Quality of care and quality of life: what’s the difference?

By HBH - 4 March 2019

Quality of care and quality of life: what’s the difference?

In past years, the focus of aged care facilities was on ‘quality of care’, says HBH Senior Living CEO, Bonnie Robinson. These days, HBH and other like-minded care facilities want to concentrate on what really matters – quality of life.

“HBH has long been recognised as a model of excellence in senior care and living,” says Bonnie. “And we’re hugely proud of the quality of our care. But aged care is about so much more than that. In the past, quality of care was clinically focused and very much about cleanliness and orderliness.”

Today, HBH has a very different and much broader view, she explains. “Now we focus on optimising quality of life for the resident so that they feel valued; they’re interested, stimulated and involved.”

HBH has always been a very caring place, and the introduction of the Eden Alternative has contributed a new dimension, says Bonnie. “The philosophy of Eden is to enable the residents to do as much as they can themselves, as they would at home. On any given day, residents participate in daily life, volunteers are in and out from the community, and residents have a much greater sense of purpose – as well as being physically cared for, they have a more meaningful life.”

Being a NFP organisation means that HBH can focus on quality of care rather than on delivering a profit. This enables HBH to offer a range of additional services, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, cognitive stimulation therapy and socialisation clubs such as Spark of Life.

Jejson Jose, HBH Senior Living’s Quality Manager, believes that this makes a huge difference. “The saying ‘use it or lose it’ very much applies,” he explains. “If an older person has a fall and is in bed for a month, he or she will very quickly lose their mobility. Services like OT and physio ensure our residents don’t ‘lose it’. And our cognitive programmes and Spark of Life work in the same way – keeping people intellectually stimulated and engaged, as do volunteers from the community who bring the outside in.”

Lastly, HBH has a long-serving, like-minded and consistent team who are all motivated to care.

“Everyone in the organisation has the same intention and is motivated by our vision to ensure our residents have the care and support they require to enjoy fullness of life,” says Bonnie.

“From the nursing staff to the ground and laundry staff, everyone plays an equally important role in contributing to the high quality of care HBH delivers.”

HBH will undergo a Ministry of Health audit in March, which measures standards of care. Bonnie is proud of the clinical standards at HBH, but what she and the staff are most proud of is less easy to measure – ensuring our residents have the highest possible quality of life.

Lisa Waldren