BlueWave Living is a high quality residential aged care facility that provides a mix of High Care and Low Care accommodation and care services. It is located on the New South Wales Central Coast, about 70 kilometres north of Sydney. The Woy Woy Hospital and the Brisbane Waters Private Hospital are close at hand.
Established almost three decades ago, the 96-bed facility enjoys the funding support from the Commonwealth Department of Social Services. The organisation got its start in May 1989 as a 40-bed nursing home. A short while later in 1992, a 10-bed dementia specific wing for High care residents was built.
In 1995, the Commonwealth Government approved the community’s proposal to construct a 40-unit aged care hostel for people who required assisted living. Subsequently in 2005, a $1.2 million refurbishment followed. At this time, a new eight-bed wing was developed.
Further work was carried out in 2012 with the construction of an additional wing and the renovation of common areas. In November 2014, the facility, which was till then called Woy Woy Community Aged Care, was renamed BlueWave Living.
“With the aged care reforms we identified a need to be able to become more easily identifiable because our name, Woy Woy Community Aged Care, was very generic and people got us confused with a lot of other like-named organisations in the local area,” says Jennifer Eddy, the Chief Executive Officer. “We thought about what we are going to call ourselves for quite some time.
“The construction that we were doing at the front incorporated this large wave walkway that runs down the front of the building right down to the road and we painted it cobalt blue and we kept referring to it as the blue wave. Then it suddenly came to us, that’s it! When you drive down the street you see this big blue wave and that’s BlueWave Living.”
The facility has taken a number of steps to ensure the comfort of its residents. All the four-bedroom units have been converted to accommodate only two residents each. This change was implemented in November 2014.
BlueWave Living is required to undergo an accreditation process every three years. The most recent such exercise was conducted in June 2015 when the facility was awarded a perfect score and received glowing reports from all its assessors.
Dedicated and well-trained staff
BlueWave Living has a stringent selection process and its staff is recruited only after a thorough screening and interview procedure. The organisation’s employees include a management team, administration staff, registered nurses, certificate 3 and 4 nurses, cleaners and laundry, catering and maintenance staff.
Jennifer Eddy says, ““We have over 100 staff and we are a very close-knit community. We have a very high staff retention and high staff morale. We are a really happy and supportive team. We have a reputation for being one of the best aged care facilities. We have a long waiting list and a lot of people who are on that list only want to come to BlueWave Living.
As we are a not-for-profit organisation we put our resources back into resident care. We get a lot of community support and we have been able to provide activities and services because of this.”
BlueWave Living specialises in providing person-centred care. Each resident is treated as an individual and a specific, tailor-made care package is designed to ensure that the appropriate level of help and support is provided. Residents are encouraged to remain as independent as possible but the facility’s staff are always at hand to support them.
The atmosphere at BlueWave Living is bright and cheerful and staff are warm and friendly. A number of activities are organised for the residents on a daily basis. The facility’s bus is available for full day and half day resident outings. Day trips are regularly organised to areas such as the Hunter Valley.
The therapy services on offer include physiotherapy, aromatherapy, music therapy, massage and podiatry. Residents take part in recreational activities with great enthusiasm. Some of the popular ones are craft, cooking, quizzes, music and gardening.
Over the years, BlueWave Living has established close relationships with other aged care facilities. Jennifer Eddy is a regular participant in the regional committee of CEOs of not-for-profit aged care facilities which has been in existence for many years.
The organisation has also developed excellent relationships with doctors in the area. They are happy to visit BlueWave Living as they get a high degree of support from the management and staff.
BlueWave Living is specially equipped to provide care to residents who need ongoing support. The facility’s dedicated High Care accommodation is staffed by registered nurses, enrolled nurses and qualified care staff. Registered nurses are available on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
BlueWave Living has its own kitchen and all meals are freshly prepared for residents. These are served in a common dining area. If required, meals can also be served to residents in their rooms. Accommodation is provided in a combination of single and double room formats with ensuites. The entire High Care area is air conditioned and built on one level for easy access.
BlueWave Living’s Low Care facilities are designed to provide a home-like environment for residents. Each resident is accommodated in a large single room with a host of amenities. All the rooms have a modern and private ensuite that features handheld showers and rails. Suites are provided with ceiling fans and a centrally controlled heating and cooling system, as well as central air conditioning.
Rooms have access to an external patio or verandah. The entire facility has an emergency call system with alarms in both the bathrooms and bedrooms. Residents and visitors use a common facility, The Village Square, to meet. It is provided with a plasma television and modern furnishings. The Village Square opens onto a courtyard that is used for barbeques, concerts and functions.
BlueWave Living’s philosophy in providing dementia care is to concentrate on the resident’s strengths and remaining abilities. Staff are trained to maintain a positive attitude and provide care in a cheerful manner that encourages the person afflicted with dementia.
There are secure dementia units in both the High Care and Low Care areas of the facility. Specially designed recreational activities are conducted for the residents of the dementia section.
In the recent past, BlueWave Living has seen a fair amount of renovation activity. A new high-care wing has been built and the front of the facility’s building has been refurbished. A large Blue Wave awning which runs from the front of the building all the way to the street has been completed.
Currently, the high-care dementia unit is in the process of being upgraded. It is getting new flooring and furniture. The wardrobes, curtains and paintings are also being changed to give the entire section a new look.
Vendors and suppliers
Since its establishment in 1989, BlueWave Living has established strong relationships with its suppliers. Many of them have been associated with the aged care facility for a long period of time. The management has established a practice of insisting on getting the best prices and the highest quality of service from its suppliers. “They know that our expectations are high and they deliver on those expectations,” says Jennifer Eddy.
BlueWave Living has acquired land across the road from its current facility to develop accommodation for people who might need some assistance for their day-to-day living activities but who do not need to move into an aged care facility. This project would suit a person living alone in a large house and who has a loved one who has moved into BlueWave Living.
BlueWave Living is planning a project for such people. There would be single-bedroom accommodation and a range of services. The main attraction would be that it would be located close at hand to the aged care facility and residents could shift into residential care if they need to do so at a future date.
The project would include a community area, a café and lounge area, doctor’s surgeries and some support services. It would not be a retirement village but a community which has all the required facilities for the aged.
Speaking about the plans and goals of BlueWave Living, Jennifer Eddy says, ““We are planning to expand our services. We are looking at increasing our residential aged care beds because we have a high waiting list. We want to provide residential aged care that people want to come to, that embraces our local community.
“We want people to be proud of their address. One of the most important things is the lifestyle of anyone who comes into residential care. It is just another phase of your life and there is so much living to do. There are so many more opportunities and we want people to live life to the full. We want them to continue living life in a happy, friendly and caring environment.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: BlueWave Living
WHAT: BlueWave Living provides comprehensive, quality residential aged care with a mix of High Care and Low Care accommodation and care services.
WHERE: NSW 2256, Australia