The Aged Care Foundation

In 2009 the Aged Care Foundation (ACF) of Freemasons’ Homes of Southern Tasmania was created to enhance the quality of life for residents of the nursing home. Federal government funding provides the basics for residents of all aged care facilities and funds raised by the ACF will be used for extras. Already the Foundation has purchased a bus for residents’ outings, commissioned a DVD, Come Home to Freemasons, to give prospective residents and their families information about life in this nursing home, bought a large TV for a communal area, assisted in funding residents’ outings and provided funds to furnish Audrey’s Place, a popular meeting spot for residents.

In partnership with three schools and two other nursing homes, the ACF was successful in obtaining a grant of $25,000 from NAB as part of the first round of grants for their Schools First project. This grant enabled groups of school students to record the life stories of nursing home residents in a form they could keep and share with their families. Residents and students who were part of this project consider it to have been a positive experience.

2014’s project involved fortnightly visits from year 9 MacKillop College students who taught ILU residents how to use IPads. Each resident was matched with a student and the level of confidence for everyone increased with each visit. The friendships formed were heart-warming! The program was launched at a reception attended by the Governor and residents and students were delighted he used an iPad for his speech!

Current ACF activity includes investigating ways to improve dental and oral care in residential aged care facilities. Poor dental health can significantly reduce quality of life and may contribute to hospital admissions. Routine dental inspections combined with treatment when required would be excellent additions to current residential care. The ACF is working with a local dental practice to establish affordable ways to provide this much-needed care.

Jill Morgan currently chairs the seven-member ACF Board and Christine Howard is employed for eight hours a week as its Executive Officer. For more information about the Foundation, or to become a member, please contact Christine Howard on 0408 101 449 or email choward@fmhtas.com.au.