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Mental Health Awareness

  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing

    Mental health and emotional wellbeing

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RSL Care SA places a great deal of importance on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our residents. Some examples of mental health conditions experienced by residents within RSL Care SA are depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and confusion. These can be suffered by any resident at any time, and individuals respond differently to these conditions. To ensure that residents who are suffering from these conditions are receiving the best possible support, our staff will work closely with the resident, their families and various external organisations. Many of our veteran residents suffer with some of these conditions as a result of their service, and because of this, have a close relationship with the Jamie Larcombe Centre (JLC).

We would like to thank Darren Renshaw, JLC’s Veterans’ Health Advocate, for providing the helpful tips below, on caring for ones mental health, as well as services that can be accessed if the need arises.

Guest post by DARREN RENSHAW – Veterans’ Health Advocate, Jamie Larcombe Centre

What is a mental health problem?

Just as our physical health can vary from one day to the next, so can our emotional wellbeing. We can have good or poor mental health and everything in between, often depending on what’s happening in our lives and how we’re reacting to it. Growing older, career changes, moving interstate, deployment, leaving the defence forces, divorce, grief and loss can all affect our mental health and wellbeing. It’s normal to react to such events in our lives but sometimes our reactions could be a sign of a mental health problem, particularly if they persist. Mental health problems can be mild to severe. You can do something about yourself, and at other times you may need to seek professional help.

How can we care for our mental health?

There are simple ways to maintain good mental health.

  • Choose a balanced diet, regular exercise, low-risk drinking and don’t smoke;
  • Spend time with friends and family and do at least one pleasant thing each day;
  • Exercise and nourish your mind with interests and hobbies and meet new friends at the same time;
  • Connect with your community: your local council, church, club or neighbourhood centre will be a source of ideas;
  • Talk to family or mates – don’t bottle it up; and
  • Accept that it is normal to react emotional to difficulties – don’t be too hard on yourself for feeling down.

Getting help

It can be difficult and frightening to accept that there is something wrong. It’s hard to take the first steps to seek help. If you think that you or someone you care about is not coping, it is important to talk with a professional you trust. Your local doctor is a good first point of call and can help you determine if there is a problem and what the best approach might be.

A number of support services are available to all Australian Defence Force personnel, veterans and their families. These services allow you to speak to someone who is experienced in issues relating to military service.

Services include:

  • Crisis and Emergencies – For any crisis, including medical emergencies, call 000.
  • Australian Defence Force (ADF) All Hours Support Line – call 1800 628 036 for 24-hour counselling and support. This service is available to all ADF members and their families.
  • Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling – call 1800 011 046 for 24-hour Australia-wide counselling and support. This service is available to all veterans and their families.
  • The Defence Family Helpline – call 1800 624 608 for 24-hour support, information and help in connecting with your local community.
  • Lifeline – call 13 11 14 for free, 24-hour Australia-wide crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) – 1800 555 254. DVA exists to meet the Nation’s commitment to care for our veteran and defence service community. DVA do this through programs of care, compensation, commemoration, income support and Defence support services. DVA’s aim is to ensure enhanced self-sufficiency, quality of life, financial wellbeing and community recognition for those they support. This service is available Monday to Friday during business hours.
  • The Jamie Larcombe Centre – call 1300 043 175. The centre provides mental health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) services to veterans at the Glenside Health Service Campus.
  • Statewide Veterans’ Health Advocate – call 7087 1387. The Veterans’ Health Advocate provides a single point of contact for veterans and their families in regard to public health services, hospitals and health information in South Australia. This service is available Monday to Friday during business hours.

Information courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs “At Ease” program. Further valuable information can be found at https://at-ease.dva.gov.au/

Read about RSL Care SA’s Andrew Russell Veteran Living program and how we are helping contemporary veterans in need of transit accommodation.

Residents of RSL Care SA Answer Questions about their Early Life through Art

  • Residents of RSL Care SA Answer Questions about their Early Life through Art

    Residents of RSL Care SA Answer Questions about their Early Life through Art

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A personal project by a year 9 student from Immanuel College

RSL Care SA was thrilled when Immanuel College year 9 student, Alina, asked to interview residents at the War Veterans Home for her Personal Project. Alina used her project to identify to her classmates the importance of respecting our elderly and recognising the lives they have lived and the history they can teach us. Alina achieved this by asking the residents questions about their lives as young men and women, giving them the opportunity to use art to express their stories.

Thank you for sharing your project with us Alina, you did a great job!

Occupational Therapy Australia Week

  • Reach your potential

    Reach your potential

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October the 21st to 27th  is Occupational Therapy Australia Week, to coincide with World Occupation Therapy Day on Sunday the 27th of October

At RSL Care SA we are very excited to have a full time Occupational Therapist (OT) on our staff. Working closely with the Physiotherapists, Veteran Support Officer and Wellbeing department, our OT allows us to respond to the individual needs and preferences of our residents by delivering a range of tailored activities and services. This has allowed us to further explore the services we can offer to veterans living with PTSD, specifically the younger generation of Vietnam veterans who are now beginning to access residential aged care.

What is an OT?

Occupational Therapists are qualified health professionals who facilitate people of all ages and abilities to participate in activities that will allow them to live fulfilling lives. OT’s are client-centred and use ongoing assessments and observations to understand what is important to their client and what difficulties they may be facing that prevents them from participating in occupations of every day life. With the use of therapeutic activities, strategies, adaptions and/or equipment, OT’s will then work with the client to help them achieve their goals. This may include facilitating changes to the clients environment to make life easier and safer (e.g. have a pipe for a ball ramp so residents with limited arm movement can still play bowls). OT’s can also instruct direct care workers about how to safely support a person and respect their preferences in daily life. Essentially, OT’s work with people who, for whatever reason (physically, mentally, emotionally or environmentally), are having difficulties doing what need or want to enjoy life.

At RSL Care SA, our Occupational Therapist works as part of the Wellbeing Team to enable, facilitate and support the residents’ access to tasks and activities they wish to engage in. Working closely with the Physiotherapy department, our OT helps residents to balance abilities and task demands to help them maintain their independence while ensuring all care needs are met. Our OT also works with nursing and care staff in our Memory Support Unit to help residents adapt to their new lifestyle.

OT week activities

This years OT week theme is “Celebrating our global community” and we have lots of activities happening at both of our Residential Aged Care sites:

  • The Pick-Up-Stick challenge will teach residents new skills and ways to use helpful gadgets and aids
  • A ‘Tech Education’ session will help to advise and orientate residents to their technological gadgets
  • The 2018 Invictus Games are very fittingly being held on the same week as OT week! our residents will be watching and supporting the Invictus Games, learning about what the games are all about, how the athletes have adapted their performance to their unique and individual needs to reach their goals, and participating in a few adapted games themselves!

For further information about OT week and the OT profession  please visit the following links:

https://www.otaus.com.au/promotions-media/ot-week

http://aboutoccupationaltherapy.com.au/

Thank you for your donations

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    Charityticksmall

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Thank you to all who donate time, money or items to the various causes of RSL Care SA. Your generosity truly makes a difference to the lives of all those who access our accommodation and services. Check out some of the amazing support we have received below:

Shane McGrath and the Bowhill Progress Association

 

On Friday 27th July, ARVL program manager Ben Challinor attended the official opening of the Bowhill Kayak Fishing competition, where he was presented with a cheque for $2,500 by Shane McGrath and the Bowhill Progress Association. This is the second year Shane and the wonderful team of people within the Bowhill community have chosen to support our ARVL program, which provides emergency accommodation for homeless veterans, or those at risk of homelessness. We extend our thanks and gratitude to this wonderful team of people and wish them ‘tight lines’ for the competition!

Vietnam Veterans’ Federation (SA Branch) Quilting Group

 

We are very grateful for the generous donation we received from the Vietnam Veterans’ Federation SA Branch for our emergency housing program, Andrew Russel Veteran Living (ARVL). The lovely ladies from the Quilting Group donated 25 hand made quilts as gifts to contemporary veterans who come into our care through the ARVL program. The quilts were presented to CEO, Nathan Klinge at a morning tea on Monday June the 18th. Andrew Russell is the fallen soldier that ARVL is named in memory of, and RSL Care SA has developed a very special relationship with his parents, Bob and Jan. Bob himself is a Vietnam Veteran, so it was very fitting that they also attended the morning tea. Thanks again VVF Quilting Group!

PTSD: Mastering the Murray

Andrew Russell Veteran Living (ARVL) was lucky to be the chosen charity of three ex-service men who kayaked the length of the Murray River to raise awareness of PTSD and veteran homelessness. The lengthy trip embarked on Saturday the 4th of March 2017 at Hovell Tree Park in Albury, NSW. The men hoped to kayak all the way to the Murray Mouth in South Australia in three months. Unfortunately they have been met with a few unexpected hiccups, but true to the veteran nature they will persevere and hope to finish what they started in 2018! Nevertheless, they presented a huge donation of $2,920 to the ARVL program. These funds will go a long way in helping RSL Care SA support contemporary veterans who are suffering from homelessness, PTSD and physical injuries; all issues that hit close to home for these fellow war veterans. Thanks again guys! We look forward to hearing of your completed journey!

Check out their Facebook page and show them your support: PTSD: Mastering the Murray

Adelaide Women’s Prison

CEO, Nathan Klinge, was invited to a morning tea at the Adelaide Women’s Prison on the 15th of June where he was presented with handmade knitted items for the residents in our care. Pictured is just a few of the many scarves, hats, gloves and headbands that were gifted. Thank you!

Keith’s old Magna

A big thank you to Keith Harrison for donating his old Mitsubishi Magna to assist the homeless veterans in our ARVL program! Keith first donated his vehicle to Workskil, which is an amazing organisation that provides unemployed people with hands on experience (for free) to learn valuable skills that will help them gain employment. After being overhauled through the Worksil Salisbury Workshop, the reconditioned vehicle was then donated to RSL Care SA to assist our ARVL program manager to transport veterans in need. What a great initiative by Keith to first provide a learning opportunity to those struggling with unemployment, before then helping out those at risk of homelessness. Thank you again!

RSL Care SA is a registered Public Benevolent Institution. All donations made to RSL Care SA go directly to the indented program. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

War Veterans Home receives formal notification of Accreditation

  • Accreditation Exit meeting

    Accreditation Exit meeting

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Australian Aged Care Quality Agency – War Veterans Home re-accreditated until August 2021

RSL Care SA’s War Veterans Home is very pleased that we have been successful in our application for re-accreditation. We now have accreditation from August 2018 through to August 2021.

Accredited residential aged care homes receive Australian Government subsidies to provide quality care and services to care recipients in accordance with the Accreditation Standards.

To remain accredited and continue to receive the subsidy, each home must demonstrate that it meets the Standards.

There are four Standards covering management systems, health and personal care, care recipient lifestyle, and the physical environment and there are 44 expected outcomes such as human resource management, clinical care, medication management, privacy and dignity, leisure interests, cultural and spiritual life, choice and decision-making and the living environment.

Each home applies for re-accreditation before its accreditation period expires and an assessment team visits the home to conduct an audit. The team assesses the quality of care and services at the home and reports its findings of whether the home meets or does not meet the Standards. The Quality Agency then decides whether the home has met the Standards and whether to re-accredit or not to re-accredit the home.

During a home’s period of accreditation, there may be a review audit where an assessment team visits the home to reassess the quality of care and services and reports its findings of whether the home meets or does not meet the Standards.

Assessment team’s findings regarding performance against the Accreditation Standards

The information obtained through the audit of the home indicates the home meets:

  • 44 of 44 expected outcomes

RSL Care SA War Veterans Home staff were pleased to receive additional positive comments and feedback from the assessors at the completion of the visit. The staff was complemented on their conduct and manner in which they go about their business as well as the good work they are doing in caring for our residents. RSL Care SA was praised for our Janus Approach philosophy of care, which is currently being implemented throughout the organisation, of which we will provide further information on at a later date.

If you would like to read more about the good work we are doing, you can read about our Better Practice Award or Enrolled Nurse of the Year

Are you currently looking for a Residential Aged Care facility? Are you looking for Respite?

Consider coming to one of our Open Days at the home to find out more about Residential Aged Care and the process to becoming a resident. See when our next Open Day is below.

Aged Care Open Days

Applying for an ACAT Assessment

  • How to apply for an ACAT assessment

    How to apply for an ACAT assessment

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Accessing Residential Aged Care

RSL Care SA has two government funded residential aged care (nursing home) facilities; the War Veterans Home in Myrtle Bank, and RSL Villas in Angle Park. To access government funded services, such as respite and permanent care, you must first be approved for aged care by the Australian Government’s Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

ACAT assessors are qualified professionals such as nurses and social workers. An ACAT can provide approvals for residential respite care, permanent residential care, and home care services. Depending on the types of services that are needed, ACAT will either conduct an interview over the phone, or will arrange a time to meet with the client in their own home.

Register for an ACAT assessment

ACAT’s are managed through the Australian government’s My Aged Care. There are three ways to register for an ACAT Assessment:

  • Phone – Please call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and speak with a representative
  • Online – Please visit the following link to make a referral online https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/referral
  • GP – your GP or health care professional can provide a referral for an ACAT

ACAT assessments are FREE and a My Aged Care Client Record will be created. The initial referral can be made by anyone, however the person who the assessment is for will need to give their consent if a representative is required throughout the entire assessment process.

If you would like help in making a referral, please call RSL Care SA on 8379 2600 and a member of our admissions team will be happy to submit an online referral on your behalf. Your assessment results will not be provided to an organisation without your approval.

Many people have ACAT assessments done for peace of mind should there be a sudden change in their health or care needs. If you decide to apply for an ACAT assessment, there is no requirement to use the services that you have been approved for.

The ACAT Assessment process

  • Make a referral (online or over the phone)
  • ACAT will call the nominated contact person and arrange a time to conduct a short phone interview to assess the clients eligibility to access aged care services
  • During the initial phone interview ACAT will ask for details of the clients medicare card number and GP. The client will need to be available at the phone interview to give consent for a representative to speak on their behalf
  • At the conclusion of the phone interview ACAT will arrange a time for a formal assessment to take place in the clients own home
  • At the home interview ACAT will ask lots of questions about the clients health, care needs and other concerns. Learn more about what happens during an ACAT assessment here
  • Assessment results are usually processed within a few days (this can be done more quickly if the matter is urgent) and a letter will be sent to the client with information on the services they now have access to

The Aged Care Assessment Team can arrange for an urgent assessment for those who need it. Otherwise the entire assessment process usually takes about two-three weeks.

What’s Next?

To be offered a respite or permanent bed at an Aged Care Facility, or to be placed on a waiting list, the facility will usually ask to see a copy of the ACAT assessment. This is also known as a ‘My Support Plan’.  At the back of the My Support Plan are referral codes that relate to each of the services a person has been approved for. Aged Care facilities can look up the My Support Plan online using these codes.

If you have had your ACAT assessment and would like to be placed on RSL Care SA’s residential aged care waiting list, please complete our application form here.

Our Admissions team are always happy to answer any queries you may have regarding ACAT assessments or care options, so please feel free to call (08) 8379 2600 during office hours – Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.

RSL Care SA Enrolled Nurse Wins SA Health Excellence Award

  • Kylie Booth

    Kylie Booth

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SA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards

The South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards (Awards) recognise and acknowledge the significant contribution that nurses and midwives make to their professions and the wider community through their practice.

The Awards are firmly focused on recognising excellence in practice of all nurses and midwives and the significant contribution they make to their professions, their teams and to the community through their practice, leadership and research endeavours. The Awards are open to all Nurses and Midwives practicing in South Australia.

The awards event was held Friday 11th May at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, on the eve of International Nurses Day, with approximately 450 people celebrating the achievements of nurses and midwives across the state. It is with absolute joy that we celebrate the fantastic achievement of our Enrolled Nurse, Kylie Booth, who won the 2018 Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Award for Enrolled Nursing – South Australia. Kylie is truly deserving of this award. Her practice and the passionate nurse she is speaks unquestionably to this achievement. Congratulations Kylie!

Awards such as this reinforce the quality of our employees. Chief Operating Officer, Kellie Whelan, says “Nathan (Chief Executive Officer) and I are humbled that an organisation of our size is able to mentor, develop and advance it’s staff in many different and unique ways. This ability allows us to attract and retain the quality of staff we do, which further enhances the quality of life of our residents”.

International Nurse Day

While we recognise the many contributions that nurses make to our society, we also wish to celebrate all those who work alongside our nurses. Without each member of the team playing their part, we could not deliver the holistic care that we strive to provide to our residents. So in honour of International Nurses Day, we want to thank all of our staff for the work they do in providing or supporting the nursing and care profession.

Free flu vaccinations for RSL Care SA employees

  • CEO Nathan Klinge receiving his Flu vaccination

    CEO Nathan Klinge receiving his Flu vaccination

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Free Flu Vaccinations

As an organisation providing care and services to the aged in our community, RSL Care SA happily supports the Federal Governments legislation on staff Flu vaccinations in aged care facilities. Minister Wyatt moved the legislation earlier this month, and it is now a requirement for all aged care facilities to have a staff influenza vaccination program in place, with an anticipated vaccination rate of 95% for the industry.

RSL Care SA strives to create a safe environment for all who visit our aged care facilities, but especially for our beloved residents. By encouraging a high community uptake of flu vaccination within our community, we can significantly reduce the risk of spread to our elderly and often vulnerable residents from this deadly virus.

Our Flu vaccination program for all staff commenced on the 30th of April, with CEO Nathan Klinge first in line to receive his flu vax. Over the coming weeks we will be encouraging all employees to have their flu vaccination, which is provided free of charge.

Read more about the influenza vaccine from SA Heath here 

Read more of RSL Care SA’s latest news here

 

 

ANZAC Day 2018

  • Wall of Remembrance - Anzac Day 2018 RSL Care SA

    Wall of Remembrance - Anzac Day 2018 RSL Care SA

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RSL Care SA Anzac Day 2018

Anzac Day 2018 Dawn Service

Every ANZAC Day Dawn Service is special and significant at RSL Care SA, and Anzac Day 2018 is certainly no different.

At 6am on Wednesday 25th April, the War Veterans Home will once again be conducting an ANZAC Day Dawn Service which is open to the community, followed by a gun-fire breakfast in the park for those in attendance.

Students from Immanuel College will be attending the ANZAC Day Dawn Service as part of a collaborative art project that the students created themed on ‘Soldiers coming home from war’. The two large panels the students created will be on display during the Dawn service and will be installed within the grounds of the Home afterwards, as a visual gateway for the new discovery path being developed.

Poppy Wall of Remembrance

The poppy Wall of Remembrance has commenced on the front fence of the War Veterans Home along Ferguson Avenue. This year the Wall of Remembrance was started by a group of children from Bertram Hawker kindergarten along with a group of our War Veterans Home residents. The Wall of Remembrance will be in place for the month of April, so if you’re in the neighbourhood or going past, please take a moment to place a poppy on the wall in remembrance for those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our country.

An ANZAC Service will also be conducted at the RSL Villas at Angle Park, however, due to renovations and building works occurring, it will be an intimate Anzac service held on Tuesday the 24th of April for residents, families and staff.

The War Veterans Home has a rich history of over 100 years. Find out more about our organisation and the history here

Would you like more information? Call us on 08 8379 2600.

RSL Care SA – Industry Leaders in Waste Management

  • Nick Atkins Waste Management presentation for ACSA

    Nick Atkins Waste Management presentation for ACSA

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Best Practice Waste Management

On Friday 23rd February, War Veterans Home Maintenance Officer, Nick Atkins, was asked to present RSL Care SA’s waste management initiatives to the ACSA Finance Symposium held at the Morphettville Racecourse.

RSL Care SA has become recognised as an industry and State leader in efficient waste management. We are extremely proud of this achievement and in our waste management improvements across all facilities.

In 2011, we reviewed our waste and recycling activities and volumes and identified opportunities for improvements that could increase what was being recycled and also make cost savings.

Separately sorting waste enabled us to easily identify where waste was being generated.  This facilitated management to establish simple strategies to cut waste across the business. In addition to creating an environmentally friendly workplace, implementing correct waste management procedures has provided staff with a greater awareness of waste issues.

We conducted a second review in 2017 to monitor our performance, and following are the results:

  • Landfill volumes down by 42% (from 44.8 to 25.7 tonnes/year)
  • Food waste reduced by 30% (from 7.3 to 5.1 tonnes/year)
  • Recycling of 10 different waste streams
  • Only stream sent to landfill is continence waste (currently no option to recycle)

Our overall waste costs have remained consistent with 2011 costs. This is despite higher costs across South Australia for waste disposal. South Australia’s waste levy currently sits at $87/tonne (up from $26/tonne in 2011).

Reducing our waste disposal has allowed us to mitigate against further waste levy increases, which are set to rise to $103/tonne by 2020.

Nick Atkins has been spearheading this important initiative. We are very pleased that Nick was asked to present to this forum targeting Chief Executives Officers, Chief Finance Officers, General Managers and the like. We hope all other aged care providers join us in achieving Best Practice Waste Management.

Click here to read more of our latest news!

About us

RSL Care SA believes that the ex-service community deserves the best care and affordable accommodation. RSL Care SA is an independently constituted not for profit organisation with links to the Returned & Services League of Australia (SA Branch).

Our mission is to support veterans and their dependents, although the ex-service community are our primary client group it is not exclusively so. The facilities and services are also available to the broader community.

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