Key things to help you everyday

Eight steps to good, fair decision-making

The role of a Village Professional can at times feel like walking a tightrope.

In the broadest terms, the basic role of a village manager is to deliver, or facilitate the services promised under the operator’s contract to residents living within their community. Gosh, if only it was that easy!

In reality, every day Village Professionals are balancing residents needs and expectations against legislative and contractual agreements, sometimes in the absence of clear parameters.

And as a result, Village Professionals often find themselves in positions where they have to make decisions – and big ones. 

In my experience, the Village Professionals who make the best decisions generally follow eight steps, which you can use as a guide. 

Here are eight questions to ask yourself before your next big decision.

  1. Is the answer in the legislation?
  2. Is the answer in the contract/residence agreement?
  3. Is there an organisational policy/position guideline around this matter?
  4. What will be the impact on the operations/budget?
  5. What will be the impact on the resident or other residents?
  6. Does this decision require further consultation with others?
  7. Common sense – does it pass the ‘pub test’?
  8. Does it fit in with the values of the organisation?
    (Be careful not to bias with your personal values here.)

When these steps aren’t bearing fruit, you may also consider:

  • Whether you may need to gather some further information; and/or,
  • Are there alternative positions/solutions?

One of the most important lessons in my career, after working on and in more than 200 villages, has been to make sure that my decisions are thoughtful.

I’m constantly asking whether I’ve followed due process, considered all angles, being transparent and can explain the why of my decision.

As a side note, I have also learnt sometimes my decisions may need to be reviewed or amended. Having the ability to revisit a decision (even if it eventually comes out the same) shows respect, and your residents will certainly appreciate it.

Key things to help you everyday Latest industry developments

Have you heard about COTA’s Aged Care System Navigator?​

COTA Australia provides advocacy, information and services to all older Australia to promote, improve and protect the wellbeing of older people in our country.​

One of its recent initiatives is the Aged Care Navigator Service Trial.

This includes:

  • Assistance to contact My Aged Care
  • Help to fill out forms
  • Community workshops and information sessions 

Led by COTA Australia, the trial is designed to test different services and activities that may help people learn more about Australian Government-funded aged care services and how to best access them.

COTA has partnered with 30 organisations as part of the pilot and is evaluating 64 different Navigator trials across the country.

It’s a valuable resource for Village Professionals and your residents, and it’s available to older people, their families, friends and anyone else who wants to link with aged care supports.

For more information on the program and to share with your residents, click here.

Key things to help you everyday

Microsoft Teams – An easy and essential village management tool

We were talking with Comwire IT the other day about our own IT setups and making everything simpler.

We agreed one of the best tools is Microsoft Teams.

It’s a software application to make your life so much easier in working with your often remote ‘team’? We love it and you will too.

It is built into Microsoft 365, formally Office 365, which most of us use (it’s in Microsoft Office Tools).

Microsoft Teams allows you to have a small window open on your desktop to send the equivalent of SMS messages rather than emails to your team members. So it is instantly visible and doesn’t require the formality of an email.

Think about these situations:

  • You simply want to ask if the gardeners have arrived
  • You have teams that may need to share or access resident or service provider contact lists when not onsite – send a Teams message
  • You need to collaborate on the formulation of a policy or would benefit from sharing the same document management systems – chat back and forth

This can all be done simply with Teams.

Like all technologies, there are some additional really good things that can be done with Teams.

The best idea is to have a specialist come in and review your systems and get you ‘match fit’ with your technology.

We are now supporting Comwire IT because they specialise in our sector.

They understand that technology isn’t your core business – people are.

It’s the tips that can make a big difference on how software works. Here is a one or two that COMWIRE IT gave us for Teams:

·       Creating a new line and bullet points in a chat message.

Need to create a new line of text in a Teams chat but getting frustrated when you hit the “return” key, it sends your message off to the recipient and you hadn’t finished your conversation?

Hold Shift key and press Return key, it will move you to a new line.

·       Need to create a couple of bullet points in your chat?

Simple shortcut is hit the ‘hyphen / dash key’ and then hit the ‘space bar’

Check out Teams today – you won’t look back.

If you need someone to review your IT system to make your life easier, check out Comwire IT.

Key things to help you everyday Latest industry developments Things to watch

South Australian Retirement Village Act review discussion paper issued​

Late last week the Office of Ageing Well released the 52 page discussion paper as the next step of the Retirement Village Act 2016 review. 

The review is a requirement of the Act, which commenced in 2018.

The RV Act and its regulations, frame the operations of the State’s 534 registered retirement villages, housing around 26,400 people.

The review will consider whether the Act meets its intended objectives, including:

  • clarifying the rights and responsibilities of both operators and residents,
  • enhancing information disclosure requirements,
  • providing tighter definitions, and
  • ensuring sufficient consumer protection.

A two-part discussion paper has been developed to facilitate the review with stakeholders and community members encouraged to provide feedback on the sections that interest them.

The review will also consider other jurisdictions’ retirement village legislation to support the further development of best practice processes in South Australia.

A report on outcomes of the review, including community feedback will be provided to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing for tabling in Parliament later in 2021.

Director for Office of Ageing Well is encouraging all South Australians with an interest in this area to have their say here. 

Submissions close on Friday 26 March 2021 at 5.00pm (ACDT).

The DCM Institute team also encourages South Australian operators to review the discussion paper, interact with their industry peak body or other operators and finally make their own individual submission. 

Your voice will count!