Nomination thrills

By Georgia Smith

Cooinda Aged Care Benalla’s successful year is continuing, after being nominated in the Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

Cooinda is up for the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award for its work with their residents within the community.

Chief executive Margaret Aldous said Cooinda was delighted to be recognised for the award.

‘‘Being nominated for the award means that a lot of the things we deliver here are being taken into account,’’ Ms Aldous said.

Cooinda was also recently recognised for their work locally, taking out four Benalla Business Network Awards, including Business of the Year.

One of the popular services Cooinda offers to its residents is dance therapy.

Maeve Larkin, who is trained in working with people living with dementia, takes the sessions, which are aimed at bringing positive feelings of wellbeing to residents living with dementia.

‘‘They smile, they laugh and they have social connections,’’ Ms Aldous said.

‘‘Maeve delivers her program in a way that people interact with what she’s doing and it really does brighten their day.’’

The dance therapy program has now been running for three years and is based on memory bridge, which is a research and training program for people to connect with others who suffer from dementia.

‘‘Maeve works on trigger points that help to bring memories back and that’s where a lot of the enjoyment comes into it,’’ Ms Aldous said.

Once a month Cooinda also puts on an instant restaurant for residents to enjoy with their families, as well as happy hour every Friday.

‘‘Often residents aren’t able to travel, so families come to us and we put on a restaurant for them, so that they can sit and have a meal with their family in a nice restaurant setting,’’ Ms Aldous said.

‘‘It helps people living here to feel like a part of the community, which is important.’’

Cooinda has also recently received a grant for $200000 for overhead lifting machines, meaning any sized nurse will be able to lift patients when required.

The local aged care facility has also been rated eighth out of 170 for resident satisfaction across Australia and New Zealand.