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Rural Northwest Health has scooped the pool in aged care notoriety after winning the major title at the Victorian Healthcare Awards.

The small rural service won the public sector excellence in aged care award for its exclusive ABLE model of care and the extension of its memory support nurse. The award was open to every public aged care service in Victoria and it comes on the back of another state award. Just over a fortnight ago, Rural Northwest Health was announced the winners of Employer Excellence in Aged Care at Victoria’s Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

Rural Northwest Health’s manager of aged care at Warracknabeal campus Wendy Walters said she was proud of her team.

“The aged care team has a wonderful understanding of the ABLE model that we created a few years ago and that’s why it works so well for our residents, especially those living with dementia,” Ms Walters said.

“The importance of the ABLE model is that it’s not just about the care team,” she said.

“Environmental Services also play an important role, as do Community Health clinicians so it’s a genuine team effort.

“They have all worked hard with study and training to make sure the ABLE model is delivered correctly.”

Ms Walters said they were clearly doing something right to receive such high recognition from two separate entities in a matter of weeks.

“It’s testament to the team performance that these awards have come our way because we know everyone is this industry works with dedication and care for their residents,” she said.

Rural Northwest Health’s ABLE model focuses on the ability of each individual resident so they have continued capacity and the opportunity to keep doing things that they want to do. Its fundamental principles are Abilities, Background – focusing on the individual, Leadership and organisational culture and Environment – physically stimulating, welcoming and ability focused.

Ms Walters said memory support nurse Katie Ramsdale deserved praise with the latest award.

“Katie has done a great job of taking our memory support service to the community so that we can do our best to help people living with dementia to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

“She was already doing a great job with this role in Yarriambiack Lodge but now she is visiting people living with dementia all across the region and showing them Montessori techniques to help them cope.”

Other finalists for the award were Monash Health and Peninsula Health.

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