Aged residential care providers in New Zealand deliver services to over 35,000 elderly New Zealanders and their families every year. Often, examples of excellence in this core health service are overlooked or go largely unrecognised outside the immediate community.

Created by the NZACA in 2007, these prestigious awards recognise the continuous pursuit of excellence by aged residential care facilities and their staff.

The 2020 award winners were announced at the NZACA conference on Tuesday, 17 November.

Jackson Van Interiors Built and Grown Environment Award and EBOS Healthcare Overall Excellence in Aged Care Award

Winner: The CARE Village, Rotorua

Pictured: MC Rawdon Christie, NZACA’s Rhonda Sherriff and Simon Wallace, Thérèse Jeffs (The CARE Village) and John Matthews (EBOS Healthcare).

Judges comments: The judges unanimously agreed that the The CARE Village was worthy of the overall NZACA/EBOS Healthcare Excellence in Care Award, after consideration of all the entries into the awards. The facility entry initially won the Jacksons Van Interiors Built and Grown Environment Award category for innovation, and then went on to win the overall prize.

The CARE Village is the first dementia care facility of its kind to be developed in New Zealand with the creation of a purpose built complex to house dementia residents and provide them with a home like environment, based on  the De Hogeweyk model developed in the Netherlands.

Chief Executive Thérèse Jeffs’ presentation endorsed the positive effect that this environment has for residents with dementia, who are much more settled and can enjoy a life similar to being in their own home.

The judges were impressed with the success achieved with this model (being the first of its kind here in New Zealand) and the supporting evidence presented in the entry that it was benefiting each resident’s life. Residents lived in a well supported community, were able to enjoy pets, had the ability to walk the beautiful grounds and enjoy the shop/café with family. It was also economically viable, and a great place to work for staff.

The vision of the developers and perseverance to follow this innovative overseas model, and to create their vision for improvement of residents’ lives, is testament to their tenacity and wonderful intent.

All judges were very impressed with the success of the complex.

Arjo Training and Staff Development Award

Winner: Summerset Group Holdings

Judges comments: “Inspirational” was one of the words used by the judges when seeing a large corporate group commit funding and resources to educate and train 50 Diversional Therapists who will go forth and enrich the lives of many residents by stimulating them with ideas and activities.

Pictured: Orquidea Tamayo Mortera, Programme Lead – Diversional Therapy Summerset and Simon Wallace, NZACA CE.

Bidfood Excellence in Food Award for Care Homes and Hospitals

Winner: Terrace View Retirement, Ashburton

Judges comments: The kitchen and overall dining experience and was of a high standard at Terrace View. Kitchens were clean, organised, and not overly staffed. Food was tasty and fresh, simply presented with care, with garnishes on all dishes showing attention to detail. Terrace View Retirement Village are doing a great job catering to their resident’s needs, dietary requirements, and overall well being. I’m sure the resident’s families are grateful to have their loved ones taken care of so well, I would be.

Pictured: Donna Coxshall, Terrace View Retirement and Justin Rimmer, Bidfood.

Invacare Small Operator Award

Winner: Southanjer Rest Home, Oamaru

Judges comments: This small town semi-rural rest home saw an opportunity to align their values with its local population and enrich their residents lives with the development of a rural retreat. They redeveloped a disused paddock at the back of their facility into an animal sanctuary and small farmlet and, in doing so, gave much meaning back to the lives of many elderly farmers from the surrounding district. They truly epitomised the meaning of understanding their locality and community by making the most of their resources to create an environment that reflected the needs of their clients.

Pictured: Belinda Blackler, Southanjer Rest Home and Kevin Chan. Invacare.

Kalandra Community Connections Award

Winner: Lady Allum, Auckland

Judges comments: This winning entry paid a beautiful tribute to its residents with a memory video that they share with each family. The video showcased lives lived prior to becoming residents, which both enabled the staff to get to know their history, but most importantly gave families a living tribute to their loved ones that will last generations.

Pictured: Jodi Lake, Lady Allum and Dr Christine Clark, Kalandra 

Leecare Solutions Stand-out Individual Award

Winner: Jeffin Gopi, Beattie Home

Judges comments: Jeffin epitomises the true meaning of bringing joy to people’s lives. His standout passion, enthusiasm, talents and skills have been a major influencer on this site, for improving residents’ well-being. His entry was supported by many positive comments from residents, families and community supporters who stated his talents knew no limits, and he was innovative in his activities programme. He brought joy to everyone who was in contact with him.

Pictured: Jeffin Gopi, Beattie Home and Petrina Turner-Benny, Leecare Solutions

VCare Legendary Service to the Aged Residential Care Sector Award

Winner: Barbara Mador and Heather Rye from Kapiti Rest Home and Kena Kena Rest Home

Judges comments: Heather and Barbara have worked side-by-side for many years sharing the same truly inspirational values of delivering exceptional care to their residents, in their two aligned care homes. The feedback from residents, family members and staff endorsed their caring and sensitive management style, their dedication to education and training staff, and the commitment they make to bettering residents’ lives. They showcase what true sector leaders epitomise and continue to support and encourage each other through the daily rituals, challenges, management and leadership that a care home requires.

Pictured: Chris Graham, VCare with joint winners Heather Rye and Barbara Mador