AE Smith Senior Living environment

Training AE Smith Service Technicians in the Senior Living environment

26 Aug 2015


AE Smith examines the benefits of effective service provider training to senior living facilities and its occupants.

On May 26, General Manager for Western Australia, Graeme Stewart, presented at the Facility Management Association (FMA) Ideaction’s National Facilities Management Conference and Exhibition, examining how service provider training can improve culture, safety and reduce risk in senior living facilities.

After a challenging encounter at a client’s senior living facility, AE Smith took the initiative to commission train our Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Service Technicians. For our Service Technicians, it can be confronting when faced with senior living residents who have dementia, and are unable to voice their needs.

Graeme spoke of just how challenging it can be to work in the senior living environment:

“Although I had regularly experienced this environment through my own eyes, from a family perspective it [is] quite confronting. I began to realise what a challenging environment this would be to a new Technician should they be exposed to this on his first day of the job.”

Skilled and capable Technicians

The senior living sector is an area that we feel our presence can grow, and it is important for us to teach our people how to communicate appropriately.

AE Smith intends to educate every Service Technician about dementia, increasing care and safety through the development of necessary skills required to effectively communicate and work safely amongst senior residents.

Across Australia, 75 (and counting) AE Smith Service Technicians are now trained to deal with those suffering dementia, and an overall senior living environment.

Understanding the environment of senior living and aged care

In developing training around educating Technicians, AE Smith were taught:
• An understanding of how dementia affects the brain
• The behaviours of a person with dementia
• Learning how to communicate appropriately and effectively
For over 15 years, AE Smith Perth have focused on providing support to the senior living sector, considering the risks associated with Service Providers working onsite including:
• The mental and physical safety of residents
• The time taken by carers to deal with incidents
• Scrutiny from the media, community, families and residents

For AE Smith, the best way to tackle communication barriers within the senior living environment is to care.

As Graeme noted in his presentation:

“When everyone has care in full focus, [an aged care provider], the service provider and industry bodies can see [how a practical initiative], such as service provider training can improve culture, safety, and reduce risk.”