News

Have you seen Benetas in the news lately? Heard your favourite Benetas home was a media star? You can find copies of our appearances in the press here, plus breaking news stories, the latest happenings at Benetas and interesting stories about aged care in general.

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News

16 December 2014

Four hundred guests celebrated Victorian Seniors Festival 2014 in October at the annual Benetas High Tea events at the Hotel Windsor.

...

Four hundred guests celebrated Victorian Seniors Festival 2014 in October at the annual Benetas High Tea events at the Hotel Windsor.

Featuring a special address from media identity Pete Smith and entertainment from Paul Hogan and Aurora MacKrill, the two High Teas were open to all seniors and their friends and families.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the High Tea events, now in their third year, were a special way to recognise the contribution older people make to the community.

“Our Seniors Festival High Teas are a great opportunity to say thank you to the older people in our lives, and reflect on what a positive experience of ageing means for each and every one of us,” said Ms Hills.

16 December 2014

Almost 100 key industry stakeholders came together in November to discuss the future state of aged care at Benetas’ inaugural Industry Breakfast....

Almost 100 key industry stakeholders came together in November to discuss the future state of aged care at Benetas’ inaugural Industry Breakfast. Attendees heard from a range of special guest speakers, including Victorian Minister for Ageing, David Davis MLC, and Australian television and radio personality Denise Drysdale.

The Benetas 2013–2014 Annual Report: Creating our Future was also launched at the event. You can order a copy of the report, which features a wall calendar for the year ahead, by calling 03 8823 7963. It is also available for download from the Benetas website.

16 December 2014

Did you know that you can donate shares instead of cash?

ShareGift Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides shareholders...

Did you know that you can donate shares instead of cash?

ShareGift Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides shareholders with an easy way to sell their shares and donate the sale proceeds to charity. Selling and donating to ShareGift Australia means you don’t have to engage a stockbroker, there are no brokerage fees and should the proceeds of the sale exceed $50, you can nominate Benetas to benefit from ShareGift Australia’s donations.

It’s straightforward and you can receive a tax deduction for donations over $2.

All you have to do is complete and sign the share sale donation form available on the ShareGift Australia website and remember to recommend Benetas.

Each quarter, the ShareGift Australia Board donates the share sale proceeds to charities, guided by the recommendations received from shareholders. Donations are aggregated and rounded up, taking into account the value of the shares donated and the number of recommendations received for each eligible charity. To date all eligible charities nominated have received donations from ShareGift Australia in excess of the amount recommended.

You can find out more about the process by going to www.sharegiftaustralia.org.au.

12 December 2014

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to request the Human Rights Commission conduct an inquiry into employment...

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to request the Human Rights Commission conduct an inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and people living with a disability.

“This is a positive move that will raise awareness of the extent of age and disability discrimination in our community.

“It will also provide an avenue for greater discussion and understanding of the day to day employment experiences of older Australians and those living with a disability,” Ms Hills said.

To read Benetas' full statement visit the Benetas Media Centre.

21 November 2014

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, met with Liberal Candidate for Hawthorn, John Pesutto this morning to discuss aged care and LASA Victoria’s State...

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, met with Liberal Candidate for Hawthorn, John Pesutto this morning to discuss aged care and LASA Victoria’s State Election Blueprint.

LASA Victoria’s election blueprint sets out a clear plan for aged and community care and identifies specific outcomes in relation to this important policy area.

Download a copy of LASA Victoria’s State Election Blueprint here.

For the latest news and information, follow @Benetas on Twitter.

13 November 2014

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) awards Benetas its inaugural Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation.

Benetas chief...

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) awards Benetas its inaugural Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation.

Benetas chief executive, Sandra Hills, said the citation is a welcome recognition of Benetas’ ongoing commitment to achieving gender equality in the workplace.

Read Benetas' full statement in the Benetas Media Centre

28 October 2014

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, today welcomed the announcement of the successful bid to commence the International Longevity Centre (ILC) – Australia...

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, today welcomed the announcement of the successful bid to commence the International Longevity Centre (ILC) – Australia.

As a consortium partner and leading aged care provider, Benetas can provide detailed industry perspective and work collaboratively with organisations to pursue global partnerships which drive dialogue, understanding and experience-sharing.

Read Benetas' full statement on the establishment of the International Longevity Centre (ILC) – Australia

13 October 2014

As we celebrate National Carers Week, 12-18 October, I would take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all our carers in the community.

...

As we celebrate National Carers Week, 12-18 October, I would take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all our carers in the community.

For Benetas, carers play a vital role in supporting our work in the provision of aged and community care.

Carers play an integral part in what can be a stressful and sometimes challenging environment. They are family and friends who often go unheard and too often, unrecognised.

I pay tribute to the many carers living in our community who provide care and support to others and thank each and every one of them.

Sandra Hills, CEO Benetas

07 October 2014

Wear a touch of glamour and join not-for-profit aged care provider Benetas, in celebrating the Victorian Seniors Festival.

For the third...

Wear a touch of glamour and join not-for-profit aged care provider Benetas, in celebrating the Victorian Seniors Festival.

For the third year in a row Benetas will host two High Tea events at the Hotel Windsor, with performances and special guest speakers sharing their positive ageing experiences.

You’ll enjoy the Hotel Windsor’s signature high tea at an exclusive Seniors Festival price.

Join us in the afternoon on:

Tuesday 7 October
2:00pm–4:00pm

or in the morning on

Thursday 9 October
10:00am–12:00pm

$50 per head

Click here to book online via Eventbrite, or use the blue buttons below.

“Tuesday

“Thursday

For more information or for general enquiries please call 03 8823 7957.

30 September 2014

At Benetas, we are committed to being a leading advocate for older people and the aged care sector. It’s part of what drives us as an organisation...

At Benetas, we are committed to being a leading advocate for older people and the aged care sector. It’s part of what drives us as an organisation and pivotal to our goal of creating a society which respects, includes and values older people.

We are an organisation which is committed to research and to translating research findings into evidence-based practices. We also engage with key stakeholders and inform decision makers of where we are as a sector and the key issues and ways to improve our aged care system now and into the future.

An important tool in this process is Twitter. Twitter will provide Benetas with the opportunity to keep the community up-to-date on key decisions and events, provide insight into how we operate as an organisation and act as a vehicle for our position on policy, news and events going forward.

Talk to us and be part of the wider discussion on aged care through Twitter. Simply search ‘Benetas Aged Care’ and follow @Benetas today.

Don’t forget, we’re also on Facebook! ‘Like us’ and keep in touch with what’s happening across all of our sites and programs at www.facebook.com/BenetasAgedCare

 

30 September 2014

An innovative community choir in Melbourne’s western suburbs is bringing people together through the power of song.

With One Voice, based...

An innovative community choir in Melbourne’s western suburbs is bringing people together through the power of song.

With One Voice, based at Benetas St George’s in Altona Meadows, gives community members, staff, families and volunteers the opportunity to join residents to sing together at the weekly group.

Based on research identifying the physiological and social benefits of singing, the group aims to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, while providing an opportunity for intergenerational activity and challenging perceptions about residential care.

Run in partnership between Benetas and Creativity Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which runs community choirs across Australia, the choir kicked off in February this year. The first community choir of its kind to be hosted by an aged care facility, weekly rehearsals saw the group grow and culminated in the group’s first concert in late April.

Benetas St George’s Community Coordinator Eleanor Naldoza said the choir has had a significant impact on the residents of the facility.

“It’s not uncommon to walk around the facility and hear residents singing the choir songs, even on days when there are no rehearsals,” said Mrs Naldoza. “We have noticed a huge improvement in the moods of many of our residents who participate in the choir, and they very much look forward to rehearsal days.”

The choir has also provided an opportunity for many residents to connect with their families on an enjoyable, activity-based level.

“We see many family members come and join in,” said Mrs Naldoza. “Sometimes the sons and daughters look like they are having as much fun as the residents!”

Led by professional conductor Kym Dillon, the With One Voice choir specialises in classics to the hits of today, with group members able to request their favourites. Generally, the group averages 20 members.

“We’re always on the look-out for more members,” said Mrs Naldoza. “We’d love to get to 60!”

Participation is free for Benetas residents and their families, and by tax deductible donation for the wider community. Light refreshments are provided at the end of each session. For more information about With One Voice Altona Meadows, please visit www.benetas.com.au/withonevoice or call (03) 8679 6088. Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays 6-7pm and no experience is necessary.

 

30 September 2014

The aged care sector undertook significant change on 1 July, as the Living Longer, Living Better reforms came into effect.

These reforms...

The aged care sector undertook significant change on 1 July, as the Living Longer, Living Better reforms came into effect.

These reforms are aimed at increasing consumer choice and control, and have demanded increased transparency and accountability from aged care providers. They are intended to result in a more effective and sustainable aged care system that can meet the needs of Australians now and well into the future.

We saw the beginning of these changes come into effect in May this year, when all aged care providers in Australia were required to publish the pricing of their facility beds.

As of 1 July, some additional changes have taken place in both residential and home care services.

In residential care, the distinction between ‘high care’ and ‘low care’ has been removed and the concept of ‘ageing in place’ has been introduced across most facilities. For people moving into residential care, this means that once you have been assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Service, you can seek a place at any residential aged care service that meets your needs. This change is intended to make residential aged care places easier to find and access.

Benetas Home Care services, like all home care services across Australia, will introduce Consumer Directed Care (CDC) and income tested fees. CDC again means greater and choice and control over the services you receive in your home. We are in the final stages of preparing for this change, and some clients are accessing trial CDC packages. CDC will come into full effect as of 1 July, 2015.

To support the implementation and roll out of aged care reforms across the business, Benetas recently launched a suite of initiatives.

The initiatives, which include the launch of an online calculator tool, are designed to help our clients and their families make sense of the reforms, and assist them in the decision making process.

The Benetas Daily Cost Calculator is accessible on each residential facility page on Benetas’ website and allows users to enter a once off lump sum contribution amount, before calculating what their daily cost might be.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the calculator was designed to help support consumers navigate the ‘new world’ of aged care.

“Our focus on customer service means that we wanted to make things as simple and easy to access as possible for current and future users of our services,” said Ms Hills.

“The Daily Cost Calculator is a way of supporting consumers through the aged care maze to easily understand what costs they might be up for and what their options are.”

The calculator automatically fills in the relevant room cost for each facility, and allows users to trial a variety of combinations to suit their individual circumstances.

The calculator is available for use on www.benetas.com.au on each residential facility page.

30 September 2014

Disadvantaged and remote hospitals in Sri Lanka recently received much needed furniture and goods thanks to the Benetas Hurlingham Respite Centre...

Disadvantaged and remote hospitals in Sri Lanka recently received much needed furniture and goods thanks to the Benetas Hurlingham Respite Centre community in Brighton East.

A large number of beds and surplus furniture was donated to the Mahamevnawa Meditation Centre Melbourne in early May, and has since been sent onto several Sri Lankan hospitals and facilities, many of which were in desperate need of even the most basic items.

Items including beds, wheelchairs, mobility walkers and rehabilitation equipment will now enable patients to access care that is often limited in rural areas.

Many of these hospitals and centres are in isolated and disadvantaged areas of Sri Lanka; some of which are the only health facility in a 200km radius.

Benetas staff assisting with the donation drive said it was great to see items continue to be put to good use.

“I think it’s a terrific idea and a great way to bridge the geographical distance with such a simple act of kindness,” said Respite Coordinator Pauline Alvarez.

“Benetas has always worked closely with the community and prides itself as a leader and advocate for older Victorians and those most in need.”

Benetas Hurlingham Respite Centre offers day and overnight respite services in a friendly, safe and secure environment. We understand the important role respite plays in ensuring the wellbeing of older people, and the people who care for them, and this service is part of our commitment to providing the most flexible and responsive respite options possible.

For more information about Benetas’ respite options, please go to the respite page on our website or contact the Benetas Customer Centre on 1300 23 63 82.

29 September 2014

Anglicare Australia has released a resource that details the organisational ‘family tree’ of those organisations in the Anglicare Australia...

Anglicare Australia has released a resource that details the organisational ‘family tree’ of those organisations in the Anglicare Australia network offering or that have offered institutional care to children and young people.

The Anglicare Australia Provenance Project 2014 has been produced to help anyone who was in care with an Anglican care agency that has since ceased to exist, to find the current agency or Diocese that has taken over the organisation’s identity or function for that care.

To read Anglicare Australia's full statement visit the Benetas Media Centre

27 August 2014

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, today welcomed the announcement of Benetas Board Member, Dr Graeme Blackman OAM as the independent chair of Leading Age...

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, today welcomed the announcement of Benetas Board Member, Dr Graeme Blackman OAM as the independent chair of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).

“I congratulate Graeme on his appointment and thank him for his dedication and service to Benetas over the last three and a half years,” Ms Hills said.

To read Benetas' full statement on Dr Blackman's appointment visit the Benetas Media Centre.

04 August 2014

Benetas, one of Victoria’s leading not-for-profit aged care providers, came together as a community this week to celebrate 20 years of dedicated...

Benetas, one of Victoria’s leading not-for-profit aged care providers, came together as a community this week to celebrate 20 years of dedicated service at its St George’s facility in Altona Meadows.

Read more about this initiative in the Benetas Media Centre

04 August 2014

Thinking of a career in aged care?

Want to re-enter the workforce in a skilled and fulfilling profession?

Join Benetas at Box Hill...

Thinking of a career in aged care?

Want to re-enter the workforce in a skilled and fulfilling profession?

Join Benetas at Box Hill Institute's Open Days to learn about your pathway into aged care and the fulfilling career ahead of you.

Open day dates and times are:

Sunday 24 August • 10am – 3pm

Box Hill Campus

Main Information Hub

E7 Integrated Technology Hub, 474 Elgar Road, Box Hill

Wednesday 27 August • 5pm – 7pm

Melbourne CBD Campus

Main Information Hub

CAE Building B, Level 4, 253 Flinders Lane

Benetas staff look forward to speaking with you about the difference you can make with a career in aged care.

It’s never too late to start and you can start that process today with Box Hill Institute.

For further information visit www.boxhill.edu.au/openday or call 1300 BOX HILL

04 July 2014

Under the federal Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Benetas is required to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency annually on a set of...

Under the federal Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Benetas is required to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency annually on a set of six gender equality indicators:

1. Gender composition of the workforce
2. Gender composition of governing bodies
3. Equal remuneration between women and men
4. Availability and utility of employment terms, conditions, practices relating to flexible working arrangements and to working arrangements supporting employees with family or caring responsibilities.
5. Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace.
6. Any other matter specified by the relevant Minister in a legislative instrument.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills recently made public her commitment to achieving compliance and gender equality in the workplace:

“Together with the Benetas Board of Directors and the Executive Management Committee, Benetas is committed to gaining compliance and promoting and improving gender equality for both women and men, while recognising the historically disadvantaged position of women in the workplace.

Benetas workforce comprises of 1400 staff and 430 volunteers therefore it’s a requirement that we publicly report on gender equality. As well as achieving compliance, Benetas is committed to becoming a leading employer for practices that support gender equality in applying to the Gender Equality Agency for the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation.

Gender equality is critical to an organisation’s success, and it’s critical to Benetas as an employer of choice. Research from the Gender Equality Agency shows that groups with diverse perspectives and flexibility in thinking almost always outperform homogenous groups, leading to higher levels of creativity, innovation and organisational agility.

We recognise the importance of gender equality in improving our business performance.This focus enables us to attract and retain the best talent but also facilitates a better understanding of how to appeal to both genders as customers and what services women and men want. It’s the right of all Australians to have equal participation in the workplace. Gender equality ensures all employees have access to equal opportunities in developing their careers free from bias.

General Manager People Development Ellen Flint adds:

“I support the work of our HR Manager Attraction and Retention in working with the Gender Equality Agency's Reporting team to understand more about how we can utilise the range of innovative tools and resources available to us to maximise the full potential of our female and male talent and increase gender diversity in the workplace.

While Benetas has a good gender balance across management, we face other gender balance issues as a predominately female workplace. We offer and provide to all staff family friendly work practices and support the advancement of both genders in non traditional roles. We are actively supporting the development of women in non traditional roles such as IT, Finance, Property and Project Management.

We are also actively supporting the development of men in non traditional roles such as Nursing, Domestic and Personal Care roles. Our recruitment advertising and Industry partnerships with organisations such as Leading Aged Care Services Australia (LASA) and Box Hill Institute support these initiatives.

Almost 90% of the 1400 staff at Benetas are covered by Enterprise Bargaining Agreements that offer pay and other terms and conditions that are over and above the minimums provided under the relevant Modern Awards. In order to ensure fairness, transparency and pay equity, only in extraordinary circumstances are team members paid outside of these arrangements.”

Benetas’ commitment to staff in addressing gender pay equity is specifically communicated to all staff in the Benetas Remuneration Policy, which is endorsed by the CEO.

“Managers may use their judgement in forming recommendations in the yearly salary review as to where a person’s remuneration should fall within their job size band. Managers should take into account length and extent of experience, skill level, gender pay equity, performance considerations," said Ms Flint.

30 June 2014

Disadvantaged and remote hospitals in Sri Lanka will soon receive much needed furniture and goods thanks to the Benetas Hurlingham respite...

Disadvantaged and remote hospitals in Sri Lanka will soon receive much needed furniture and goods thanks to the Benetas Hurlingham respite community.

Read more about this initiative in the Benetas Media Centre

30 June 2014

The work of over 400 Benetas volunteers was recognised in early May at the 11th annual Benetas Volunteer Thank You Luncheon at the Hotel Windsor...

The work of over 400 Benetas volunteers was recognised in early May at the 11th annual Benetas Volunteer Thank You Luncheon at the Hotel Windsor.

The event, which featured a very special blessing from Benetas Colton Close volunteer Sister Hilary, gave Benetas the opportunity to acknowledge the generosity and commitment of its volunteers.

“Over the last year Benetas volunteers donated a staggering 25,000 hours of their time, which is the equivalent of almost 3,300 working days,” said Sandra Hills, Benetas CEO.

“Our volunteers donate their time in a range of capacities, from playing the piano for our residents and working in our local op shops, to providing transport and offering friendship,” said Ms Hills.

“Their support means that our clients can maintain important links to the community and form lasting relationships which offer comfort and companionship.”

Forty-three long serving volunteers were recognised at the Luncheon, including Allan White from Benetas St John’s Park in Mooroolbark who celebrated 35 years of service.

“Allan never misses a beat. He is always observant of what is going on at St John’s Park, and is the first to report on happenings, making sure there are no hazards for other residents.
“Allan lives at the Park in one of the Independent Living Units and is a member of the Lodge. He also happens to be a very talented wood worker!”

“To be celebrating 35 years of service is incredible and as an organisation we are truly grateful for all our volunteers,” said Ms Hills.

“Without the commitment of our volunteers we would simply be unable to do much of the work we do with older Victorians,” said Ms Hills.