Rest homes provider a world-beater

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2014
presbyterian support south canterbury
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION: Presbyterian Support South Canterbury celebrates winning the international Eden Alternative Seedling Award with board chairman, Jim Pearce, from left, Minister for Senior Citizens Jo Goodhew, Croft cargiver Rebecca Sykes, and, front row, residents Burnie Fleming, left, and Jim Burnett.

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Presbyterian Support South Canterbury has been acknowledged on the world stage for the way it looks after its residents.

The group won the Eden Alternative Seedling Award, an international award for residential care providers which have implemented the "person-centred care" Eden Alternative philosophy and have achieved significant progress in a short period of time.

There were 10 nominations, from the United States, Britain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Presbyterian Support South Canterbury (PSSC), which owns three residential care homes, came out on top.

The award was presented by Minister for Senior Citizens Jo Goodhew, and representatives from The Croft, and the Wallingford and Margaret Wilson rest homes enjoyed an afternoon tea to celebrate.

The award also recognised innovation in culture change and how rest homes were creating a ‘life worth living' for older people.

Board chairman Jim Pearce provided an example - when the team at the Croft was holding interviews for a new nurse manager, two residents sat in, asking candidates relevant questions.

The Eden Alternative Philosophy was started in the rest homes in 2012 and aims to eliminate loneliness, helplessness and boredom in residents.

He said one of the reasons PSSC did so well was because at the beginning, 90 staff from the three homes were trained, causing enough of a snowball effect to produce results.

As part of the philosophy, different activities offered include the A to Z club, a group of young children visiting The Croft each week to spend time with the residents, and visits from animals and pets.

Margaret Wilson resident Jim Burnett said he had seen big changes since the Eden Alternative Philosophy started. It had become a home away from home.

PSSC is the second home in New Zealand to receive the award. In total the three homes care for 161 residents.

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- The Timaru Herald

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