Health, community and well-being are driving forces for ACH Group 

Last updated on 19 March 2024

L-R: ACH Group Chair Imelda Lynch, customers Michael and Barbara Hill, and ACH Group Interim CEO Linda Feldt. [Source: Supplied]

Safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life are focal points for the new Aged Care Act and for aged care providers navigating a modern ageing landscape. Aged care is no longer just a place for ageing, it is an enabler of healthy living, reablement and independent living. 

South Australian aged care provider ACH Group has embraced this approach for some years now, establishing several health and wellbeing hubs, known as Health Studios, across Adelaide. Their latest is located at Rostrevor in the city’s eastern suburbs.

With a focus on positive ageing, each Health Studio offers Allied Health services, exercise and wellness group activities, including Tai Chi, mobility and balance classes. On their own, these are important services within an aged care setting, together, they are encouraging aged care consumers to focus on their health and well-being through a positive ageing lens. 

“We’ve reimagined aged care with our Health Studios concept. The Health Studios are purpose-built and designed to revolutionise the way our ageing population experiences health and wellness,” ACH Group Interim Chief Executive Officer Linda Feldt told hello leaders.

“Our Health Studios have been pivotal in enhancing the overall well-being of our customers. Many customers see a significant improvement in their health outcomes through accessing our Health Studios and specialised allied health services.”

“Our one-on-one or group sessions are tailored to target specific outcomes such as improved strength, balance, or flexibility. This approach has yielded remarkable results for our customers in achieving their health goals,” she added.

These improvements directly translate into a better quality of life, enabling them to confidently navigate social events, engage in activities with loved ones, and pursue their passions.”

ACH Group Interim Chief Executive Officer Linda Feldt. [Source: Supplied]

In Australia, roughly one in five older people (aged over 60) are socially isolated, and in residential aged care, it rises to one-third. But it is often when older people are living at home that independence and the sense of community of belonging is lost. 

Here, Ms Feldt said there is a purposeful social element to their classes that helps customers remain engaged with many expressing gratitude for having something to look forward to, and the opportunity to connect with others.

ACH Group, which also provides retirement living, has seen the demand for health and wellbeing services grow firsthand. And with more people wanting to age at home or in a retirement community with varying levels of support, Ms Feldt said there is optimism about what’s to come for the sector. 

The current demand for aged care services and retirement living services is very strong and will continue to be as the growing ageing population presents an unprecedented need for growth of services in the coming years,” she said.

“It’s crucial to acknowledge that alongside this demand, there are significant challenges that we, as an industry, are navigating. Strong collaboration between the sector and Government will be essential in addressing these challenges effectively.” 

“Sustained efforts are needed to ensure that we meet the evolving needs of our ageing population.”

ACH Group’s strategic approach to centralising aged care services in a hub is in many ways ensuring links to the community are not broken. For example, the Rostrevor Health Studio that’s currently under construction will be located on the same site as their Home Care Hub and Milpara Residential Care Home. 

Not only does this make it easier for residents to access services dedicated to positive and healthy ageing, but it allows those who transition into residential care to maintain existing relationships.

“One of the underpinning principles of our vision is to ensure our services support people to connect with their local community through real experiences,” Ms Feldt added.

“Our vision supports the older person to be in the real community; our social experiences are held in a café or pub, just like everyone else. It’s not about ‘keeping busy’, it is about lifelong learning and living a life that is purposeful and real. “

Staff will also benefit once the development is completed as there will be office spaces for a growing health and community workforce. Ms Feldt said the modern facility will help with attracting more skilled workers by fostering a positive employee experience. 

“We create a positive culture that promotes job satisfaction and fulfilment and where our people can truly get to know our customers by building genuine connections with them as well as each other and the local community,” she said.

healthy ageing
allied health
ACH Group
health studio
Linda Feldt
South Australia
consumer wellbeing