Awards and University Affiliation
Over the years RSL LifeCare has achieved a number of awards in care, including:
- Nine “Better Practice in Aged Care” awards from the Aged Care Standards & Accreditation Agency – no other organisation has received this number of awards
- Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Commendable Accreditation Award
- Minister for Ageing Award – Winner of the Leadership Award
- Minister of Ageing Award – Winner of the Staff Education and Development Award
- Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Award, Disability – NSW Finalist
- Winner of the Aged Care Association of Australia Building Award
Since 2004, RSL LifeCare has enjoyed an active partnership with the Australian Catholic University. This relationship between trainer and provider bridges theory and practice in tangible ways that benefit staff, residents and students alike.
With this formal link established, RSL LifeCare’s commitment to enhancing quality care, learning and development was further enhanced by becoming a University Affiliated Teaching Centre for Senior Living. In 2005 the RSL LifeCare Chair of Ageing was established and filled by Professor Tracey McDonald. Professor McDonald brings her extensive experience in aged and community care matters to the role through her facilitation of research into ageing and her mentoring of care and nursing staff at RSL LifeCare.
RSL LifeCare’s staff and residents benefit in many ways from the affiliation with ACU. Some examples of current research projects, practice development projects, staff development and resident support include:
- The Upbeat Choir – Singing therapy for residents suffering from stroke, Parkinson’s disease or mild dementia
- “Measuring Resident Stress during Renovations” Study
- Promoting aged care as a career choice for undergraduate nursing students
- Long Term Care Quality of Life scale (LTC-QoL) development and implementation (and the study of such data on nursing practice).
Residents’ quality of life is always considered important by our staff, but until recently there has been no way to measure it and respond to variations in residents’ quality of life that may occur. This new system (LTC-QoL), developed in conjunction with the University and RSL LifeCare, means staff can effectively monitor residents’ quality of life. As a result, nurses are better able to plan individualised and truly effective care plans for each resident in care, thereby fulfilling not only the physical needs of residents but also their psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing.
- Registered Nurse Clinical Research Forums – where nurses discuss latest clinical research topics and professional nursing issues. For example: Understanding sarcopenia in designing individualised interventions for prevention and care; Effective promotion of resident comfort; Spiritual Care framework for aged care services in Australia; Health practitioner registration and recent changes to nurse registration policy.
- Q&A sessions between the Professor and RSL ANZAC Village residents, including lively discussion on topics such as: Mastectomy – what is involved and how safe is the procedure? How does PTSD happen? Calibrating your moral compass amid social change; GP over-prescription of sedatives for older people; Alcohol and health – the latest research; Research into a vaccine for Alzheimer’s; Superbug treatment breakthroughs; What is counted in a ‘full blood count’ and why? The implications of ‘pre-diagnosis’ of Alzheimer’s for younger generations; Can frailty be prevented and treated?
Centre for Clinical Practice
In 2015 RSL LifeCare and the Australian Catholic University launched its School of Clinical Practice at LifeCare’s ANZAC Village in Sydney.
The School brings together theory and practice by providing undergraduate nursing students the opportunity to train and work in one place – RSL ANZAC Village Narrabeen. University classes are taught one day per week on-site and students work in paid employment on the campus, gaining valuable hands-on experience. The ability to work in the sector whilst studying to become a nurse has several advantages, namely experience, employment and exposure to caring for older Australians – a demographic these nurses will encounter wherever their career may take them.