Based in Nambour, Queensland, Sundale is a not-for-profit community organisation that provides a flexible range of accommodations, and associate services and activities for aged people. Described as “one of the most heart-warming community success st
ories in Australia,” Sundale came to fruition as a result of the enthusiasm and single-minded commitment of the Apex Club of Nambour, which – with assistance from the Sunshine Coast community – raised the funds to build their much-needed facility in 1963.
Today, the organisation provides residents with a choice of quality locations to keep them in touch with family and friends. Their range of services includes in home care, lifestyle communities, rehabilitation facilities, and residential aged care and childcare facilities.
In each of their offerings, Sundale is set apart by their commitment to giving client’s choice. Whether it’s through their retirement living accommodation, residential aged care, or in home care, Sundale’s services are focused on individual needs and aspirations. “At Sundale, the services we provide will match a client’s desires and aspirations, and isn’t simply a ‘one-size fits all’ type of offering,” says Glenn Bunney, CEO.
It’s your choice
Suncoast Community Care is a fully-owned initiative of Sundale, and provides the organisation’s in-home care. The aim of that division is to provide a realistic choice to those who prefer to remain at home and have services delivered to their door.
The philosophy around Suncoast’s in home care revolves around four central themes. The first is individuality, “We develop services to meet our customer’s unique requirements, ensuring that as circumstances change, so too do our services,” Bunney says. “Our service is focused on your choice.”
The second value is involvement, as Suncoast encourages friends and family to participate in determining how a client’s care will be delivered.
Thirdly, Suncoast values independence –“While we provide assistance and encouragement we enable our clients to remain as independent as possible, and bring a range of services together just for them,” Bunney says.
Fourth and finally, Suncoast focuses on innovation. “We are continually searching for new initiatives to support clients and their lifestyle,” Bunney says. “Whether a client needs help with cooking or cleaning, or whether their needs are for complex clinical assistance, Suncoast will develop and deliver a care plan with the client that is truly right for them.”
“By choosing Sundale, clients aren’t just getting quality accommodation and services,” he adds. “They are choosing a partner that is genuinely dedicated to their care and lifestyle choice.”
Within their residential facilities, Sundale also works one-one-one with their clients to provide the best possible personalised care. Their facilities are ‘homes’ in every sense of the word, Bunney says, and the organisation is constantly working to provide the best possible living environment they can. They ensure that only the very best clinical care is provided, and also recognise that this takes around two hours a day. The other 22 hours are used to provide a full life, which includes a positive balance of rest and activity.
At Sundale, they are 100 per cent focused on the quality of life of their residents, Bunney adds. “That comes before all else.” The organisation will always commit to their primary needs in preference to undertaking domestic duties, even if this means – for example – that the bed may remain unmade for a while longer than normal.
“Our essential philosophy is to provide excellent clinical care combined with delivering a fantastic and meaningful quality of life.”
Sundale are environmental advocates and completely responsible for their use of natural resources. They accept the need to minimise or eliminate that use by improved practises and actions. The organisation established a program called Sundale Green, which constantly seeks out more environmentally-friendly ways in which to operate –whether it’s using more environmentally-friendly paper, a reduction in paper use or recycling and reusing as much material as they can.
In all of their new developments, the organisation is ensuring that they use orientation, materials and positioning to ensure optimum ventilation, as well as incorporating the use of alternative power sources such as solar, and also use water capture and reuse it progressively on all sites. All developments will incorporate a specific sustainability analysis to ensure they are up to date on the latest developments and opportunities in this space.
Sundale is an organisation that takes their social responsibilities just as seriously as they do their clients’ care. As a community-based charitable organisation, they believe they carry an added responsibility to give back to their community. Sundale’s core focus, which is the needs of the community, works on addressing such needs through their service offers and structure.
The organisation ensures that the proportion of disadvantaged people admitted to their services remains at the upper-end of the scale, with almost half of all admissions to the residential aged care services being people whom are, historically, socially or economically disadvantaged. “Every cent that Sundale generates through our operations goes directly back into the community to provide additional services and resources, as we have no shareholders, and our ‘owners’ are indeed the general community,” Bunney says.
Sundale has a very committed volunteer base that helps to serve that mission. They are always looking to bolster that force, however, with people who have compassion, understanding and a desire to make a difference in their community using their time, talents and contribution. The organisation takes their social and community responsibility to heart, and “we’re always on the lookout for people who feel the same way,” Bunney says.
Sundale is an expanding organisation, and going forward will need more expertise across a wide-variety of knowledge areas to continuing delivering their quality care. “In many cases, our volunteers come to us with the knowledge and experience, and in many others, they come with the heart and commitment to learn,” Bunney says. “Either way, together we can make a real difference in the lives of our elders, to whom our society owes so much.”