Marron Nursing Home is a residential aged care facility located in the heart of Salisbury, South Australia. Oakwood Aged Care, their sister site, is located in Enfield. Marron and Oakwood are both fully accredited. Marron has gone to great lengths to modernise and improve their operations and services over the years. Today, both sites offer high care services in both single and double rooms, and are staffed by people dedicated to providing quality care to residents.
Marron Nursing Home was first established in 1964 by Mr. and Mrs. Marron. They started as a 31-bed nursing home offering care and services to the elderly. Originally, Marron was one of the old style villa homes of Salisbury, but that started to change after the new proprietor purchased the facility in 2000. Extensive renovations started in 2002 and finished in 2006, leaving the facility with what is now a 70-bed modern and refurbished aged care facility.
During that period of modernisation, the proprietor of Marron purchased a second and well established 78 bed high care facility in 2005 – Oakwood Aged Care in Enfield. “With all renovations complete at Marron Nursing Home, the approved provider began renovations at this new facility in 2008, and converted multiple shared bed rooms into single ensuited rooms,” says Debbie Ansell, Director of Nursing at Marron.
Debbie has been at Marron for 16 years, and comes from 23 years of aged care industry experience. Debbie was attracted to the aged care industry at the time because she had two little children, and it was a job that fitted in with their school hours. At the time It was convenient, she says, but it quickly became more than that. “Over the years, I’ve just become very passionate about being an advocate for these frail, elderly people, and hope when I leave this industry that maybe I have made a difference.”
According to Debbie, what sets Marron apart from other high care providers is their staff’s flexibility to meet an individual residents care needs. Mental health services refer a lot of residents to Marron because they know the Marron staff can work with residents who have challenging behavioural problems.
Both Marron Nursing Home and Oakwood Aged Care currently employ approximately 80 people. Debbie describes the corporate culture at both facilities as a caring one. “The focus is on residents and resident care. The staff are very proud of promoting good care outcomes all the time.”
When staff join the team at Marron they tend to stay for a long time, Debbie credits some of this to the home continuing to be family orientated with flexibility in the rostering around staff needs. Josie Woll, the Site manager of Oakwood Aged Care, and a former nurse at Marron, says that the aged care facility is well organised and has very clear systems and processes in place to guide the staff. Marron management actively seeks feedback from their staff and this helps create a positive working environment.
“Debbie works on the floor a lot. She is willing to pull up her sleeves and help out,” says Josie. “I think that it’s good to have a management that is willing to get in at any level and help out.”
Oakwood Aged Care also has a stable workforce with a number of staff being employed at the facility for a number of years. There, they have a focus on a holistic approach to individualised quality care. Oakwood Management also encourages feedback from all staff which helps to promote a team environment.
Facing the challenges
A common challenge in the aged care sector is acquiring staff. Marron and Oakwood have not been exempt from that challenge. However, as Marron and Oakwood have grown in reputation over the years, the challenge has eased considerably.
When either organisation looks for a new employee they look for someone who is open-minded and prepared to go with the flow and be flexible. “They should be accepting of change and move forward with the changes that are coming,” Josie says. “Clientele change all the time, so you need someone who accepts that can adapt.”
Another challenge for both Marron and Oakwood is overcoming the increasing expectations of residents and their families. Although the expectations are greater than ever, both facilities are actively working toward meeting these demands in a number of ways. The proprietor of the two facilities has invested in upgrading the living conditions and improving the aesthetics of both of them.
“The key to making people happy is giving them what they want and expect,” Debbie says. “We do this by actively seeking feedback from residents and their families and the added input invariably adds value to the care we give.”
“Feedback from all stakeholders, staff and residents alike, is looked upon positively, as it is an opportunity for the organisations to further invest in continuous improvement,” Josie says.
“Because at the end of the day, the facility is there to provide the individualised care to each of our residents,” adds Debbie.
Stricter government regulations also challenge Marron and Oakwood, but by constantly monitoring their processes, and being aware of the legislative changes, that challenge has had only a minimal effect on the day to day running of the facilities. “It’s a matter of constantly revising the existing processes already in place,” Debbie says.
The future for Marron is a proposed new 24 bed extension to the existing facility, Debbie says. As for the long-term future, Marron will continue to be a strong provider of aged care with a specialised focus on providing care for dementia residents. A strong connection to mental health is envisioned, as well as to the community. “I’d like to see Marron as an integral part of the Salisbury community,” she says.
For Oakwood, Josie says they “will continue to provide high quality care to our residents, and to maintain a strong working relationship with our sister site, Marron. As Debbie always says, ‘Together we do it better.’”