Helping Hand is a State finalist in two categories in the 2020 LASA Excellence in Age Services Awards.
LASA (Leading Age Services Australia) is a national association for aged care service providers. Every year, the LASA Excellence in Age Services Awards recognises excellence across the sector. In 2020, a longstanding collaboration between Helping Hand and Monash University has been shortlisted as a State finalist in the Teams category. Helping Hand has also been shortlisted as a State finalist in the Organisation category for our innovative approach to student participation.
In 2016, Helping Hand and Monash University joined forces to undertake a research study project called SIMPLER. This project investigated how to simplify medication use and distribution in residential aged care.
Residents living in aged care are the highest users of medications. Medication administration is time consuming, prone to error and impacts staff time to care for residents. The rationale behind the project to was improve the use of medications in residential aged care. The SIMPLER Study enabled the team to create tools for use in ‘real life” environments and to achieve better outcomes for older people.
There are few Government-funded services to optimise medication management services in aged care and an urgent need for new models. Medication simplification is a priority area for geriatric pharmacotherapy internationally and locally. SIMPLER was the first-ever intervention designed to simplify medication regimens.
The SIMPLER research project was developed to create a new service to simplify medications and included designing a new tool, MRS GRACE, to support service delivery. This innovative service was tested in clinical trials across Helping Hand’s residential aged care homes. Many recommendations from this research were actioned following consultation with staff, residents and families.
Over the past 15 years, we have pioneered an innovative approach to student participation which operates from a central point and has an ecosystem stretching across the organisation. It goes beyond traditional 1:1 placements to achieve a health or care qualification. Rather, we engage students from a range of disciplines to work alongside clients and staff as both learners and contributors.
Disciplines include vocational education, allied health, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, and business. Students include Certificate III and undergraduates to PhD candidates. Our staff participate as mentors and supervisors and clients support students as they learn. At the same time, students contribute by providing enhanced service experiences to clients; supporting new initiatives; and working with us to answer questions about our business.
Our passion for student participation links strongly to our belief that an effective approach to student development benefits older people, as well as the students, Helping Hand and education providers.
Awards will be judged at a State level across five categories with winners from each State progressing as finalists to the national awards. The national awards will be announced at the LASA National Congress, which has been postponed due to COVID-19. Read more about the awards and see all the finalists by clicking here.
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