Key takeaways from the Insights webinar series recorded on the 10th of February 2021 with Hayylo’s team, Simon Heaysman, Greg Satur and Meg Braithwaite, featuring the special guest and customer Jamie Fillingham, Executive Director of Care at Goodwin
It’s well established that the 2020 pandemic has caused significant changes. As the aged, disability and community care sector moves to a state of ‘normalisation’, or BAU, the sector emerged with a big mindset shift.
In addition, the recent Aged Care Royal Commission report publication caused a lot of chatter about what’s going to happen post-Royal Commission and what this concept of wellbeing that’s being floated at the moment means.
Most importantly, how providers and the general community can benefit from these changes towards wellbeing?
Key changes in the sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic stimulated the wellbeing conversation.
Indeed, a new thing experienced throughout the sector was the reliance on communication. The ability to quickly disseminate information and reach people was not something that would have been necessarily front and centre pre-COVID.
As a result, there’s been more acceptance of the various ways in which a provider can communicate. Many business continuity plan and execution now include being prepared for the unexpected and more communication-forward. This mindset is now the new norm and infrastructure in care services.
This newfound ability means not only communicating, but finding different mechanisms to do it – both at staff and client level -, alongside the reflection around what is essential, what provides meaning, and how do you articulate that in a day-to-day fashion.
Therefore, the key takeaways of this crisis were the resilience and the strengthening of communication required within providers to keep up with the constant changes, making sure that everyone was well equipped and safe.
What is wellbeing?
There is no consensus around a single definition of wellbeing. But there’s an agreement that, at a minimum, it includes the presence of positive emotions. It’s about engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishments.
But there’s a heightened sensitivity to what is meaning and wellbeing as you age. Even pre-pandemic, many aged care recipients were already living a sense of isolation. So, how do they connect? We expect everybody to be accessing things and deriving their control, independence and knowledge through online content, but what if you don’t have access to those things? And how are you maintaining that level of communication?
Many studies (refer to the end of this blog) prove that there is a straight line between meaning in life (how that’s being supported) and wellbeing. Care services providers have got to take ownership of that.
Wellbeing is subjective.
And this presents challenges. How do we harvest that knowledge around what is important to each individual, and how do we meet that into their care? That’s the operational layer of it all that care services providers need to get to. As support workers and carers walk in the front door in community care, or open the residence door, wellbeing looks very different to each of these people. And having that innate knowledge is crucial.
That’s why, from a home care perspective, it’s imperative to look at everybody entirely individually. Providers can’t follow the same model for everybody. That’s the so-called consumer-directed care.
It means that you can build and understand who your clients are on that absolute personal level. And connection and communication are key to the success of operationalising wellbeing within the home care environment.
From a connection perspective, reducing the geographical areas of how many clients you’re seeing from a smaller pool of workers works best to understand who the clients indeed are.
Watch how Goodwin was successful in communicating and increasing client satisfaction in the process.
The opportunities are massive – there’s lots of talk about hyper-personalisation, and technology will be a driver. Especially considering how subjective wellbeing is, the lens into the hyper-personalisation aspect must be considered.
As well as the need to prove and evidence that wellbeing practices are being provisioned. To create measurements, frameworks, standards and ways that allow an organisation to plan and execute all these steps mentioned previously.
There’s a fundamental layer beneath all of that: a provider’s ability to listen better to clients and communities. No one can measure without listening. Opening up different channels to listen properly is critical.
We’ve done it here at Hayylo across 2020 and will continue to do it – in a structured way. That’s what allows businesses to steer and to make better collective decisions. Which will drive providers towards different outcomes.
If you spend more time and open different ways to listen, magic happens.
Connections and wellbeing
As part of a community, providers have to do more to nurture connection. It’s been put in our faces over 2020 that it is possible to enable that through more efficient communication, which helps the achievement of physical, social, mental wellbeing.
To foster these deeper connections, communication must be strengthened. If providers don’t get it right and bring people on the journey, it will make life so much more difficult.
Care & Community & Communications & Connections
If social connection is the highway to wellbeing, then communication is the vehicle that gets us there. Technology plays an important part in enabling better communication but it’s more about how we facilitate its adoption that actually empowers people and bring them in.
To achieve such outcomes, constant education is necessary, ensuring clients get buy-in. Also, to secure something tangible is being done with the data technology supplies, especially regarding understanding how this data will provide better care.
So, there’s definitely a place for technology in care services, but its success depends on how the providers work with their client group to ensure that they’re getting the best out of it. And it’s not just a thing that is going to sit on the shelf.
From the real-world sense of how technology adds value, it is almost in an everyday state. Researches demonstrate fabulous health outcomes – from a reduction in depression and anxiety but also a more significant reduction in coronary disease, cognitive disorders and so on.
Of course, there would still be other factors to a diagnosis, but a core message heard from clients is how important it is for them to have the ability to interact with the provided services. It’s the feeling of being in touch with the mechanisms around what’s going on, being able to see their schedule, to know who’s coming and when.
Even to be able to see their care plan in an app. That empowers knowledge. And having that immediate access so clients can understand and interact with their health goals and plan reduces anxiety. Which, again, draws correlations to those health outcomes.
The person-centred model of service delivery
There’s a lot of talk about client focus. Now it’s the time to start living it.
Although the health system is disease-centred, not person-centred built, now it’s the opportunity to co-design and change this framework by disrupting what went on in 2020.
The person-centred approach is about awareness – which drives empowerment and behaviour. When one becomes aware of things, it allows this person to be empowered to make decisions. And that’s how behaviour is an offset of this process.
Our mandates internally within Hayylo make sure everyone’s aware of what’s happening. Mainly because we believe beautiful things happen when people are aware of them.
Operating and working how the sector can be more open – safely – can bring great results. The best one is a behaviour shift towards a person-centred model of service delivery with better communication practices to increase the sense of connection and wellbeing among clients.
References mentioned during the webinar:
UWA Social Care and Ageing Living Lab study: https://bit.ly/3prJzwa
Four pillars of a meaningful life: https://bit.ly/37kUcuG
75-year study on what makes a good life: https://bit.ly/2LXOZkX
Why staff really leave: https://bit.ly/3prK2hU
The healthcare system design: https://bit.ly/2ZlUhtF