Aged care residents given a voice

Thanks to the efforts of job seekers at REFAP, residents and staff at Yaandina Family Centre’s Aged Care Centre now have a greater opportunity to have their say.

Participants of REFAP’s Community Pride and Lead the Way activities designed, built and decorated a purpose-built suggestion box in response to a request by Yaandina’s Nurse Manager, Teresa Joy.

Staff, residents, families and visitors are all invited to contribute their suggestions, complaints and compliments, and the box is checked and actioned weekly. Culturallyappropriate paperwork is available for people to fill in privately, or they can request assistance if needed.

Teresa said the idea of a suggestion box is new to the Aged Care Centre, and came about during the Centre’s re-accreditation process. The brightly decorated, lockable timber ‘letterbox’ is now prominently located in the garden at the entrance to the Centre.

“REFAP has done an amazing job – it’s not just a box, it’s a spectacular piece of art that is bright and cheerful, and it suits our environment,” Teresa said. “We receive many compliments about it and we are grateful for REFAP’s support.

“We hope to involve the community more closely in our Centre in the future.”

The Activity Coordinator of REFAP’s Community Development Program in Roebourne, Karen Farrell, said the project was a great opportunity for the participants to showcase their skills and work together.

“From designing and building to painting the suggestion box, everyone has worked together to achieve a fantastic result,” Karen said.

Not only is it a hit with the residents and staff at the aged care facility but the suggestion box has impressed auditors from the Aged Care Quality Standards, who intend to feature the project in a monthly magazine.

It has also caught the eye of Yaandina Family Centre’s CEO, Nick Furnivall, who has requested REFAP provide another suggestion box for the Turner River rehab centre, located 30km from South Hedland.