Located in St Helens, Tasmania, Medea Park Residential Care is a facility that can accommodate 55 residents. The premises are impeccably maintained and the staff are trained to provide care of the highest order. Ever since Medea Park was established it has provided excellent service to the community by keeping the care of its residents as its primary focus.
Medea Park promotes a family-like atmosphere where residents are treated with warmth, love and compassion. Friends and family are welcome to the facility and are encouraged to participate in the wide range of activities that are regularly organised. A number of external organisations and volunteers are involved in making Medea Park one of the most attractive places for older people.
Aged care is very competitive industry but Medea Park is in a unique situation where it does not have any direct competitors in the immediate vicinity. Despite this, the facility continues to maintain and improve its standards and services. Medea Park makes special efforts to stay abreast of the ongoing legislative initiatives and reforms that are taking place within the industry.
Speaking of the establishment of the facility, Ralf Mueller – Director of Nursing/General Manager, says, “Medea Park goes back to 1977. It was very much community driven. A number of community players identified that aged locals had to move to Launceston or Hobart, which are two to four hours from this region respectively. There was an identified need that the region required an aged care facility.”
Medea Park can accommodate 35 High Care residents and 20 Low Care residents. Two of its rooms are respite care rooms. Each resident is encouraged to maintain as much independence as possible. The management provides all the care that is necessary to ensure that the overall environment is as safe and secure as possible.
The facility offers a wide range of activities so that residents enjoy their stay and remain in good health and spirits. Special care is taken to ensure the psychological, social, cultural, emotional, and physical well-being of the residents. This is done by the development of a unique and customised individual activity programme for each resident.
Medea Park encourages residents to remain involved in community activities. Arrangements are also made to cater to their religious needs by organising a weekly church service and visits from a range of denominations.
Several activities are regularly organised and these see active participation. Some of the popular pastimes are the Life in Rhythm drumming group, art classes, concerts, indoor bowls, movies, shopping trips and organised exercises.
Recently Medea Park has initiated steps to put in place the infrastructure for future management of health via telehealth and other programmes. Residents will be able to connect wirelessly and access communication facilities such as Skype to remain in touch with friends and family members. An additional advantage is that this service will be absolutely free.
The management has taken several other steps to provide top-notch facilities for residents. Even though Medea Park is a relatively small aged care service provider, it has maintained its infrastructure very well. The environment is safe and comfortable and every effort is made to ensure that residents feel secure and are provided with a high degree of care.
Referring to the changes within the aged care industry Ralf Mueller says, “It’s an ever-changing environment. It is also an industry where the large organisations are getting larger and many smaller organisations are forming alliances.
“As an organisation, we have achieved and maintained very high satisfaction rates for our residents. We are admitting an increasing number of residents from other states. That would be a significant change compared to previous years.
“We are the sole operator in this region and it very difficult because of a low population base to continuously maintain high levels of occupancy rates. But we have achieved that against the odds. By doing this, we have achieved a very good financial position for a facility of our size.”
Highly competent staff
One of the reasons that Medea Park is so successful is that staff are well trained and genuinely care for the welfare of the facility’s residents. Management ensures that a supportive and safe environment is maintained for all staff. Subsidised meals are provided and this encourages them to eat on the premises. Uniforms are provided and each staff member is proud to wear the specially designed Medea Park uniform.
Over the last few years, Medea Park Residential Care has moved from using agency staff to having its own employees. This has resulted in a higher level of care for residents. Occupancy rates have gone up and the facility has obtained full accreditation. An application has been submitted for funding of $ 3 million. If approval is received more infrastructure will be added.
It is proposed to take Medea Park to 60 rooms, up from the current 55. The kitchen is also going to be modernised. This will be done even if external funding is not received. The facility’s internal resources will be used for the purpose if required. Several rooms will be modernised.
There is a plan to build a dementia-secure wing so that residents do not require to be transferred to dementia-secure environments elsewhere. This is being done so that the full range of services can be provided at Medea Park.
Furthermore, the local council has just acquired land where it is proposed to build a new hospital. The council is offering Medea Park three acres in that health precinct. There are plans to build a retirement village or independent living units. That is on the drawing board, it has not actually been formalised as yet.
Ralf Mueller says, “We provide one of the finest aged care services in Tasmania. We provide nursing care 24-hours around the clock. For a facility our size, we have a great amount of expertise. We provide benefits for our staff. We are slowly but surely trying to grow Medea Park into a larger organisation than we have now.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Medea Park Residential Care
WHAT: Medea Park Residential Care maintain high standards of care at all times and is well known for its warm and caring environment.
WHERE: TAS 7216