Wesley Mission Queensland's Janet Morghanti in China with a resident of a Chinese Christian Church aged care home.
Wesley Mission Queensland's Janet Morghanti in China with a resident of a Chinese Christian Church aged care home.

Sharing our aged care expertise with China

A MENTORING project between Wesley Mission Queensland and the Chinese Christian Church (CCC) is proving to be a win-win for both organisations and their clients.

It's an unusual relationship that has developed over the last two years but project leader, WMQ quality and compliance manager for residential aged care, Janet Morganti said it fitted with their current aged care model.

"We are about giving care as well as receiving care," Ms Morganti said.

Her team provides staff at CCC homes with practice information and advice during the year over the internet and then travels annually to China to present education to carers.

WMQ's aged care residents are also involved, busily knitting quilts for the residents in the homes in China which lack adequate heating.

"The women who are doing the knitting feel they are really making a difference to other people's lives," Ms Morganti added.

WMQ teamed up with the church in 2015 with an initial group travelling to China to observe and assess the potential for education and collaborative training programs that would assist aged care homes in China.

On return to Australia, a WMQ Chinese-born registered nurse was added to the project team to help as an interpreter.

That nurse travelled with the WMQ team for the second trip to China in May 2015, during which they presented a three-day conference and visited nursing homes in the Shandong province and in Beijing.

"We took slide sheets with us, which is a simple device we use here in aged care," Ms Morganti said.

"The ones we use are made in China, but they didn't know they existed."

On return to Australia the team members started talking through the online app WeChat, as Skype isn't used in China, developing a stronger relationship with Mrs Lee, the CCC manager of an aged care home in the Shandong province.

"We chatted about once a month," Ms Morganti said.

"It started with a whole of lot of us smiling at one other and waving, but then we started talking about their residents and carers and what their training was.

"We identified that their carers didn't have any training at all, including the manager.

"They stated to ask us questions about what they struggled with and we would give them information and translate it.

"They even showed up wounds they weren't able to heal and we recommended ways of treating them," she added.

Ms Morganti will return to China in May to present more introductory and advanced aged care courses

She will have with her three WMQ registered nurses as interpreters and a leisure and lifestyle coordinator "because all the nursing homes we visited, when asked what they do for fun, the answer was 'we pray and sing hymns'," she said.

It's a massive industry in China, Ms Morganti said, with plenty of opportunity for building of aged care homes.

But for WMQ, which she said is a not-for-profit organisation, they are in China at the invitation of the Chinese Christian Church as an industry knowledge portal, not to build nursing homes.

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