TLC heralds a new era of aged care
In 1991 TLC Aged Care was founded with the purchase of their first home in Geelong. Over time TLC Aged Care has grown to be Victoria’s largest family owned aged care providers with 10 homes located in Altona North, Belmont, Whittlesea, Hallam, Noble Park, Frankston, Wallington and Donvale.
In 2015 TLC expanded its service offering to include primary care and industry training, in addition to residential aged care services. To accurately represent this new direction, TLC Healthcare has been introduced as the organisations new corporate identity with TLC Primary Care, TLC Aged Care and TLC Learning as their operating brands. This new structure allows TLC the flexibility to innovate and diversify into the future.
In keeping with TLC’s service expansion, its mission has been updated to ‘be leaders in innovative and integrated healthcare renowned for providing wellbeing to our communities.’ TLC also holds as its core values: respect, accountability, excellence, collaboration, integrity and innovation.
TLC’s CEO, Lou Pascuzzi says “TLC prides itself on its proven ability to integrate innovative healthcare service for the betterment of its aged care residents, primary care patients and the wider community. Our new integrated primary care and training services are great examples of how an organisation can incorporate complimentary services into their offering.
“The aged care industry is going through a period of rapid and dramatic change. Some aged care providers will flourish during this transition, and some will be acquired by larger organisations. The aged care providers who don’t take this opportunity to diversify may
“At TLC we are expanding our service offering outside of traditional aged care to provide a cohesive, integrated healthcare solution for our valued residents and ensure commercial sustainability for our organisation via the introduction of alternative revenue streams. Given the high cost of healthcare in Australia, it is likely that Governments will look to our sector for savings. Organisations who have a diverse revenue stream will feel the impact of any reductions in funding to a lesser extent.”
“Given the changes in the aged care industry, it is important that TLC has a strong focus on making our business plans a reality in the next 2-3 years. We are very lucky to have a group of suppliers and service providers who appreciate TLC’s need to implement our strategy quickly. We are always looking for companies to work with who not only embrace our mission but who also deliver on time and to budget.”
TLC Primary Care is now offering primary healthcare services at their medical centres located at Noble Park, Belmont, Frankston North, and Donvale. These community healthcare hubs are located within TLC’s residential aged care homes and provide medical care to both the residents of their homes and the wider community. The new hubs include general practitioners, chronic disease management nursing, physiotherapists, pathology collection, telehealth, rehabilitation and allied health services.
“I am delighted to see our community healthcare hubs open in Noble Park, Belmont, Frankston North,
and Donvale. These centres are a testament to TLC’s ability to recognise a need in the
community and respond to that need with an integrated service offering. Integration of healthcare services is the way of the future for aged care and the Australian healthcare system in general, with relative clinical and commercial benefits on multiple levels. The Federal Aged Care Minister, Hon Sussan Ley, has been championing an integrated approach to healthcare and our initiatives are a working example of innovation and integration in action.”
“The next stage of our strategy will see a community healthcare hub open in Altona North. We have begun construction works and plan to be open in early June 2016” confirmed Lou Pascuzzi.
In another example of integration and innovation in action, TLC has launched a new day respite program that brings together primary health care and aged care into one service. TLC Living Care is a program that offers people living in the community the opportunity to enjoy an individually tailored program including medical care, lifestyle activities, fitness classes and nutritional assistance in TLC homes.
Pascuzzi says that integrating aged care and primary care services into a day respite package is a first for Australia. “Our new day respite service is the first of its kind in Australia. We incorporate primary healthcare with aged care into a holistic service offering. This new service has been welcomed by the local community and we are looking to expand this model across all of our aged care homes once their relative community healthcare hubs are completed.”
TLC’s aged care training division, TLC Learning, has also achieved registration as a training organisation. Their new training facility on St Kilda Road in Melbourne and on-site
wholly owned training facilities in Donvale, Noble Park, Frankston and Geelong are now complete and TLC plans to commence training staff in 2016.
“The quality and development of our team is paramount to the success of our organisation. In-house training of our staff not only provides TLC with a highly skilled workforce but also opens up training opportunities to team members who may not otherwise have access to career development” says Lou Pascuzzi.
In 2014 TLC embarked on a $120m investment strategy to rejuvenate their residential aged care homes and build new homes on land previously acquired by the organisation. Two new homes will be located at Armstrong Creek between Geelong and Torquay, and at Clifton Hill in Melbourne.
TLC has submitted its planning application to Geelong City Council for the Armstrong Creek location and they are confident of a successful outcome. “Geelong City Council have been very receptive to our plans for the Armstrong Creek facility that lies within a growth corridor of 22,000 new homes. Not only will the facility offer aged care but also primary care services to this growing community, but it will also employ over 100 people.”
A planning application has also been submitted to the City of Yarra Council for TLC’s 121-bed development at Clifton Hill. ‘We have undertaken a number of community consultation meetings in conjunction with the City of Yarra Council and the feedback we have received has been positive. We are negotiating the height of the development with the council, in line with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s (VCAT) guidance and hope to have the matter resolved before the end of the financial year” says Pascuzzi.
At the recent Over 50s Global Housing Awards in London the plans for the development at Clifton Hill took out ‘The Most Innovative Aged Care Housing Design Globally in 2015’. Lou Pascuzzi says this award confirms TLC’s approach is the right one “This award is validation of TLC’s integrated approach to aged care. Introducing primary care services to aged care homes and opening them up to the community is a first for Australia and this innovative approach is being recognised around the world. It also confirms our innovative approach of introducing significant vertical infrastructure in densely populated areas, to avoid displacement of residents to remote locations”.
TLC is also planning to unify its two homes at Wallington near Geelong and expand the facility by 125-beds. This development will result in a 260-bed integrated healthcare site incorporating a community healthcare hub. Geelong City Council have been receptive to TLC’s plans for the site according to Pascuzzi. “Operating two aged care homes with a public road running between them presents a range of logistical challenges. Our proposal to the City of Greater Geelong Council encompasses TLC’s relocation of the public road giving us the opportunity to expand this very popular facility and promote efficiencies and sustainability in its operation.”
Homewood, TLC’s existing home in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam, has also been earmarked for a major redevelopment that will include a 60-bed extension. Homewood will grow to be a 180-bed facility and will incorporate a community healthcare hub. The City Of Casey has approved TLC’s planning application and the project is due for completion in December 2016.
TLC is also undertaking a redevelopment program across their existing locations to upgrade the quality of the facilities and incorporate new services. Pascuzzi says “We are in the process of upgrading the environments at all our homes and incorporating some exciting new services. Our homes in Noble Park and Belmont are the first of our homes to include TLC’s new virtual reality cinemas. TLC has adapted existing Oceanic VR® technology for use by people with limited dexterity. Our residents can now relax in comfortable recliners and take a virtual journey to an overseas destination or watch a classic movie in a virtual cinema. This technology will be rolled out across all of our homes as our environment upgrades are completed, and it also has exciting potential for use in staff training.”
In 2015 TLC launched ‘100 Days of Health’, a program aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the staff, residents and patients of TLC. The program ran from August 2015 to November 2015 with a different health and wellbeing theme each week. Some of the themes for the weekly activities included physical activity, healthy eating, financial health and safety. During the program the range of activities for staff and residents included a pedometer challenge, health checks, fitness classes and information sessions.
Pascuzzi says that the health and wellbeing of staff and residents is integral to TLC’s culture of integrated care. “Keeping our residents fit and healthy is TLC’s highest priority, but it is also important that our staff are focused on their own wellbeing so that they can provide the level of care our residents expect. ‘100 Days of Health’ is a great way for TLC’s staff and residents to focus on their health and there are some great initiatives to help them make active lifestyle choices.” As a result of the programs resounding success TLC have made it an annual event.
In December 2016 Lou Pascuzzi was named ‘The Most Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the Care Home Sector Globally in 2015’ at the Over 50s Global Housing Awards in London. ”I am honored to be named ‘The Most Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the Care Home Sector Globally in 2015’. “It is very satisfying to see TLC’s innovative and integrated approach to healthcare recognised internationally” says Pascuzzi.
Lou Pascuzzi was also invited to participate in the Australia-China International Aged Care Summit as a panelist on the Aged-Care Facility Design and Operation Forum. “My visit to China gave me a fascinating insight into the workings of both the private and state-run Chinese aged care services. The opportunities for aged care development in China are enormous, provided that they quickly and effectively upskill their workforce, adopt a more efficient operational model and position the service as a positive lifestyle progression. This is where the opportunities for organisations such as TLC lie and we have begun investigating our options.”