Crystal Brook aged home caps year of improvements with major award

The Willochra Home for the aged in Crystal Brook won the prestige Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award.

It was presented to staff by Industry and Skills Minister David Pisoni at the South Australian Community Achievement Awards Presentation Gala at the Adelaide Hilton on November 2.

Guests gathered from around the state to celebrate high achievers and community contributors.

The home is focussed on improving staff retention and becoming a preferred employer.

Staff benefit from an advanced information-technology system, a “community” culture and receive support and training, empowering them to take on additional specialised roles.

General manager Pam Charnock told The Flinders News of a whirlwind 12 months in which many “quality improvements” were achieved.

She said they had included information-technology upgrades with new computers, new call systems, closed-circuit television, improved education system and developments in auditing.

“The staff has embraced everything we have been doing, They have kept up to date so well. They are excited and proud of the award,” she said.

She said the closed-circuit television covered the hall rooms, general common areas and outside the buildings.

It could be used to monitor for incidents such as clients’ falls.

Ms Charnock spoke excitedly about the new companion dog Sahara who has befriended the elderly and staff.

The former guide dog is a labrador-golden retriever cross.

Ms Charnock said the home had received a grant of about $3000 to upgrade the coffee shop.

“Hopefully, the community can use that and, in addition, possibly benefit from exercise programs as well,” she said.

“We are trying to be the hub for Crystal Brook as a community aged care facility."

The grant for the cafe and outdoor area project was provided by the Pacific Hydro 2018 Clements Gap Sustainable Communities Fund.

The wind farm’s fund was set up to support community projects in the area.

Ms Charnock welcomed a $40,000 grant from the Aged Persons Welfare Foundation for 10 lounge room chairs and to support the home’s Dementia Sensory Garden Project.