Village bounces back

FREMANTLE’S Italian Village aged care home is flourishing during a bad time for the aged care sector, making a comeback from sanctions imposed on the facility back in 2018.

Even before lockdown, 56 per cent of residential aged care homes across Australia were reporting operating losses, according to the StewartBrown Financial report 2019. 

This trend was expected to be exacerbated due to COVID19, but the Italian Village has increased its profits; a massive feat given the facility was sanctioned and on the brink of being deregistered two years ago. 

Restructure

Fifi Schirripa’s appointment as village CEO in 2018 saw a vigorous restructure, which she believes “transformed the culture and management” of the facility.

“We have managed to not only improve the quality of care to our residents but also to dramatically turn around the fortunes of the facility by 200 per cent,” Mrs Schirripa said. 

She is proud of the facility’s EBITDAR score of 19,000, which she explains is a financial performance measurement that puts the Village in the top 2 per cent of aged care homes nationally.

She says the profits have gone into “care and services,” and improving the staffing ratio. 

“It’s not about how much money you’re making,” but that everyone feels “cared for and loved,” she explains, adding staff even cut residents’ hair when salons were forced to shut.

When masks were unavailable, board members “came to the rescue… they tirelessly worked to hand-make 250 washable face masks. We used these masks for family members visiting the terminally ill residents”.

Mrs Schirripa says palliative care is one of the Italian Village’s key strengths, while they are also hoping to boost their “Memory Support Unit” which is used with patients suffering dementia. 

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