20 January, 2023
Mareeba aged home on the way up
BLUE Care has moved decisively to improve conditions and services at its Mareeba Gardens aged home after a failed Federal audit last year, refurbishing rooms and securing new senior staff who are determined to make the facility the best possible place to live for their residents.
Leading the changes is new Residential Services Manager Diane Lignier who is clearly passionate about improving the facility and brings with her extensive nursing and managerial experience as well as a strong background in mental health.
“I knew there were issues (with the facility) when I applied for the position and I knew it was going to be a challenge but I also knew a lot had already been done,” she said.
Her intent since she started her role in October is to ensure that the 44 residents at the home have the best possible life they can while they are there.
“For me, when I think about running a facility, I think would I be happy if my loved ones came to that facility, or how I’d feel or what I would want and how I would want my needs addressed - would I want a voice and would I be heard?” she said.
Since the failed Federal Commission audit in July last year, the home has undergone a refurbishment which has included new beds, internal painting, new curtains and other new equipment such as weighing chairs and “princess” beds. Another area of the home is also being refurbished to host small family events.
Ms Lignier also revealed new senior staff were set to come on board soon – a care manager who will look after new admissions, auditing, education of staff, and ensuring the facility is compliant on all standards, a senior staffer who will look after quality measures, and a full-time lifestyle coordinator who would be tasked with enhancing the recreational activities on offer.
A new phone system has also been installed to ensure residents can have better communication with their friends and family, and the home is also flexible when it comes to visiting hours to ensure it caters to individual people’s needs.
Ms Lignier said residents have regular meetings with management to ensure direct feedback was achievable and everyone was encouraged to speak up without fear of reprisal.
With the ability to increase the number of beds to 64 and a waiting list, the home may be able to expand its capacity in the future.