Caring for Body, Mind and Soul

Baptistcare

Since it was established back in 1972, Baptistcare has transformed and enriched countless lives. A faith-based organisation, Baptistcare’s Mission and Service is to reach out to individuals, families and communities, and help them to achieve spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Operating within a system of Values including integrity, respect, dignity, compassion, courage and accountability, Baptistcare exists not as a for-profit organisation, with a Christian Mission to provide life-giving services to others.

Operating 13 Residential Aged Care Facilities in metropolitan and regional Western Australia, Baptistcare also provides aged care at home through its “Hand in Hand” program, through highly professional and dedicated Care Coordinators and Support Workers, along with palliative care, residential, community and home-based disability services, counselling, and support services to adults (aged 16 and older) who live with a diagnosed severe and persistent mental illness.

With a focus on the future, the organisation is entering the second year of its strategic, five-year plan, “Our Brilliant Future” for 2011-2016. With strong Board approval, supporting plans are being rolled out across Baptistcare, and services are being reviewed and re-focused on what must be achieved today, tomorrow, and into the years to come to ensure Baptistcare continues to meet the needs of individuals through growth, clear leadership, innovation, long-term sustainability, and the ongoing delivery of high quality services.

“Our governance model of care is something that is being developed to strengthen our contribution to the community,” wrote Dr Lucy Morris, Baptistcare’s Chief Executive Officer in the organisation’s most recent annual report. “Our role in advocacy is also being strengthened as Baptistcare takes on its responsibilities to speak out on issues that concern its residents, participants, staff, families and communities. Baptistcare is committed to ensuring that policy development is non-discriminatory and provides a clear mandate for NFPs (not for profits) to support and work with those who are marginalised, struggling and distressed and we will speak out when this does not occur.”

Caring and Compassionate Staff

In a recent interview, Dr Morris spoke candidly about the future of aged care reform in Australia, and how Baptistcare staff continually demonstrate leadership and speak for those individuals who are vulnerable or marginalised by mainstream society. In order to provide health care services, the organisation attracts staff who are professional and have a high degree of respect for others. With a staff of almost 1,500, the ideal Baptistcare employee is comfortable with the organisation’s values, has high integrity and respect for others, maintains a sense of dignity, is compassionate toward others, has strong interpersonal relationship skills, is responsible, accountable, and courageous, and is interested in stewardship and justice. “We employ people for whom those things are very important, and who are able to translate these values into their daily work practices – the way they make decisions, and the sorts of decisions they make,” says Dr Morris.

As Baptistcare’s CEO for the past three and a half years, Dr Morris has over two decades of experience working in senior roles in the not-for-profit sector and with a range of community service organisations. With her PhD on leadership, spirituality, ethics and values in not-for-profit organisations and the integration of belief systems between organisations and individuals, she says Baptistcare spoke to her passion for working in the not-for-profit sector and for the positive difference NFPs make in civil society. “The types of services we provide tend to be done with people with marginalised lives, who sit on the edges of society,” she says. “The role our organisations play – and the type of people we attract as employees – actually reinforces that particular paradigm in which we operate.”

Residential Aged Care Facilities

Operating 13 Residential Aged Care Facilities in metropolitan and regional Western Australia, Baptistcare takes pride in providing the highest possible standard of care and a wide range of services across all locations. Baptistcare facilities have been awarded the maximum three years’ accreditation under the Accreditation Standards, as set by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

At all of its facilities, Baptistcare takes an active role with residents, their families and friends, and the entire caring process. All efforts are made to achieve the highest possible quality of life for residents through specialist teams of care staff who regard all as individuals with individual needs. Living environments are safe and comfortable, and meals are prepared fresh on site. In addition to rehabilitation, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, Baptistcare realises all of us, regardless of age, are social beings, and its facilities accordingly offer a range of social and entertainment programs. Personal care, such as hairdressing and beautician services, are available. Chaplaincy services are present at all locations to meet the spiritual needs of residents. Respite care is available where the need for short-term support exists, and dementia specific facilities – with staff trained specifically to meet these acute needs – are on hand.

Even aside from the high degree of care and meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of residents, Baptistcare is different from other care providers. “We do more than aged care services,” explains Dr Morris. “We also offer a range of services to people with disabilities and people struggling with mental health illnesses. We are located in both rural and regional areas as well as in Perth city.”

In addition to residential aged care, Baptistcare offers Care at Home known as Hand in Hand, which provides help and support to individuals and their carers and immediate family in handling everyday tasks, such as cleaning and meal preparation; persons receiving assistance with these chores are able to remain in their own homes longer. Baptistcare’s committed Care Coordinators and Support Workers ensure the very best possible standards of service are delivered at all times. All staff are passionate about their work and dedicated to providing all clients with the care, respect, and dignity they deserve.

Retirement living at Baptistcare is available to independent seniors aged 60 years and over who are still able to enjoy living at home with or without assistance. Self-contained units are available at Albany (Bethel Village), Busselton (William Carey Court Village), Margaret River (Silver Vines Village), Rockingham (Gracehaven Village), and other locations.

Disability Services, Mental Health, and Counselling

Other ways in which Baptistcare stands apart from other organisations include its range of flexible, person-centred services to address the needs and aspirations of persons with a wide range of disabilities. Always striving to improve and become a better provider, Baptistcare’s award-winning services are catered to the individual; some prefer to take an active, hands-on approach to managing their own services, while others may wish to have more support.

Other ways in which Baptistcare differs from some providers is in the mental health care it offers. Baptistcare provides services to adults 16 and over with diagnosed severe and persistent mental illness; the organisation can assist individuals who face challenges such as difficulty maintaining stable accommodation or unemployment, relationship issues, untreated drug or alcohol dependence and physical health problems. Counsellors are available to provide a place to talk about issues in an environment that is safe, non-judgmental, and confidential.

As with all of Baptistcare’s services, information about available options, access to services, cost and more is available through the organisation’s website at www.baptistcare.com.au or by calling any of its locations. Along with publications such as Reaching Out magazine, interested parties can find out more about the organisation’s news, events, sites and services through social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Blogger. Many become aware of Baptistcare and its services through word of mouth, referrals, general practitioners, health centres, government bodies, and a variety of health care professionals, especially those engaged with mental health, families, and communities. “The services Baptistcare offers is really quite wide-ranging,” comments Dr Morris.

Looking to the Future

At Baptistcare celebrates its 40th anniversary, it recognises the many changes that it has seen over the years, and the changes yet to come as today’s Baby Boomers grow older and become seniors themselves. The Federal Government funding mix is changing, which will affect providers of health care services in the future, as well as clients – particularly elderly living in rural areas and those who are financially challenged. “Not-for-profits and faith-based organisations like us are having to stretch much harder, much wider, and much further in order to make sure that people don’t fall between the cracks, and we certainly are concerned that recent changes being brought in by the Federal Government will not take that into account,” says Dr Morris. As a key part of the organisation’s strategic plan, Baptistcare is investigating ways of becoming more innovative when it comes to funding sources and finding other ways of delivering aged care services, including making better use of technology. “It is an exciting time on one hand, and deeply concerning on the other.”

Throughout its forty years, one thing has remained constant: the deep commitment and passion all staff bring to the work they do. “There’s a real sense of purpose,” says Dr. Morris. “People are strongly aligned to our vision and our mission. People come and work for us because it is the kind of organisation they want to come and work for, and I think they enjoy being part of an organisation that works from a person-centred perspective. We treat people as individuals, try hard to diminish bureaucracy and hierarchy, and our people love the work they do. We are deeply indebted to them.”

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January 18, 2018, 8:53 AM AEDT

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