CommunityWest in partnership with COTA Australia has been undertaking a national project, trialling co-production in the aged care sector.
The Step Forward – Together project has ten pilot sites using co-production in their organisations over the last eight months resulting in great success as a method for service improvement and innovation.
The consumers involved in the pilot site projects have also benefited from being involved and have reported increased confidence, improved relationships with staff, increased sense of self-worth and value, a renewed sense of purpose in life, and new skills and knowledge learnt.
Brenda Bryant is an avid writer and poet and has been writing a blog of her time during the Step Forward – Together project. She was delighted to be asked to take a peek behind the scenes and contribute to the renewal taking place in aged care nationwide. Brenda is 85 years old and has accessed home care services provided by Novacare Community Services since having a stroke three years ago.
By being involved in the Step Forward – Together project, Brenda feels even more appreciative of the effort made by Novacare to genuinely engage with the older people in her community. Brenda believes there has never been a better time to be old and has written this poem about her time with the project.
There was an old lady from Oz,
Who enjoyed co-production because,
She could add the odd thought
Though it might come to nought,
And compare the ‘what is’ to ‘what was’.
To appreciate aged care today,
We must bring every mind into play.
If we co-operate,
We can add much more weight,
And feel glad ‘cos we’re having our say.
I encourage you all to take part!
Use your brain for its bright and it’s smart.
Just have your say,
And you may, yes you may
Cause something unusual to start!
In this wonderful new world of caring
There is nothing so vital as sharing…
The ten pilot site projects complete 31 May and CommunityWest will be disseminating the learnings of the project over the coming months, including a documentary and ‘how to’ guide and toolkit on co-producing aged care services.
For more information contact Kelly Gray, CommunityWest Consultant, (08) 9309 8180.