A cute robotic seal, a dementia-friendly garden makeover, a sensory room, a staff hikoi across Tongariro Crossing, a rest home café, and a partnership with a local kindergarten all featured among the finalist presentations of this year’s NZACA/EBOS Excellence in Care Awards.

The standard was high in each of the various categories which included training and development, innovative delivery, built and grown environments, food service, and community connections. Finalists delivered their presentations at the NZACA’s annual conference this week in Auckland. The winners were announced at the conference gala dinner.

The EBOS Healthcare Overall Excellence in Care Award went to Oceania’s St John’s Wood Rest Home in Taupo who also took home the MediMap Community Connections award for their ‘Grandfriends’ initiative – an intergenerational programme that encouraged their residents to interact with children from the local kindergarten.

Manager Ilana Kerr says they were live streaming the awards ceremony to their staff and residents in Taupo, so they could share in the victory.

“We’ve nearly come back down to earth,” says Kerr. “Our residents were very emotional about the win. It’s a huge acknowledgment of a lot of hard work.”

Clutha Views of the Heritage Life Care Group took home the Health Ed Trust Training and Staff Development award for their efforts in rolling out a training programme that has seen 93 per cent of their staff on the road to being qualified.

Bupa’s Harbourview Rest Home won the Bidvest Excellence in Food Care award thanks to their amazing chef, Jerson Lat.

Selwyn Foundation was “absolutely thrilled” that their robotic seal Paro won the QPS Benchmarking Innovative Delivery award.

The Jackson Van Interiors Built and Grown Environment award went to Strathallan Lifecare for its dementia-friendly garden.

Three new award categories were also introduced this year: the Invacare Small Operator Industry Award, awarded to Shalom Court in Auckland; the Leecare Solutions Stand-Out Individual Award which went to Jill Woodward of Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital; and the TENA Legendary Contribution to the Aged Residential Care Sector Award which went to Fraser Sanderson.

Jill Woodward said she was humbled to receive the award.

“It’s really lovely to get recognised for being the pebble in people’s shoes. As I get closer to retirement I realise it is more about other people.”

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