CEO Musings

Wonderful Fairway Staff

December 1, 2017

I have often wondered if cushions at Fairway are demon possessed or at the very least have a life of their own.  Outdoor striped canvas cushions turn up on residents’ floral chairs; aqua velvet cushions which belong in the activities room can be found on dining room chairs where the evenings soup can play havoc, yellow cushions purchased for our yellow dining chairs are found in resident’s rooms, stuffed at the back of wheelchairs or hidden under spare blankets in wardrobes.

My pet hate is when the cushions outside the lift (purchased because their colours exactly match the melange of decor on the coffee table) go missing; I stomp around looking in all the familiar and not so familiar haunts until, voila, I find it – last time in the Board room, used to support the back of an inveterate (no…not invertebrate) bingo binger. [This is despite me buying a large basket to store a selection of cushions for this very purpose; bingo like poker can remove all means of support.  Any wonder CROWN is flirting  with a super Bingo Palace designed to fleece octogenarians in a cunning Packer led recovery plan after the Chinese experiment flopped.]

Of course my obsession with the secret life – and travels – of Fairway’s cushions is quite ridiculous especially over the last 6 months when the chaos of our renovations has meant that all of our furniture is in seismic disarray.  We have enough clashing of colours, patterns and prints to please UK designer Vivienne Westwood.  One look at the Activities room is the visual equivalent of an LSD trip – a 70’s nostalgic experience for those who may have indulged way back when. (Though I doubt any of us fit that demographic).

Between the noise, dust, ply board coverings, plastic wrapped carpet, cut cabling, disconnected water, lack of office privacy and all the petty annoyances of renovations it has been a highly successful project in terms of managing residents care and providing the everyday activities and routines integral to this. Of course the vital ingredient making this possible is…..

Fairway’s Fabulous Staff!!!

Always amazing, the extra pressures placed upon all has been exceptional and proved yet again that our staff are phenomenally talented and truly devoted to our resident’s well being.

No more can be asked by either myself nor Fairway’s Committee of Management, members of which have requested that their sincere thanks and pride in you all be expressed fully in this newsletter.

The COM have invited all staff to a special Xmas celebration dinner dance at “True South” on Dec 13th.  They hope all will have a wonderful night.

As Xmas looms closer and the Annual General Meeting has just been held, we are in reflective mode.  On the 1st December  – we hosted our volunteers to Afternoon Tea.   We are so lucky once again in having a body of volunteers who enrich our residents’ lives so fantastically.  Whether it be cycling on the trishaw, hosting games or quizzes, providing emotional support in one on one sessions, taking residents on outings, joining in craft groups, assisting in the kitchen – or a thousand and one other activities – our volunteers are the proverbial icing on the cake making life all the sweeter and more meaningful every day.  “Thanks” is too humble a word but we mean it truly, madly deeply…., and then some!

The beating heart of Fairway is an amalgamation of so many facets held within a unifying culture of values.  Our values guide us through all decision making no matter how lofty or tiny;  above all we are here to honour and respect our beloved Fairway community and to strive, with joy, to make this time of their lives as full of happiness and contentment as we can possibly achieve.

Simple isn’t it?  But getting there can be challenging and every day we need to consider and value the many ‘parts’ which make up the totality of our enterprise.  Some toil unseen but their contribution is absolutely integral to our very existence!

Locked far away from the bustle of every day and largely without the gratification direct care provides sit our two ACFI nurses Cathy Lane and Candice Clarke.  They are a phenomenal team responsible for all clinical data sent to the Federal Government in the form of claims made for care provided.  Utilising the Aged Care Funding Instrument – hence the acronym ACFI, they bring in the major proportion of Fairway’s funding.

An unbelievable maze of contradictory complexities, the ACFI tool is designed to throw up as many difficulties as possible in securing generous funding.  But such is the clinical knowledge and skill of Cathy and Candice that Fairway is in the top 20% of successful ACFI earners Australia–wide.

And every cent they strive for is returned to resident care.  This is what drives them because as nurses (and fantastic ones at that) they know that ‘care’ is totally impossible without the means to pay for it.

Several months ago we had a visit from Government ACFI Validators.  They come to facilities to check for discrepancies between claims made and the evidence for this in observations of residents and their files and notes; the objective being to claw back money.

Not only did Fairway maintain all of its funding (some Facilities lose up to $100K a visit) but Cathy and Candice have pulled off this extraordinary feat the last 3 validation visits.  An absolute record!

Validators stated in their exit meeting that the resident files they checked were excellent and ‘best practice’.  Indeed Fairway has been held up as an exemplar of ACFI effectiveness by auditors to other facilities.

An incredible amount of talent and dedication has gone into this amazing result which I think was the “Fairway Highlight” of 2017.  We all commend both Cathy and Candice for their unique contribution to our success.

These two stars may be out of sight but never out of mind ……..

Speaking of stars, the good book has it that long ago and around this time of year the Star of Bethlehem rose in the East and settled upon a stable in Bethlehem.  Scientists including American professor of physics and astronomy, Fred Grosse, have provided various explanations to support the historical accuracy of this event.  Prof. Grosse offers several theories, one is that at this time the planets Jupiter and Saturn were in alignment and at times of planetary conjunction the phenomena can be seen as a bright light viewed as one entity.  He also cites the ancient Chinese records of a Celestial Supernova (bright star) visible in the skies at exactly this period in time.

Professor Grosse states that even though a scientific event most probably explains the Star of Bethlehem it does not rob it of its transcendence.  He wrote “The Symbolism is apparent. A small clear light on a cold dark night, in a sometimes cold and dark world, leads the wise to the message of Jesus.  This message tells us to love each passenger who journeys with us on this small fragile planet Earth”.

I can really add nothing to this beautifully appropriate comment other than to wish all residents, families, staff and volunteers the most fantastic of festive seasons; Keep safe and your loved one close.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all.