Though it is now one of the largest privately-owned aged care providers in New Zealand, the Golden Healthcare Group had to start off from somewhere. John Tooby, the organisation’s owner, first started the business in 1985. Soon after, he purchased his first rest home, a 10-bed facility which would go on to serve as the backbone of a considerable group of aged care facilities which include rest home care, dementia care, retirement villages, and specialist mental health, physical disability, and intellectual care.
Golden Healthcare is comprised of eight different facilities which offer various services. Rest home care is provided in the Golden Age Rest Home and Brookhaven Rest Home, both of which also encompass retirement villages. Brookhaven also has a dementia care unit along with the dedicated Camellia Court, Albarosa, and Somerfield rest homes. Furthermore, the Hoon Hay Rest Home and House not only has a dedicated dementia wing but also specializes in mental health. Overall, the group has tried to support every aspect of aged care which is one of the reasons why the residents of Christchurch have chosen Golden Healthcare facilities as their new homes.
Expanding Golden Healthcare’s achievements
Right now, the business is also building a new site called the Lady Wigram Retirement Village, a huge undertaking which is beautifully designed to maximise both light and space. The concept is to provide hotel-style accommodation for those residents who enjoy being part of a vibrant, social community. The group has already built 56 villas with an additional 45 undergoing construction. Once the retirement village is finished, there will be 101 villas, 73 apartments, and 100 care beds. The villas will be offered in a combination of two and three bedrooms whereas apartment residents will have a choice between one and two bedrooms. The care facilities will include a rest home, hospital, and dementia facilities. Moreover, additional amenities such as a community centre, bowling greens, swimming and spa pools, a gym, a theater, a library, and a hairdressing salon will all be part of the $80 million project. Apartments will also be available in August 2017.
Olivia Cleave, Golden Healthcare’s Operations Managers and John Tooby’s daughter, as well as David Sidaway, the Corporate Services Manager, are both very proud in the organisation’s accomplishments and its reputation in the region. David, who has been with the organisation for about six years, has overseen the expansion of Golden Healthcare by getting the structure right, becoming more focused on getting their people to work at the highest standards, and improving policy. The latter is the culmination of a 4-year program which helped tremendously in their recent audit. In fact, Golden Healthcare received a 4-year certification for Somerfield as a result which is the highest standard in the aged care sector.
Investing in and caring for the staff
Part of that can also be attributed to the huge emphasis the business places on its staff. Golden Healthcare employs 260 people spread across its 380-bed facilities, all of whom are highly trained, extremely knowledgeable, and very experienced. The organisation has spent a lot of time, effort, and resources in making sure that the staff is certified and qualified in their roles. When the residents’ families come in, they can easily see that the employees can provide personalized and professional care to everyone who resides in the facilities.
A prime example of that is dementia care: “We cater to the needs of residents who have dementia. The difference between our rest homes and dementia units is the staff. There are different levels of staffing, they need to have different qualifications, and different levels of educations. For example, we have to make a lot of the decision-making for these residents. One of the other aspects is that we also have to train and educate the families on dementia to have a better handle on it. A lot of them don’t understand dementia and might get quite upset when their families are put in a secure unit. We have regular family meetings where we actually encourage them to come along and learn what dementia means, trying to take that stigmatism away”, say Olivia and David.
After all, Golden Healthcare has a very good relationship with its staff as it maintains a very hands-on approach to the business. Even John Tooby frequently comes in for a morning tea to interact with the residents and the staff. This dedication to the team is shown in many different ways. For example, the group recently had a conference for the management and executive members of the staff in order to improve and increase their skillset. The organisation employs a dedicated maintenance and gardening team which has transformed all outdoors areas, a dedicated diversional therapist, activities coordinators in every site, and more.
Unique facilities across the board
As Golden Healthcare supports a considerable number of facilities, there are plenty of opportunities to create unique environments suitable for different residents. For instance, Golden Age Rest Home has a registered nurse, physiotherapists, an activities coordinator, home assistants, cooks, cleaners, a gardener, a hairdresser at the in-house salon, and more. The organisation also believes in keeping people busy and entertained, which is why they have purchased 4 vans to take the residents away on regular outings in the local mall, coffee shops, and elsewhere.
When David came aboard, the industry was far less regulated than it is now. Even so, Golden Healthcare not only managed to stay up-to-date with modernized standards but also to improve above and beyond. Meals, activities, and home facilities are also constantly updated as the organisation invests a huge part of its capital gains back into the facilities. To the same end, making sure that the staff is competent and capable to provide the highest levels of care, both in specialized sectors and in general, has been a subject of utmost importance to the executive and management teams.
Overseeing the completion of the Lady Wilgram Retirement Village as well as the further computerization of Golden Healthcare Group’s facilities will keep the teams busy for the next couple of years, at least. When those projects are over, David and Olivia seem inclined on considering further expansion plans. The organisation’s great reputation, combined with relentless hard work, will surely keep them at the top of the aged care industry for years to come.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Golden Healthcare Group
WHAT: New Zealand’s biggest privately-owned company in the aged care sector
WHERE: 96 Harewood Road, Papanui, Christchurch 8053, New Zealand