MCLEAN Care was recognised for reaching out to those in rural and isolated areas on Friday night. The aged care provider was awarded with a Northern Inland Innovation Award for health, aged care and disabilities for their Bush Compass program. “We’re very humbled, but more so excited,” CEO Sue Thompson said.
She said the award had given Mclean Care the inspiration to broaden their scope and take the program to an even wider area.
Bush Compass uses Skype to reach out to aging clients in isolated areas such as Mungindi, Tingha and Bundarra, providing them with access to a physiotherapist, exercise programs, and personalised healthcare advice.
“People generally if they want to access, they have to get into a car and drive to a centre,” Sue said. She said Bush Compass developed after realising the limited access many clients had to programs due to their location. Mclean received a $10,000 caring for aging rural Australians grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal in 2014, which helped them design the accessibility program.
“What we like to call it is showing the way… the way to wellness,” she said. Sue explained that Bush Compass provided support for people by improving their decision making skills, building them up socially and emotionally and reducing their financial burdens. She said that clients using the program reduced their likelihood of going into care too early, had improved mobility and reduced falls risks as well as less unplanned hospital admissions.
Sue said the elderly clients were adapting well to the new technology following home visits for installation and education.
“We’ve had people who are 92 using the technology, and they’re thoroughly enjoying it”.
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