with our DCM Institute colleagues for their quarterly Professional Development Days.

Bullying is an infrequent but increasing phenomena, especially with the new Baby Boomer residents, so we have assembled some materials from the Knowledge Centre for a refresher below.


Every village manager will face this issue at some stage – bullying between residents or bullying of the village manager!

It can be cancerous in a village and needs to be addressed quickly and responsibly.

(Before you start addressing bullying, it is wise to understand that there will be something personal that is driving the behaviour of the bully unrelated to the village. Most people are not mean and vindictive).

Signs of bullying

  • Intimidation
  • Humiliation
  • Being treated inconsistently from others
  • Every decision you make is being questioned
  • Socially alienated
  • Verbal or written abuse (inappropriate use of tone or language or assertion)
  • Feeling of anxiety, isolation from/towards another person or groups of people
  • Unreasonable obstacles
  • Constant criticism

Understand the motivations/triggers

  • Loss of control
  • Feeling under-valued
  • Powerless
  • Insecure / Inadequate
  • Jealous
  • Threatened
  • Lack of appreciation
  • Not being heard
  • Looking for reward or attention
  • Health trigger
  • Habitual bully
  • Has trouble regulating emotion

Do your groundwork early

  • Build honest relationships with residents to prepare for a time when you will need to have harder discussions with some residents
  • Implement Village Values that clearly outline how all stakeholders within the village will act, be treated and treat others
  • Implement a clear Communication Strategy/Policy that outlines expectations & boundaries for how, when and what the village communication standards are between residents and management and between residents to resident
  • It is recommended that both of these documents can have important components implemented within the Resident Rules/By-laws, and be discussed during Resident Induction
  • Ensure that all staff are educated in these expectations and boundaries and refer or enforce them, as needed
  • Ensure that these are regularly referred to and upheld (They can be re-enforced at meetings, in Newsletters, and other written communications).
  • Practice consultative management when dealing with sensitive or controversial village matters “A type of management in which stakeholders are encouraged to contribute ideas towards identifying and setting desired outcomes, problem solving, and other decisions that may directly affect them.”

Take a stand – lead the change

  • Be the leader, be brave – after all you are the leader of this community and your intention is that all members of the community are treated with respect!
  • When dealing with a bully it is important to be empathetic towards the bully as well; after all in most situations there is something that has triggered this behaviour
  • Gather evidence of specific examples of bullying, such as reports from residents. (Be careful if using hear say; acknowledge the information may not be totally accurate)
  • Invite the bully to a meeting to discuss
  • In some instances, depending of the severity of the situation it may be good to have another person with both parties
  • Prepare for the meeting – ensure you have a sensible agenda and desired outcome in mind
  • Be honest, transparent, express that your role is to be the facilitator of an issue that is of concern to other residents/staff etc… 
  • Be prepared to apologise if in some way you have contributed to the concern
  • Be prepared to have an open mind; be non-judgemental
  • Outline your observations, complaints/concerns and desired outcome clearly – again make sure you have specific examples
  • Make sure you check in with the other person to understand are there factors that are influencing their behaviour
  • Acknowledge and provide opportunity for them to openly discuss this matter
  • Discuss and describe alternate behaviour, communication expectations
  • At this point it is OK to ask for time to consider the situation further and commit to meeting again
  • Agree some mutual outcomes expected and commit to follow up the conversation
  • Document the conversation & diarise to follow up with them
  • Keep the conversations confidential
  • Don’t just address the issue once, follow it up, keep the discussion alive
  • Ensure actions or activities within the village are not allowing the bully to gain continual or maintain power, look to decrease the power of the bully by consulting with others, if appropriate
  • Bring in the professionals – mediators, Office of Ageing, Consumer Business Services or as a last resort, seek assistance from your experienced Retirement Village Lawyer

We hope this triggers a few thoughts for you. Next week we are in Melbourne and Brisbane, then Sydney a week later – if you are a DCMI participant make sure you have registered for more instruction on Dispute Resolution.

Key things to help you everyday

Melb/Bris/Syd Professional Development Day: Work smarter, not harder, plus dispute resolution

DCM Institute participants are reminded to register for your PD days, commencing over the next two weeks. 

We have engaged the best professional development speakers on how to work smarter, not harder, and looking after yourself in the process.

Our extremely popular legal sessions will be staged, focussing on dispute management – the sessions went overtime in Adelaide and Perth at the audience request.

And dispute resolution practices: how to achieve a move on position for all.

Pictured at top are Perth speakers.

DCM Institute participants can register below.


Tuesday 19th July – Register here


Thursday 21st July – Register here


Thursday 28th July – Register here

Latest industry developments

DCM Institute participant shortlisted for LASA’s Retirement Village Manager of the Year

The DCM Institute once again shines in a national award.

DCM Institute participant Roslyn Prentice, who is Village Manager of Ryman Healthcare’s John Flynn Retirement Village in Burwood East, 17km east of the Melbourne CBD, is on the shortlist for Leading Age Services Australia’s inaugural Village Manager of the Year.

It was only in June last year that DCM Institute participant Nikki Dhawan, who manages Bethanie Warwick and Bethanie Joondanna retirement villages in WA,was named Leading Age Services Australia Retirement Manager of the Year.

Roslyn led the establishment and management of John Flynn, including welcoming more than 140 residents to the village and recruiting a team of 90 staff. Upon completion of the village, 120 staff will offer care to more than 500 residents.

The award recognises the passion and commitment of village managers who maintain high standards across their retirement community.

Join the DCM Institute now. Click here

“This role brings together every skill that I have gathered in my 30-year career,” said Roslyn, who is managing her third Ryman village.

“It’s the most demanding and rewarding role I’ve held to date”.

“I love being able to provide a great place to work for my team and a wonderful place for our residents to live.”

Roslyn is a finalist along with Vanessa McKenzie from Catholic Healthcare, and Sharon Rodgers (pictured left), the Village Manager of Bolton Clarke Bongaree, on the western side of Bribie Island, Moreton Bay, QLD.

The winner will be announced on Aged Care Employee Day on 7 August.

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has united with ACSA to become the  new industry body, the Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA).

Latest industry developments

Club Communities showing the way for retirement village operators

While retirement village operators have been slowly adapting to the new consumer and their desire for home support, a new phenomena we call Club Communities, is going gang busters – in customer connection, long tail sales leads and building a secure future.

What are they doing? They are reaching out to potential customers where they live, in the local community, and appealing to their inner most emotions – I want to age on my terms, not what the deck has delt me.

We call them Club Communities because these operators are often clubs with ageing memberships and no real additional services to offer beyond cheap beers, a ‘schnitty’ and a sense of belonging.

To change the conversation they are going to ageing and how to make that good, not bad. They offer confidence (not hope) that their members can achieve a better outcome.

In the last issue of SATURDAY, published by DCM, we spoke to Dale Hunt, CEO of Mounties Group, a multi location community club operation. They established their first retirement village in 2019 (sold out, but great location with prices now up 300%). In 2020 they launched Mounties Care, a home care service with more, including respite care, Hospital In The Home and Chemo In The Home, allied health and welfare calls.

And now they are expanding into GPs and their own medical practices, allied health, nutritionists and exercise physiologists.

This is no different to what Arvida in New Zealand did last year with their ‘Good Friends’ outreach program that is drawing in the local Christchurch community, creating a long tail new customer funnel.

Keep an eye on this movement and learn why after their toe in the water they are now going hard with this strategy of wellness engagement. It is attracting the Baby Boomers who have the cash, and desire, to not age badly, but well.

Check out the full SATURDAY Mounties Group story HERE.