Martin Luther Homes is a culturally diverse not-for-profit organisation with a retirement village as well as a modern residential aged care facility. It is located on a magnificent 12-acre property at the foothills of Mount Dandenong in Melbourne’s outer east and have been a local aged care provider since the 1950s with a particular focus on the German-speaking community. The team at Martin Luther Homes is united by a passion for the loving care of elderly citizen.
Throughout the decades, Martin Luther Homes has stayed true to the vision of their founding fathers, who had a clear focus on the individual in mind. In their mission statement, the organisation pledge to always be dedicated to the residents and staff and, within a Lutheran Christian environment, to strive to continuously improve standards of living and care, while aiming to provide a safe working environment for the employees. Their values are, among other things, based on Christian principles such as respect, dignity and spiritual care.
In October this year, Martin Luther Homes reached a milestone in getting awarded the title ‘Aged Care Provider of the Year VIC’ for the second time. Back in 2018, they also received this title for Victoria. The award is given out by the peak aged care organisation ACSA and ‘recognises a residential, community care or retirement village provider that demonstrates outstanding leadership, management, workforce culture, innovation, communication and excellence in the aged care industry’.
On receiving the award, Martin Luther Homes CEO Birgit Goetz said, “It is such a privilege to get this award for the second time. All the nominated providers are doing such wonderful things to keep the quality of life up for the residents despite the pandemic. I’m so proud of my staff and of what they and we as a team have been able to achieve in this challenging time.”
The resilience of the staff Martin Luther Homes in the past year(s) can best be shown with the story of getting a Tovertafel. This is an innovative device that uses light and sound to create different games. It is a very stimulating experience, particularly for residents with dementia. The idea to purchase the Tovertafel came from a group of staff. At the start of 2020, they made the bold plan to fundraise the money needed. However, the pandemic soon put an end to all the ideas. Coming up with the money during times of uncertainty and with no options of public fundraising events was a great challenge. However, the team decided to keep trying and shifted all their efforts online.
Goetz said: “It was a roller-coaster for everyone involved but it was great to see the resilience of our staff and the support from our community. Together we achieved our goal! The purchase of the Tovertafel also shows the community spirit we have at Martin Luther Homes. Even in the most difficult year, our staff stood together and pursued their idea of enhancing our residents’ quality of life.”
In addition to being named 2021 Aged Care Provider of the Year (Victoria), Martin Luther Homes could also secure a spot as a finalist in the category “Innovation in Service or Design VIC”, an achievement that was based on their investment in innovations. This includes a very unique car called Herbie which has been specifically designed for people with dementia.
Martin Luther Homes believes that in the 21st Century, aged care and innovation need to go hand-in-hand. That is why they are always looking towards the future by working on ideas, projects, and concepts to improve the well-being of the residents and making the organisation an even better place to live in and work at.
By Marlene Franke
People, Culture and Communications Officer