‘My Home Life’ UK Academics visit Resthaven

on the Monday, December 19, 2016

On 9 December 2016, Sarah Rhead, Executive Officer of the SA Innovation Hub, hosted a wrap up meeting at the Resthaven Head Office in Wayville, with visiting academics, Professor Julienne Meyer CBE (Professor of Nursing: Care for Older People, City University of London) and Professor Belinda Dewar (Professor of Practice Improvement, University of West of Scotland), who were in Adelaide to present the My Home Life Leadership program in November and December 2016. 

"We were delighted to host the first Australian delivery of this award winning program, which has received some great feedback," Sarah said.

"SA Innovation Hub members attended this first program, and it was fully subscribed. However, we plan to offer it to a broader audience next year, as the SA Innovation Hub is in a unique place to take the My Home Life program forward on scale. The Hub format embraces the concept of sharing ideas at the grass roots level."

Belinda responded, "Feedback from the participants and facilitators indicates that this is unique – it’s never been done before. It is an opportunity to ‘cross-fertilise’ and share ideas."

Resthaven Mitcham Care Coordinator, Mark Bednall, participated in the program. He says, "The My Home Life presentations were a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me. It is a novel and inclusive framework that seeks to improve the quality of the culture in residential homes, promoting quality relationships between our residents, their families, staff and the organisation."

"Part of the significant beauty of this program is that it teaches practical and easily understood concepts, together with tools that are able to be utilised or implemented into practice very quickly. I am already enjoying implementing 'MHL thinking' into my own practice and am looking for opportunities to more widely include our staff, residents and families in this process."

Julienne explains, "My Home Life was founded ten years ago as a small research project to pull together what we know older people ‘want’ and ‘what works’ in care homes. Today, it is seen as a social movement for quality improvement in care homes that has spread across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and now Australia."

"Belinda and I came to Australia at the invitation of SA Innovation Hub. My Home Life connects people through four evidence-based conceptual frameworks, which highlight the importance of developing best practice together, focusing on relationships, being appreciative and having caring conversations."

"Belinda has undertaken substantial work to enhance the program. We came together to share our learning, resources and ways of working to help promote quality of life for customers, relatives and staff in receipt of Aged Care services."

"We both believe the SA Innovation Hub is in a unique position to take the program forward onto a new level, potentially working within and across organisations to embed the MHL vision in practice.  Working together as an international community of practice, MHL can make a real difference to the lives of older people."

"We are excited to see what evolves from the SA Innovation Hub – it is an opportunity to do something better, share outcomes and collaborate."

Belinda and Julienne were accompanied to Australia by Caroline Emmer De Albuquerque Green, who is a PhD student at King’s College London, exploring human rights in care homes. She is the CEO of a Foundation interested in taking forward My Home Life in Germany.  This very exciting collaborative initiative was recognised by the Queen in the New Year Honour’s list 2015, when Julienne was awarded a CBE for her services to Nursing and Older People. Julienne is Vice Chair of the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA, now known as the Global Ageing Network).

Click here to find out more about Resthaven's residential aged care homes & home care services.

Pictured: Prof Belinda Dewar, Prof Julienne Meyer CBE & Sarah Rhead

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