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  • SwanCare is an Innovation Winner
    Mon 15 Jul 2019

    Medical programs fostering the future of aged care

    SwanCare has been announced as a winner in the 2019 Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) awards for advancing the skills of future doctors and nurses.

    A not for profit and West-Australian retirement living and aged care provider, SwanCare has won the Innovation in Service or Design category of the Awards, reflecting two programs developed by SwanCare in partnership with Curtin Medical School and The University of Notre Dame Australia.

    “At SwanCare we are committed to developing health professionals who are involved in meeting the care needs of our ageing population, now and in the future,” SwanCare General Manager of Health and Aged Care Services, Julie Atkinson said. “Nurturing the knowledge, skills and mindset of the future aged care workforce is of huge importance."

    The SwanCare/Curtin Medical School partnership, called the Senior Citizen Partnership Program, works as an intergenerational program to help develop senior-savvy doctors of the future.

    SwanCare resident Susan Lewis is currently linked with seven students in total.

    “It is very important for doctors to be aware of the processes of ageing, physically and mentally, especially as people are living much longer these days,” Sue said. “As an older person I feel I have a wealth of knowledge and experience I can share with these young students.

    “I find the students delightful and I gain so much by learning about their views and different cultures.  It really is a two way relationship - I feel I’m helping them and they certainly provide me with very stimulating conversation.”

    Now in its second year, the Graduate Nurses Program is a SwanCare/Notre Dame University partnership which every year welcomes two nurses to complete post graduate studies and attain their Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing while working at SwanCare’s residential care facilities.

     “Working with our partners in the development of our future doctors and nurses will benefit both our ageing population and our communities in general, by creating better health care outcomes,” Julie Atkinson said. “It is our hope that the understanding between generations will improve the perception of the aged care sector as a career path, attracting a younger demographic with a vibrancy of attitude and innovative thinking.”



    SwanCare representatives at the 2019 ACSA Awards


    About the Senior Citizen Partnership Program

    Now in its third year, the Senior Citizen Partnership Program, run with the Curtin Medical School, provides students the opportunity to build positive relationships with an older person. The introduction is made in the first year and is maintained throughout their five year degree. The program intends to offer students insight to their Senior Citizen partner’s needs, an understanding of the ageing process and how an older person might interact with the health system. It is hoped that a familiarity and an empathy will evolve and help future doctors to meet the needs of our ageing population.

    There is strong evidence that increasing the social interaction and participation of older adults is a key factor in successful ageing and improved psychological health; with volunteering later in life being associated with reduced symptoms of depression, better self-reported health and fewer functional limitations (Douglas et al, 2016 Anderson et al, 2014).

    The Senior Citizen Partnership Program has engaged 86 medical students over the past three years in partnership with 45 residential and independent living residents at SwanCare, receiving excellent feedback from all involved.

    “We are delighted to have experienced some senior citizen participants signing up each year to assist a new cohort of medical students with some now partnering students in each of the three years the program has been running,” Julie Atkinson said. “Communicating with seniors and understanding their perspective on life, ageing and health issues is invaluable for the students and the heartfelt bonds built between participants is testament to the program’s value.”


    About the Graduate Nurses Program

    Within the care system, SwanCare has experienced an increase in the level of care required for residents and the need to deliver more complex care at an acute level. The Graduate Nurses Program was developed with Notre Dame University as a way to engage nurses into the aged care industry and to be able to meet the increasingly complex needs of residents.

    The Graduate Nurses Program engages two nurses per year to complete post graduate studies and attain their Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing, while working a number of shifts per week in our residential care facilities. The program is now in its second year.

    Nurses complete the program with broader knowledge and skills particular to the aged care industry - and improved employment prospects - and graduate with a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing.

  • SwanCare a Finalist in Care Awards
    Tue 09 Jul 2019

    SwanCare has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) Aged Care Awards for the category of Innovation in Service or Design.

    The Award nomination reflects SwanCare’s partnerships with Curtin Medical School and The University of Notre Dame to support the growth and development of future doctors and nurses. 

    “While SwanCare maintains its focus on nurturing existing staff to meet the needs of our current residents, we are also committed to the development of a strong future workforce for our ageing population,” SwanCare General Manager of Health and Aged Care Services, Julie Atkinson said.  “Fostering up-coming healthcare professionals for older Australians is of huge importance."

    The SwanCare/Curtin Medical School partnership, called the Senior Citizen Partnership Program, works as in intergenerational program to help develop senior-savvy doctors of the future.

    The main purpose of this program is to provide all first year medical students with an opportunity to establish positive relationships with older citizens, providing the students with an insight into the older citizen’s life as well as an in-depth understanding of the ageing process, the health and wellbeing issues experienced by the elderly and their experience with the health care system. This relationship continues throughout their five-year medical degree.

    The Graduate Nurses program is a SwanCare/The University of Notre Dame partnership which every year welcomes two nurses to complete post graduate studies and attain their Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing while working at SwanCare’s residential care facilities.


    About the Awards

    The 2019 ACSA Aged Care Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions made by organisations, teams and individuals in the aged care industry throughout the year. ACSA is the leading peak body supporting over 700 church, charitable and community-based Not-for-profit organisations that provide accommodation and care services to over 450,000 older Australians.

    The winner of the Western Australian award will be announced on 12 July. Click here for more information. https://www.acsa.asn.au/Training-and-Events/2019-ACSA-Aged-Care-Awards

  • SwanCare Wins Silver in Employer of Choice Awards!
    Wed 24 Apr 2019

    Tanya Rose with SwanCare resident

    At SwanCare, we work hard to create a supportive and loving environment not only for our residents, but for our team of more than 350 incredible staff members. We conduct regular reviews - and we are proud of our supportive workplace that many of our team members say “feels like home.”

    This is why we are incredibly humbled to learn that Swancare has been awarded Silver for Employer of Choice in the category for 100-499 employees. We are also delighted that SwanCare has been recognised as a top performer in the Training and Professional Development, Access to Technology, and Health and Wellbeing categories.

    About the HRD Award

    The annual competition, run by Human Resources Magazine (HRD), seeks to identify employers of choice across a number of worthy categories. The winner of each category is determined based on a survey of anonymous employees across Australia. From January to February 2019, staff rated their organisation in areas such as career progression, diversity, inclusion and recognition. Outstanding workplaces secured Gold, Silver or Bronze in each category.


    SwanCare Recruitment Team

    Our talented and tireless recruitment specialists, Isabella and Priska, play a vital role in
    connecting SwanCare with our future superstars.


    SwanCare General Manager of People and Culture Fiona Miller said the Award has come at an important time. “For us at SwanCare, achieving Silver in the Employer of Choice Awards is a recognition of our tireless efforts - not only over the years, but particularly over recent months as the Aged Care Inquiry has cast a shadow over our industry,” she said.

    “This award is really significant to us because it’s based on anonymous survey responses from our employees. Our goal is to be recognised by our own people as a great place to work. Because if we get that right, we are going to be a great place to work for future employees too,” Fiona said.

    “We are so proud of our employees as they are the reason that SwanCare is such a fantastic place to work. It’s wonderful that we are recognised not only within our immediate circle, but also nationally,” she shared.

    Fiona praised the Training and Development and the People and Culture teams for their hard work, which is clearly greatly appreciated by SwanCare staff - so appreciated in fact, that staff report a 94.6% satisfaction rate.


    A look ‘under the hood’: SwanCare as a top performer in the Training and Professional Development, Access to Technology, and Health and Wellbeing categories.

    At SwanCare, our dedicated Training and Development Officer Sharon Arkwright runs our educational and development calendar which allows our team to upskill and gain further qualifications. “Staff can undertake courses on offer, or can suggest others that would be beneficial in their role. We encourage all staff to share knowledge with colleagues. Ultimately, it’s about developing and sharing knowledge to benefit our residents,” shared Fiona. 

    When asked about SwanCare’s approach to technology, Fiona said the key was to not shy away from technology but to embrace it.

    “We are always looking for ways to implement technology to improve efficiency. But we understand technology can be daunting for some - and this is where training comes in. We want to ensure our people are promoted based on their managerial skills, and not held back if they aren’t confident with technology. Technological skills are life skills. We want to help our staff use technology in different aspects of their lives.”

    Fiona emphasised that caring for the health and wellbeing of staff members is second nature at SwanCare.

    “We strive to nurture everybody’s health and wellbeing at SwanCare. When you join SwanCare, you join a family - and you look after your family because you care,” she shared. 

    “We go beyond the standard health check-ups. We do offer heart checks, annual flu shots and general health check-ups in the form of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) sessions. But we also host impromptu information sessions on how to work in a cultural diverse environment, provide tools for financial management, and have a dedicated OSH committee. Our OSH committee looks at a different topic each month and publishes an piece highlighting a health issue - whether it be advice the right type of footwear for work, or the effects of smoking for example.”


    The key ingredient to being an employer of choice

    Fiona highlighted employee engagement as an important factor in staff members feeling recognised and valued at SwanCare. “The People and Culture team has launched two fantastic people-led initiatives this year which aim to celebrate our staff members. We have introduced an internal ‘stories team’ team of employees who are capturing the many wonderful things our staff do each day to help our residents, their families and each other. Secondly, we’ve raised the bar on how to showcase our fantastic people, and the impact they have on the world. You may have seen the videos of Pauline, Farhath, Vivienne or Tanya... We’re really looking forward to sharing our next round of videos offering an authentic insight into the challenges and rewards of working at SwanCare,” she shared.


    Thank you to the SwanCare team for your support

    To each and every staff member who took part in the survey which led to SwanCare winning this significant award - thank you. As you may remember, it was a real team effort to be put on the map.

    “We knew we did a great job at SwanCare, and we wanted to share our story with Australia and beyond. When we heard about the Employer of Choice Awards, we reached out to our team and asked for them to complete the survey - and we had a wonderful response. It was really a lovely opportunity to reflect on what it means to work at SwanCare,” Fiona said.

    Today, we are asking more from our fantastic people than we ever have before.

    “SwanCare is growing fast - and we are evolving as our industry is evolving. We need to continue delivering exceptional care for our residents and putting them right at the centre of what we do.  However, we can only achieve this through the dedication, skills, and the agility of our people. Our people are the experience for our residents,” Fiona shared.


    SwanCare Employer of Choice Awards



  • Next generation flexi-space design unveiled for new aged care facility
    Mon 25 Feb 2019

    SwanCare has unveiled the design behind its new Bentley residential care facility, introducing an adaptable living concept to cater for the next generation of aged care residents.

    An insight into the new care facility – SwanCare Ningana – has been provided via an animated fly-though of the building, together with an interview-based video featuring project architects.

    SwanCare CEO Graham Francis recently launched the online resources, which takes viewers on a journey through the facility’s main entry point and into one of its many outdoor spaces.

    “SwanCare Ningana will set a new benchmark in aged care,” Francis said. “The design is unique and will incorporate the latest design principles in aged and clinical care to cater for the future West Australians.”

    Leading Perth architect Dominic Snellgrove from Cameron Chisholm Nicol – who was also the project and design director for Perth Arena – is the project director for SwanCare Ningana.

    “We really want Ningana to change the way people think about aged care,” Snellgrove said. “We want to provide flexibility and choice in relation to the shift in generational and demographic needs in aged care.”

    As part of the design, future residents will have a choice of three room types as standard – the Swan Room, the Flexi-Room and the Super Suite. The latter option offers a retirement-style home with separate living and bedroom spaces, with the added benefit of round-the-clock care.

    Taking a whole-of-building approach to dementia care, rooms are clustered into groups of eight to ten, sharing dining, living and kitchenette areas and a protected winter garden allowing access to the outdoors.

    Decorative screens allow staff to maintain visual connection with the residents without compromising the home-like quality and privacy of the spaces.

    The 124-room building is on track for completion in late 2019.


    Click here to learn more about the design behind Ningana 


    Click here to view the animated fly-through 


  • The Eagles pop in for a cuppa with the new neighbours
    Thu 21 Feb 2019

    With the West Coast Eagles imminent move to Lathlain Park, SwanCare will soon to be in the heart of Eagles territory. On Wednesday, 20th February 2019, SwanCare welcomed their new neighbours - key West Coast players and the Eagles AFLW coach Adam Selwood - for a cuppa and some serious footy chat.

    Selwood was accompanied by players Nathan Vardy, Josh Smith, Patrick Bines and Rosie Deegan (AFLW West Coast Eagles) to address SwanCare’s football fanatics and provide a photo and signing opportunity. 

    CEO Graham Francis said days like this are eagerly anticipated by everyone at SwanCare, where serious footy fans abound, and the community is abuzz with enthusiasm for a meet and greet with their favourite team.

    “Welcoming the West Coast Eagles to our neighbourhood was a great way to launch the 2019 season here at SwanCare. Our residents know their footy and they are a very passionate bunch!” Mr Francis said. 

    “Hosting the Eagles was a real treat and we are excited to have the Premiership team training just around the corner." 

    The Eagles’ visit was part of the West Coast Eagles Annual Community Camp, where the club share their love of footy at a grass roots level – with a special emphasis this year on indulging the new neighbours.






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