The Value of a Service Provider Who Cares

AE Smith have been invited to speak at the 2014 Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) National Congress about the benefits of a training initiative aimed to educate all service staff on the condition of dementia

10 Jul 2014


No other aged care service provider that we know of has undertaken training like this… It’s a really valuable initiative –

Diana Fitzgerald, General Manager – Training, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Victoria

In 2011, an AE Smith heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) service technician was repairing an air conditioner in an aged care facility when a resident with dementia mistook him for her husband. For a young person with no experience with dementia, it was a confronting situation. For the resident, the technician’s reaction was confusing and upsetting.

Educating all service staff about dementia

In response, AE Smith commissioned training to educate all service staff about dementia, focusing on how to effectively communicate within an aged care environment and to work safely in an aged care facility.

The training was written and delivered by Leading Age Services Australia – Victoria (LASA Victoria).

“No other aged care service provider that we know of has undertaken training like this,” said Diana Fitzgerald, General Manager of Training LASA Victoria. “It’s a really valuable initiative.”

Graeme Stewart is a featured speaker at LASA’s national conference

This proactive training initiative has peaked the interest of national body Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA), with AE Smith’s submission to speak at their national congress being selected from an ‘overwhelming number of submissions’.

Graeme Stewart, General Manager of AE Smith in Perth and Diana Fitzgerald, General Manager of Training LASA Victoria will present together on stage in Adelaide this October.

Attendees of the presentation entitled “The value of service providers who care” will learn how service provider training can reduce risk and positively impact culture within an aged care facility.

Helping aged care customers reduce risk

Maintaining hospitable conditions whilst improving energy efficiency are usually considered the key objectives for a HVAC service provider within an aged care facility.

“Obviously, these objectives are very important,” said Graeme. “But what’s equally important is our aged care clients objective to ensure the physical and psychological safety of residents.”

Referencing AE Smith’s values, Graeme talks about a commitment to help.

“In aged care, this means the service technician needs to be empathetic in any situation they may encounter. It also means taking additional cautionary measures to guarantee a safe work environment,” added Graeme.

Empathy improves aged care culture

The first part of the training educates AE Smith Service technicians on the condition of dementia. “Building an awareness and understanding of the illness aims to increase empathy and inform how they behave,” explains Diana.

For more information about the 2014 LASA National Congress in Adelaide on 20-22 October visit

About LASA National Congress: In 2013, Congress attracted more than 800+ delegates to an exhibition of over 105 age service supplier companies and a multistream Congress across 3 days. LASA National Congress is arguably industry’s most valuable networking and education event.

AE Smith is delighted to be a featured speaker and official sponsor of the 2014 LASA National Congress in Adelaide, 20-22 October.

Download the Program for LASA National Congress

About LASA: Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) is the peak body for age service providers with around 70% of providers covering all service types (home care, retirement living and residential care) in all settings (private, not-for-profit and mission based). For more information visit