In the age services industry, there has been a conscious move away from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of the past, towards person-centred care. This new model focuses on enabling people to make their own choices in relation to their overall health and wellbeing.
Providers that adopt this model successfully must make practical and visionary transformations, in order to truly put the needs of the client first. There must also be options in our aged care system to support the choice to remain at home, and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
An innovative care hotel
A new proof-of-concept care hotel is challenging the way respite care is delivered—supporting both person-centred care and ageing in place.
In 2019, South Australian aged care provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) acquired land in Walkerville, which provided an opportunity to scale short-term services in a more economical way, compared to delivery in the home, but still delivered in a home-like environment.
The new Dandelion care hotel was designed to provide a similar experience to a hotel stay for clients who require respite care or a higher level of care than can be provided through home care for short periods of time, and to reduce avoidable hospital stays.
It offers 16 short-stay suites—eight are designed for people transitioning from hospital or requiring ‘step-up-step-down’ integrated care, while the other eight suites are for people with dementia, to provide respite for carers.
The Dandelion experience
Each Dandelion hotel suite features voice-activated technology enabling guests to make requests for staff assistance when they need it. Staff can respond to guests directly from their mobile devices, creating a calm environment and improving staff efficiency.
Discrete safety monitoring and falls detection devices are installed in each suite, and automated alerts are sent to staff mobile devices using integrated messaging and a mobile App, to ensure a rapid response should there be a need.
The Dandelion Concierge entertainment and engagement solution provides guests with a personalised experience during their stay. Whether ordering a meal, accessing entertainment services (including streaming platforms), or video calling friends and family, all can be done from the privacy of their own suite. Meals and services can be delivered at the guest’s preferred schedule.
Every aspect of person-centred care has been considered at Dandelion, even down to offering guests a pillow menu, to ensure their level of comfort is just right.
Access to other services on-site
Dandelion is one component of the College Grove site, which also encompasses ECH home care services, allied health support, a gym, GP consulting, specialist geriatricians and a day program respite service—all of which are available to guests.
With more and more Australians choosing to age in place, having the option for recovery or respite in a hotel-like environment, rather than a hospital, with the advantage of health providers and health services on hand, empowers them with choice and supports their dignity.
Pointing to the future of aged care
The Dandelion care hotel challenges the current limitations of existing care models. This person-centred, responsive, technology-based and integrative model of community care disrupts what is considered standard, and should set the bar for other providers and indeed the wider aged care system.
A winning initiative
ECH was recognised for their Dandelion care hotel concept as the winner of the Realising Wellness and Reablement award in the 2021 innovAGEING National Awards.