How can we help?
What services does Brightwater provide?
At Brightwater, we offer at home aged care, residential aged care, disability support and retirement villages.
Brightwater At Home provides services that support health and happiness. This includes help around the house, transport and shopping assistance, specialist health care and social activities.
We have 11 residential homes from Mandurah to Joondalup, providing round-the-clock care to seniors and those living with dementia.
We also support younger people with complex disabilities. Our NDIS services include therapy and supported independent living, while our Oats Street rehabilitation program supports people with an acquired brain injury.
Our retirement village in Madeley promotes a carefree, suburban lifestyle, and with a new village in the works, there’ll be even more to discover.
At Brightwater, we support West Australians from all walks of life. Our commercial catering and linen businesses help us reinvest in infrastructure and ideas that benefit our clients and our community.
If you’d like to know more, give us a call on 1300 223 968.
How much do services cost and what funding is available?
The Australian government helps fund both aged care and disability services.
If you’re looking for home care, the government can subsidise your services with either the Commonwealth Home Support Program or a Home Care Package. For more information about home care fees and funding, click here.
The government also subsidises residential aged care. Once you’ve had an ACAT assessment, we can go through any applicable fees with you, which will vary depending on your situation. If there’s a Brightwater home you’re interested in, we also provide a pricing table so you know what the standard fees are.
For more information on aged care funding, visit My Aged Care.
Funding is also available if you have an acquired brain injury or neurological disabilities like Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. For more information, give us a call on 1300 223 968.
How can I get involved with Brightwater?
There are lots of ways you can get involved.
We advertise all of our available jobs here. With a team of over 2000, we employ allied health professionals, care workers, disability support workers, nurses, administrative staff and more, so we’d love to hear from you.
Your time, money and gifts help us improve the lives of our clients. If you’d like to give back to the community, you can fill in our volunteer enquiry form, make a donation or leave a gift in your will.
For all other fundraising enquiries, contact our Fundraising team.
For media and PR enquiries, contact Lorelei Campbell, our Communications Manager.
If there’s another way you’d like to get involved with Brightwater, feel free to give us a call on 1300 223 968.
What is the difference between a CHSP and a HCP?
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) provides entry-level support for older people who are still able to manage living at home, but could do with some extra assistance. Services are prescribed by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) and could include domestic help, personal care and or deliveries. CHSP is government subsidised, but there are still some hourly fees.
Home Care Packages (HCP) are also government subsidised, but are for older people who have more complex needs. There are four levels of packages, as determined by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). Each package level has different funding, with recipients able to select what services they want to use their funding on.
Visit our Fees & Funding page for more information.
Can I access services that are not covered in my funding?
How much do I need to pay for at home services?
The hourly fee for CHSP is generally $12 an hour. If you are facing financial hardship, you may be able to have this waived.
If you are receiving a home care package (HCP), you will pay a daily fee which is equal to 17.5% of the full aged pension.
Visit our Fees & Funding page for more information.
Is support available if English is not my first language?
Yes! Let us know your preferred language and we will do our best to pair you with a Support Worker who speaks your language.
What should I expect in my ACAT assessment?
Times can vary, but assessments usually take between 45 and 75 minutes.
An ACAT team member will visit you to gather all the information, asking a series of questions about your day-to-day life and health. They may ask you how you're managing with routine activities and if you require help with them, what support you have from family or friends, what health conditions you have or medications you take, how you feel your health is and whether or not you are having memory problems.
They'll also make sure you understand the process of receiving aged care and discuss your options going forward. After your interview, they'll talk to the rest of their team and make a decision about the level of care you are eligible for.
What are the different levels of funding?
Home Care Packages (HCP) provide four levels of funding.
Level 1 is for basic care needs, Level 2 is for low level care needs, Level 3 is for intermediate care needs and Level 4 is for high level care needs. If you have entry-level care needs, you may be funded by the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
Visit our Fees & Funding page for more information.
For more information on aged care funding, visit the My Aged Care website.
How can I get a home care nurse?
If you’d like to access government-funded in-home care nursing, personal care, medication management and other services, you’ll need to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Before you can receive funding for at home care services, you’ll need to be assessed. My Aged Care will ask you a series of questions to determine your care needs.
- If you have entry-level care needs, you’ll be assessed by your local Regional Assessment Service (RAS). They’ll determine what services you require. This funding is known as a Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).
- If you have more complex care needs, you'll be assessed by your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They'll determine what Home Care Package level is right for you.
Visit our Getting Started page for an easy step-by-step guide for arranging private home care in Perth.
What can my Home Care Package funds be used for?
The beauty of a Home Care Assistance Package is that you can choose from a number of services that support your health, home and happiness.
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Assistance Package is a government-subsidised program that is completely personalised, ensuring seniors live a happier and healthier life at home.
What does each Home Care Package level include?
Funded by the Australian Government, Home Care Packages are available in four levels:
- Level 1 – for basic care needs (worth approximately $8,750 a year)
- Level 2 – for low-level care needs (worth approximately $15,250 a year)
- Level 3 – for intermediate care needs (worth approximately $33,500 a year)
- Level 4 – for high-level care needs (worth approximately $50,750 a year)
It’s up to you what you spend your funding on – there are many services you can choose from.
For more information about our home care assistance services in Perth, talk to our Welcome Team on 1300 223 968.
How can I organise residential aged care for my elderly parent?
We're happy to support you in the process of organising care for your elderly parent.
Simply give us a call on 1300 223 968 and ask to speak to our Welcome Team, who will gather some information about your parent and then explain the next steps to securing a suitable home.
From a government perspective, your first action is to register with My Aged Care and request an assessment for residential aged care, which is a requirement when seeking aged care services.
What is an ACAT assessment and how can I arrange one?
This is an assessment carried out by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) when an individual is hoping to access subsidised aged care services.
An assessment can be arranged through My Aged Care after you have registered for and acquired an Aged Care number.
What do I pay and what does the government pay?
What the government pays and what you pay depends on your financial situation and the outcome of your Income and Assets Assessment with Centrelink or Veterans Affairs.
Why do I need to complete an Income & Assets form?
Completing an Income and Assets Assessment will ensure that you do not pay more aged care fees than necessary.
How long is the waiting list to access residential aged care?
Our waiting lists vary from site to site.
So that you're ready when a vacancy arises, we will assess your needs, match you to the site which can best support your needs, provide a tour and help you complete the necessary paperwork to secure a position on our waiting list as soon as we can.
Can I view all the residences I am interested in?
Yes, appointments can be made to view our aged care homes.
Please call 1300 223 968 and ask to be put through to our Welcome Team who will schedule a time for you at the homes that best suit your needs.
Do you offer residential accommodation for married couples?
Yes, we do offer accommodation for married couples in some of our aged care homes.
Give our Welcome Team a call on 1300 223 968 and we'll let you know what is available.
How do I transfer to Brightwater from another aged care home?
It is easy to transfer from another aged care provider to Brightwater.
Typically, your current provider will require a letter in writing giving 7 days notice to leave. Our Welcome Team can then assist you with documentation and support you as you transfer to us.
Can I keep using the same doctor/GP?
Yes, you can keep your own GP if they are willing to visit, make a house call as required and provide an after hour service.
Otherwise, your family is free to take you to a GP and organise/deliver medications.
Can I bring my own furniture?
You can bring a comfy chair, a TV and TV stand and one or two small personal furniture items such as a display cabinet, bookcase or bedside cupboard.
Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
Yes, we cater for many special dietary requirement needs such as diabetes, vegetarian or vegan diets, allergies or medical conditions such as dysphagia.
Please discuss any specific dietary requirements with our Welcome Team.
Can I leave for day trips or family holidays?
Yes, your family can take you out at any time for day trips.
You can also enjoy family holidays as long as you are not away from the facility for more than 52 nights per year.
What if I don't like my new home?
Your satisfaction is important to us - we want to make sure you will feel welcome and supported at all times.
Please discuss any concerns with your site Service Manager who will do whatever they can to understand your concerns and meet your expectations.
However, if you remain unsatisfied you can request to leave your new home to transfer to another Brightwater home or if all opportunities are exhausted, advise of your intention to leave.
How can I find a nursing home?
At Brightwater, we have 11 nursing homes (or residential aged care homes) across the Perth metro area, including:
- South Lake
What is a care plan in a nursing home?
Aged care providers use care plans to outline a person’s care needs, including the specific services they require and when. Every care plan is unique and is reviewed annually or as and when needs change.
At Brightwater, our care plans cover an individual’s needs, goals and preferences, and also makes note of who provides the services and the frequency.
How can I apply for a residential aged care placement?
Before you can apply for a placement in one of our aged care facilities or nursing homes, you will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). Your GP can make a referral for you, or you can arrange one directly with My Aged Care by calling 1800 200 422.
Once you know the outcome of your assessment, it’s time to start looking for a home that suits you.
At Brightwater, we have 11 aged care homes across the Perth metro area. You can visit one of our residential aged care facilities to see if it suits you, and if it does, we’ll take you through the application process, which includes a clinical assessment.
For more information about our nursing home application process, visit our Getting Started page.
Do I have to sell my home to move into aged care accommodation?
To move into a residential aged care home, you will need to pay a basic daily fee, an income tested fee and an accommodation payment.
The accommodation payment can either be paid as a lump sum up-front (known as a Refundable Accommodation Payment), a daily amount (known as a Daily Accommodation Payment) or a combination of both.
What you choose to do with your family home will affect your income and assets test, so it is best to get professional financial advice before making any big decisions.
How do I register for My Aged Care?
Are nursing home payments tax deductible?
Yes, aged care fees can be claimed as tax deductions. This tax reduction is income tested.
For more information, talk to our Welcome Team on 1300 223 968.
Are nursing homes covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not cover nursing home accommodation.
Click here to learn more about aged care fees and funding.
When is it time for my elderly parent to move into a nursing home?
This is a completely personal decision and will depend on many factors, including health, safety and wellbeing.
It is best to speak to your parent openly about what their wishes are, while taking into account their current state of health, how safe they are in their current accommodation and their mental wellbeing.
The most important question to discuss is how much care your elderly parent requires. Some seniors might prefer to stay in their own home with home care services to support them, while others may benefit more from the 24/7 support residential aged care provides.
We have written a helpful article comparing home care with residential aged care, which might help you weigh up your decision. You can also talk to our Welcome Team on 1300 223 968 to explore both options.
Does the veterans administration pay for nursing homes?
In Australia, nursing homes (or residential aged care homes) are subsidised by the Commonwealth Government.
Special financial arrangements may be made for certain veterans. Visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website for more information.
What is respite care in a nursing home?
Respite care in a nursing home is temporary care and accommodation for a person aged over 65.
At Brightwater, our residential respite service can provide temporary care and accommodation in a Brightwater home, from a minimum of one week through to nine weeks.
For more information, visit our Residential Respite page.
What types of disability does Brightwater specialise in?
Brightwater supports people with complex disabilities, including neurological, cognitive, psychosocial and physical disabilities.
We are an innovator in the area of acquired brain injury rehabilitation, and also provide specialist supported accommodation and services for people living with Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease.
What funding can I access if I have a disability?
If you meet the requirements, you may be able to access funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For more information, visit our Fees & Funding page.
Do your supported independent living homes cater for special dietary requirements?
Our catering team can provide nutritional food for different needs such as vegetarian and vegan diets, allergies, diabetes and dysphagia.
Can I access disability services in my own home?
What happens if I am not eligible for the NDIS?
If you are not eligible for NDIS funding, you may be able to access funding from other sources or self-fund your services.
Give us a call on 1300 223 968 to discuss your options.
How long will I stay at Oats Street?
This will depend on your individual needs and the expected outcomes that can be met while in the program.
During your stay, you may move between the houses depending on your progress and the dynamics of the members in the house. Each house move demonstrates a change in functional ability and ensures you'll be living with others at a similar level. House moves represent positive progression and will be determined by your team.
Your length of stay will depend on your progress. Oats Street is a transitional living arrangement - all clients will discharge from the program, and assistance in planning for long term support and accommodation will be provided.
What do I need to pay for if I participate in the Oats Street Rehabilitation Program?
The Department of Health funds the Oats Street program and covers operational costs.
You will be responsible for a daily fee that covers board and lodging, which is 75% if the Disability Support Pension and rental assistance payments. This is reviewed twice yearly in line with adjustment to the pensions.
What resources are available at Oats Street?
The site has a learning centre which includes a gym area, multi-use room, group room, consult rooms and a hydrotherapy spa bath. Outside there is a small basketball court, exterior gym equipment and a climbing wall.
Clients live in a shared house with a communal kitchen, lounge and living areas.
What are the visiting hours at Oats Street?
We welcome visitors outside of rehabilitation and therapy time.
Visiting hours are Monday to Friday between 11am and 1pm or 4pm and 7pm, and weekends and public holidays from 10am to 9pm.
Can my partner or family members stay overnight at Oats Street?
Partners and family members are invited to arrange overnight stays in a self-contained apartment on-site.
Staff support will be available during stays via a call bell. You can make arrangements with our team, subject to apartment availability.
Do I own my home?
Tenure of homes is secured by way of a Lease for Life governed by WA Retirement Villages Legislation.
You cannot sub-lease the home, bequeath it or sell it privately.
How old is the Kingsway Court village?
The village was opened in 2004 with the last home occupied in 2006.
Are fees payable when I terminate my Lease for Life?
Yes. There is a Deferred Management fee, termination Fee, and after year 8 a Sinking Fund contribution.
Full details of these fees will be provided prior to your entering into a Lease for Life.
What emergency assistance is available?
Every home is fitted with a Medi-Minder medi alarm which is monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Am I allowed to bring my pets?
Yes, we are a pet-friendly village!
You will need to flag it with Management first, so make sure you have been given approval.
What insurance do I need?
Building insurance is included in your monthly fees.
Contents insurance is the resident's responsibility.
Can I use the community facilities for my own private functions?
The community facilities are for everyone who lives in the village.
However, special functions may be organised subject to requirements agreed upon between management and the Residents Committee.
What do the monthly fees pay for?
Among other things, the monthly fees cover use of all community facilities, administration and management of the village, 24 hour emergency call system and monitoring, maintenance of all common areas including front gardens and bore, and water consumption.
Can I easily access Brightwater At Home services?
Residents are able to access any home services they like, including services from Brightwater At Home.
Who do I speak to if I have an issue with my home?
We have people available to speak to on-site.
You can contact our from office 9am to 1pm from Monday to Thursdays, and the Office Manager is also available for urgent enquiries outside these hours.
Can friends and family stay overnight?
Guests may stay for up to 8 weeks in any one year.
Are doctors and health professionals close by?
There are several health professionals located in surrounding suburbs.
Am I able to have a carer live in?
No. The only people who may occupy a home are those named on the Lease for Life.
Who pays for utility charges and council rates at Kingsway Court?
The resident is responsible for their own gas and electricity and water consumption is covered by the monthly fees. As Brightwater is a not-for-profit organisation, residents are not charged Council Rates.
There are a charges however, for rubbish bin collection and the Emergency Services Levy. There is also an annual charge for sewerage based on the number of toilets in each home. Eligible residents of Kingsway Court can claim an Emergency Services Levy rebate through the City of Wanneroo.
Can I make any changes to my home?
Non-structural changes to homes are allowed, however you will need to flag it with management first. Written applications are subject to approval.
If I am a Kingsway Court resident am I able to automatically move into Brightwater Madeley if needed?
Brightwater Madeley is an aged care home co-located with Kingsway Court.
It is federally funded and while Brightwater makes every effort to accommodate Kingsway Court residents, unfortunately there is no guarantee of a place.
Who can live in a retirement village?
In Australia, retirement villages are designed for people over the age of 55, with facilities, services and activities all catered to them.
We’ve written a handy article about what to consider when choosing a lifestyle retirement village in Perth, WA here. Our Kingsway Court over 55 lifestyle retirement village offers spacious, suburban living with everything you could want and more.
Can I do work experience at Brightwater?
How can I register my interest to work at Brightwater?
You can register your interest online. Just visit the Careers section of our website.
What kind of roles are available at Brightwater?
At Brightwater, we offer a range of services that require varing skill sets.
Some of our more frequently recruited roles are multi-skilled care workers, community support workers, hotel services, registered nurses, enrolled nurses and allied health professionals.
We also offer a number of administration roles at our corporate head office.
Help! I have locked myself out of Mercury!
Not to worry - email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can activate your account for you.
What days of the week would I be expected to work?
Depending on the position, the days and hours vary from site to site.
How can I apply for my Police Clearance?
If you are successful for a position with us, you can apply through our Fit2Work system online.
Our recruitment team can arrange this for you.
Can I hand in my application at Brightwater?
Unfortunately no. All applications need to be submitted online via our careers site.
Can I come in and talk to you face to face?
Sorry, we are unable to make any appointments to discuss positions face to face.
You will need to apply online - our team will be in touch if we would like to arrange to interview.
Can I apply if the position is closed?
Unfortunately we are unable to accept late applications, so please make note of the application closing dates.
Why can I not upload my application?
If you are having trouble uploading your resume or applying please contact our recruitment team on 9202 3529.
Where is the position located?
We have numerous locations across the Perth metro area.
Please see our locations list on our website or refer to the advertised position for location details.
What qualifications are you looking for?
Each position has a different set of skills or qualifications required.
You can find out more by downloading to the job description attached to the ad.
Do I need experience to work for Brightwater?
Each position has a different set of skills or qualifications required.
You can find out more by downloading to the job description attached to the ad.
What is the role of a Brightwater volunteer?
Brightwater volunteers give time willingly, contributing to the social, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of clients, through assisting staff with either group activities or individual engagement where appropriate.
What is volunteering?
According to Volunteering Australia, volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
Do I need any experience to volunteer?
You don't need any experience - just enthusiasm and a desire to give back to the community. You'll learn about the lives of our clients, but you'll also learn a lot about yourself.
Volunteering even a small amount of time, talent and energy can have an enormous and direct impact on the lives of others. Every care is taken to ensure volunteers are supported every step of the way with training and supervision.
Can I choose what type of volunteering services I want to offer?
If you'd like to offer your expertise, or if you just have a preference, let us know.
Our volunteers get involved with all sorts, including arts and crafts, exercise groups, outings, entertainment or meaningful connection. We want you to enjoy your volunteering work, so speak up and let us know how you'd like to contribute.
Volunteering is generally not suitable for recent graduates with support worker qualifications. This is because our volunteers do not take on hands-on carer or support worker roles.
To find out more about work experience, please contact email@example.com
How much time to do I need to commit as a volunteer?
That's completely up to you.
You might be a student, parent, retiree or working full-time - we understand that family, work and study will take priority over volunteering. We'll be as flexible as we can to fit into your schedule, and you can renegotiate your commitment whenever you like.
Forming a connection with our clients and contributing to their wellbeing takes time, so we prefer to take on longer-term volunteers. If you'd like to apply to be a volunteer, please note that we generally take on applicants who can commit to 6 months or more. However, do let us know your availability and we'll try our best to accommodate.
Unfortunately, we don't have the capacity to take on volunteering roles over the weekend or in the evening.
What does the volunteer registration and orientation process involve?
After you've filled in our Expression of Interest form, we'll contact you and find out your interests and goals.
If you are matched to a site, we'll then arrange a registration and orientation session at a time that works for you, where you'll learn more about your roles and responsibilities and our guidelines.
Once your references and police checks are approved, you'll have an on-site orientation. Then, you're ready to get started!
Can I access training as a volunteer?
Training can be provided on an as-needs basis. This could cover dementia, dysphagia, safe movement, communication or driver competency.
Can my volunteering role be used as work experience?
Volunteering and work experience are handled by two different teams at Brightwater.
If you have recently graduated with carer or support worker qualifications, volunteering may not be the best option if you're looking to gain work experience. This is because our volunteers do not take on hands-on carer or support worker roles.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide personal written or verbal references for volunteers. We can however provide a Letter of Volunteer Service, which states the date of attendance and role. This is available on request.
I'm a tourist. Can I volunteer at Brightwater?
You will need to check the conditions of your Visa to confirm if you're eligible to volunteer.
If you've got the all clear, then please get in touch!
Can volunteering with Brightwater lead to paid work?
In most cases, volunteering is not a pathway to paid employment. While we'd love to have you on board as a volunteer, unfortunately it does not always result in a job.
We do encourage you to keep an eye on new opportunities with Brightwater. All of our jobs are advertised here.
Can I volunteer with the Brightwater Research Centre?
Volunteers help our research centre with data collection, data analysis, literature reviews and more.
Please visit our Research Volunteers page for more information.
What sort of research do you conduct?
All of our research is focused on improving the quality of life of our residents and clients, therefore most of our research is practical and applied in a care/community setting.
Our priorities are brain health, brain injury rehabilitation, independence, ageing well, dementia care, quality of life, Huntington’s disease and nutrition.
For more information, see our Current Research page.
What are the steps involved in gaining approval to conduct research at Brightwater?
If your research enquiry is considered feasible for Brightwater, you will be invited to complete the Brightwater Research Application form.
Note: Research applications go to the Brightwater Research Centre or Steering Committee for approval
Once your research application is approved, complete all required legal and administrative documentation.
Commence your research study!
Can I donate to the Brightwater Research Centre?
Donations can be used to fund research studies at Brightwater.
Can I partner with Brightwater for my research project?
Do you provide linen rentals or hire?
How do you ensure colour consistency?
Most people wouldn’t mix whites with colours in a domestic laundry. The same principles apply on a commercial scale.
Where other commercial laundries might run on one or two tunnels, Brightwater Linen has three tunnels that process around 5.1 tonnes per hour. This means we can use two tunnels specifically for whites, and reserve the other for colours. This helps us make sure your whites stay white and your colours stay bright.
What are your quality standards?
Brightwater Linen is certified to Quality Standard ISO 9001 as well as AS4146:200 Standard for Laundry Practice.
Our team undertakes quality testing procedures on a weekly and monthly basis to ensure operational effectiveness in removing soil and disinfecting linen without damage.
These tests include:
- Testing of hard surfaces AS4709.3.4 (including trolleys, folding tables and trucks)
- Testing Finished Product AS2998.1987, AS2995.1987, AS2996.1987, AS4079.200 (including sheets, towels and pillow cases)
- Microbial Challenge Test 3.4
In addition to microbial testing, swatch tests are completed every 6 months and are analysed by an independent laboratory. Swatch tests look for:
- Degree of intrinsic graying and yellowing, degree of whiteness
- Degree of soil removal
- Overall loss of breaking strength due to chemical degradation or mechanical damage
- Microbiological testing (available on request)
What are the benefits of using your linen rental service?
The benefits include:
- No linen investment - we have a wide range of products to choose from
- No hardware investment - we supply all the required trolleys for service
- Service that meets all your quality and customer service expectations
- Time and cost efficiencies that allow you to concentrate on your core business!
What is tunnel washer technology?
Tunnel washers are high-performing, energy-efficient machines that utilise the latest water recycling technology. Soiled linen is continuously loaded and passes through the tunnel in one direction, at the same time as water and detergents pass through in the opposite direction. Instead of waiting around for individual loads to finish, the soiled linen continuously goes into one end of the tunnel while clean linen moves continuously out the other.
At Brightwater Linen, we have three tunnels, allowing us to use two strictly for whites and reserve the other for colours. That means your whites stay white and your colours stay bright!
To tour our Malaga facility, call Chris Morgan on 08 9209 6800 or fill in an enquiry form.
How much do Music Pharmacy services cost?
If you or your loved one is a home care client, Music Pharmacy services can be paid using funds from a Home Care Package. Alternatively, you can also pay for programs like Jam Sessions or Personalised Playlists privately.
For residential aged care and transition care clients, there are no additional costs.
I have NDIS funding, can I use this for any of the Music Pharmacy programs?
Music therapy conducted by a Registered Music Therapist is a therapeutic support under Capacity Building covered by NDIS.
As stated by the NDIS, music therapy "assists participants to apply their functional skills to improve participation and independence in daily, practical activities in areas such as language and communication, personal care, mobility and movement, interpersonal interactions and community living".
How can I or a loved one participate in the Music Pharmacy?
If you or your loved one is a Brightwater At Home client living in the community, please contact your Coordinator to discuss options available in your area.
Do I need music skills or experience to participate in the Music Pharmacy group activities?
Not at all!
The good news is you don’t need any musical experience or skills to participate in and enjoy these activities. You can choose the level of involvement that feels comfortable for you and we have a selection of instruments to suit everyone. Our focus is on the experience rather than the quality of musical performance.
Do you cater for different musical cultures?
Brightwater supports the cultural diversity of our clients and acknowledges that music can provide important connection to one’s cultural identity. To date, our programs have included music from Greece, Italy, Germany, Scotland, England, Poland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland, Malta and many more to support our diverse group of participants. Of course, we also cover Australian and Indigenous Australian songs.
Can family members join in with the Music Pharmacy activities?
How can I volunteer with the Music Pharmacy?
What are music-based interventions?
The term music-based interventions covers a range of activities and approaches covered by this program. They include:
- Music therapy: Delivered either one-on-one or in group settings by a Music Therapist who is certified and registered with the national body. It is an evidence-based practice that works on non-musical health and wellbeing use through the intentional use of music interventions.
- Music engagement: Can include active participation in music making such as singing, playing or learning instruments, facilitated by a musician generally in a group setting. May also include listening to personalised recorded music with another person with the purpose of stimulating reminiscence or discussion about the music.
- Music appreciation/ entertainment: Includes listening to live or recorded music for leisure or entertainment purposes.
- Environmental music: Background music such as radios or televisions. Although not an intervention, it is considered in the Music Pharmacy approach to ensure we provide safe and comfortable auditory environments for our clients.
How do I find out more about music therapy?
For more information about music therapy please refer to the Australian Music Therapy Association website.
How can I donate to or sponsor the Music Pharmacy?
What research supports the Music Pharmacy program?
There is a growing body of research suggesting that music-based interventions can be beneficial in community and supported living healthcare settings including Cochrane reviews on music therapy and dementia (1) and evidence to suggest music promotes healthy ageing (2). Research has found our memory for music and the associated autobiographical memories and emotions are relatively preserved, even into the late stages of dementia (3-4).
The Utley Foundation funded the UK Commission of Dementia and Music (4) to explore and document the advancing and positive impacts of music for people living with dementia. This unique, ambitious and comprehensive piece of research offers industry and policy insight into the value of music in this context, with clear recommendations on how to advance the benefits of music and informs our approaches. As a result, in July 2019 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK updated their dementia care recommendations to include music therapy.
When creating personalised playlists we are sensitive to selecting music appropriate for the person, for the moment, to provide emotional support and for their state of mental wellbeing (5-10).
Furthermore, there is evolving research indicating music therapy skill sharing with family members and paid carers can support the quality of life and relationship for those giving and receiving care (11-15). This guides our Waltz Into Life approach to embedding music into our everyday care culture.
- Van der Steen, J. T., Smaling, H. J. A., van der Wouden, J. C., Bruinsma, M. S., Scholten, R. J. P. M., & Vink, A. C. (2018). Music-based therapeutic interventions for people with dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003477.pub4
- Rogenmoser, L., Kernbach, J., Schlaug, G., & Gaser, C. (2018). Keeping brains young with making music. Brain Structure and Function, 223(1), 297–305. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-017-1491-2
- Baird A, Samson S. Memory for music in Alzheimer’s disease: unforgettable? Neuropsychol Rev. (2009) 19:85–101. doi: 10.1007/s11065-009-9085-2
- Jacobsen JH, Stelzer J, Fritz TH, Chételat G, La Joie R, Turner R. Why musical memory can be preserved in advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Brain (2015) 138:2438–50. doi: 10.1093/brain/awv135
- Garrido, S., Stevens, C. J., Chang, E., Dunne, L., & Perz, J. (2018). Music and dementia: Individual differences in response to personalized playlists. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 64(3), 933–941. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-180084
- Garrido, S., Dunne, L., Chang, E., Perz, J., Stevens, C. J., & Haertsch, M. (2017). The Use of Music Playlists for People with Dementia: A Critical Synthesis. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-170612
- Gerdner, L. A. (2012). Individualized music for dementia: Evolution and application of evidence-based protocol. World Journal of Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v2.i2.26
- Juslin, P., Liljestrom, S., Vastfjall, D., & Lundqvist, L.-O. (2010). How Does Music Evoke Emotions? In P. Juslin (Ed.), Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Resrearch, Applications (1st ed., pp. 603–610). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof
- Annie Heiderscheit, Amy Madson, Use of the Iso Principle as a Central Method in Mood Management: A Music Psychotherapy Clinical Case Study, Music Therapy Perspectives, Volume 33, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 45–52, https://doi.org/10.1093/mtp/miu042
- Cuddy, L. L., Sikka, R., Silveira, K., Bai, S., & Vanstone, A. (2017). Music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) in alzheimer disease: Evidence for a positivity effect. Cogent Psychology, 4(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2016.1277578
- Bowell, S, and Bamford, S. (2018) What would life be without a song or a sance, what are we? A Report from the Commission on Dementia and Music. The International Longevity Centre: London. Retrieved from https://ilcuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Commission-on-Dementia-and-Music-report.pdf
- Brown S, Götell E, Ekman S. Singing as a therapeutic intervention in dementia care. J Dementia Care (2001) 9:33–7.
- Götell E, Thunborg C, Söderlund A, Wågert PH. Can caregiver singing improve person transfer situations in dementia care? Music Med. (2012) 4:237–44.
- McDermott O, Mette Ridder H, Baker F, Wosch T, Ray K, Stige B. Indirect Music Therapy Practice and Skill Sharing in Dementia Care. Journal of Music Therapy. (2018) 55:255-279.
- Tamplin, J., Clark, I. N., Lee, Y. E. C., & Baker, F. A. (2018). Remini-sing: A feasibility study of therapeutic group singing to support relationship quality and wellbeing for community-dwelling people living with dementia and their family caregivers. Frontiers in Medicine, 5(AUG), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2018.00245
What would happen in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak at a Brightwater Residential Aged Care site?
Brightwater has in place a thorough pandemic response plan in case of an outbreak.
This includes details of how we would communicate to you and how we would manage the care of your loved one.
It also includes details of infection control and care to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the home, including the ability to replace staff if required with other staff from within Brightwater to ensure continuity of care is delivered. Our staff are well trained in infection control practices, including the wearing of PPE (personal protective equipment). We also have access to a team of specialists who would support us in the management of an outbreak. This includes a Geriatrician and Infectious Disease Physician from the WA Department of Health. Brightwater also has its own Nurse Practitioners.
Our plan has been developed in conjunction with both the Commonwealth and State Health Departments and it adopts the WA Health Residential Aged Care Facility Outbreak Management Plan. The WA Department of Health will continue to direct us in the actions we take in the case of an outbreak – this will include contact tracing, but they will also advise us on whether or not we continue to care for a positive COVID-19 client on site or if they will be transferred to hospital. It is also important that we have advanced care plans and directives in place for our clients to understand their wishes in this situation.
How would I hear about an outbreak at my family member’s home?
If your loved one received a positive test, you will receive a call immediately.
Likewise if we receive a positive test in your family member’s home (even if they are not COVID-19 positive) we will telephone you directly within the first few hours of the result being made known to us. This will be followed up with an email and text message, so please make sure your contact details are correct in our system by contacting your family member’s home if these change.
We will of course continue to keep you updated regularly.
Will I be able to visit my loved one in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak?
No. If we had a positive test on site we would have to effectively ‘lock down’ the home to prevent anyone else being infected. However, we would make sure there were alternate means of communicating with your family members including skype calls, telephone calls and window visits where we could safely do so.
What does Brightwater's Pandemic Response Plan Plan cover?
Our Pandemic Response Plan covers everything from infection control, the provision of extra staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the correct use of PPE, and communication in the event of an outbreak. Our Plan and policies include paid pandemic leave for staff who have symptoms and are awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who may have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or in some situations when they have been directed to self-isolate. This ensures our staff are well supported and do not come to work if they are feeling unwell or are at risk of infection. This is in the best interests of our clients, our staff, and the community more generally.
How will Brightwater work with WA Department of Health in case of an outbreak?
Brightwater will work very closely with the WA Department of Health in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at one of our residential homes.
The WA Department of Health will issue direction and guidance about a number of key decisions in the event of an outbreak including: which clients should move to a separate quarantine area; and whether COVID-19 positive clients will be transferred from the home and where they will be transferred to (for example, to a private hospital or unused care facility).
How will our clients and their families be informed of a positive COVID-19 outbreak at a home?
The Service Manager or appropriate clinical staff member on site who has a strong relationship with the client will advise them sensitively and appropriately. They will be given details about their ongoing care and we will keep families and clients connected through alternate communication means, such as phone or Skype calls.
How will families find out if their loved one tests positive?
If your relative tests positive to COVID-19, the primary contact listed for that client will be called immediately. Please note, we can only give out health information to the primary contact for the client, so please make sure these details are up to date with your Service Manager or Program Lead. If you are the primary contact, please agree with your family about a plan to pass information onto other family members.
How will Brightwater ensure continuity of care if staff members test positive to COVID-19?
We have in place a surge workforce of COVID-19 trained Brightwater staff, as well as a central pool of other Brightwater care staff we can call on in an outbreak.
Our surge workforce would be deployed in an outbreak as an extra resource. The central pool staff would be called on as needed, for example, if care staff working at a home were unable to come to work due to symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test.
Will visitors be allowed if there was a COVID-19 outbreak at a residential site?
In-person visits, except in circumstances such as end of life, will cease. Visitor restrictions or requirements will be governed by and the WA Department of Health direction at the time. Depending on the circumstances, restrictions may be reintroduced swiftly, but we will endeavour to communicate with you prior to any changes. We will have other methods of communication including phone, Skype calls and window visits, if and where it is safe to do so.
How will clients be informed if they test COVID-19 positive?
The Service Manager or appropriate clinical staff member on site who has a strong relationship with the client will advise them sensitively and appropriately. They will be given details about their ongoing care and we will keep families and clients connected through alternate communication means, such as phone or skype calls.