Seniors and their families will be given more choice and control over their future following their hospital stay thanks to a collaboration of care between two Catholic-based, not-for-profit organisations.
Cabrini and Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) have been working together to develop and implement support and restorative programs for older Victorians in their homes following hospitalisation. The ultimate aim is to decrease the need for patients to prematurely enter residential aged care following their hospital stay with Cabrini, and be able to remain living independently and safely at home – where they want to be – with appropriate support services from VMCH.
The collaboration was formally celebrated and blessed by the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Reverend Denis J Hart DD, on April 6, 2016 at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne.
Cabrini and VMCH share a long and proud history of caring for frail and disadvantaged people within the community; preserving and promoting their dignity through high quality health and support services.
“In recent years, Cabrini has been working hard to identify community partnerships and increase engagement with our partners, in order to expand community care options for elderly people, many of whom have complex health conditions,” says Natalie Sullivan, Executive Director, Brighton and Continuing Care.
“We recognised that these patients present challenges to our discharge planning due to the lack of supportive follow-up options for private patients when the intensity of an acute hospital or rehabilitation setting is over.”
Heather Catherwood, VMCH General Manager Community Services, says it is becoming increasingly important for organisations with complementary services to work together on service planning and share knowledge to help improve the experiences of people moving between the health and aged care sectors.
“The escalating pressure on hospital beds, healthcare costs and the preference for people to remain living at home necessitates that improved and innovative strategies be developed to help to address this growing challenge,” she said.
Ms Catherwood says the restorative programs, which have been operating for more than 12 months, have seen positive outcomes for participants including timely discharge from hospital and have enabled almost all of them to remain living independently in their own homes.
“We have been able to substantiate that collaborative forward planning, streamlined processes at the interface and comprehensive individualised programs have a positive impact from a physical, social and psychological perspective post hospitalisation,” she said.
Ms Sullivan said feedback from Cabrini patients and their families on the clinical programs is positive.
“Patients and their families value the bespoke approach, the extent of care coordination and high standards of care provided by both organisations,” Ms Sullivan said.
“Also of importance to families is the advice and advocacy provided by the team when unsure of options for short and long-term assistance.”
Further initiatives are being developed to address unmet needs in the community particularly in the areas of dementia and chronic disease management.