Projects & Innovation
In the 21st Century, aged care and new ideas need to go hand in hand. This is not only important to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the world but to also meet the demands and expectations of future clients and residents.
Martin Luther Homes is always looking toward the future by working on ideas, projects, and concepts that set us apart from others while improving the well-being of our residents and making our organisation an even better place to live and work at. We frequently consult our residents, staff, and stakeholders, and we are always on the lookout for new projects.
Here are some of our projects that we have been working on:
Meet HERBIE – The Martin Luther Homes Innovation Car that we have developed in close cooperation with Jerome Engineering.
‘Herbie’, as it has been named, used to be an average Mercedes Benz A-Class that got its owner from A to B around the streets of Melbourne. However, now in its second life, it serves a much more meaningful purpose.
‘Herbie’ has been re-engineered to be an off-the-street vehicle that will give people with (and without) dementia the opportunity to, yet again, sit behind the wheel and go for a spin. The main purpose of Herbie is to bring back memories to people who haven’t been able to sit behind the wheel for a long time, due to their medical condition. While the cabin has been kept in its original form, Herbie can be safely manoeuvred by one of the Martin Luther Homes staff members while the residents enjoy the feeling of going for a drive.
At the start of 2020, our staff made a bold plan to fundraise an ambitious amount of $15,000 to purchase a Tovertafel. The Tovertafel is an interactive device using light, colours and music. It is designed to stimulate cognitive and physical as well as social activity.
While big ideas on how to raise the money were at hand fairly quickly. However, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic soon put an end to all those plans as all of them involved large groups of people gathering to donate for a good cause.
We shifted all our efforts to the internet and had to learn how to run a fundraiser exclusively online. The response was astounding, within weeks we got close to the $5000 mark, however, things slowed down a fair bit soon after. A second wave of raising awareness was needed and more digital door-knocking required. We also focused even stronger on our friends and supporters in local and Melbourne’s German-speaking community.
The effort our staff put in raising the money to get this technology for our residents paid out and it was great to see such an amazing community spirit. We were able to raise the money and purchase the Tovertafel at the end of 2020. The fancy projector is now in regular use and quickly has become an important part of our activities calendar. Originally, we thought that the magic table had been exclusively designed for people with dementia but as we have soon discovered, many other residents also enjoy playing games on it. Even our physios are using the projector now for some of their exercises.
Here at Martin Luther Homes, we always encourage our residents to discover new things. Of course, we also focus on modern technologies and what they can bring to our residents life.
We want to do more than just offering video calls between residents and their loved ones. We want to empower everyone who is interested in using modern technology themselves.
This is why we started weekly technology group and 1:1 sessions. Our residents can learn about technology devices such as laptops, tablets & phones and how to use them. We soon noticed that our residents are interested in more than just discovering the devices. They also like discussing other related topics such as privacy in the online world. It is great seeing our residents getting interested and involved in modern technology.
We are also offering a new Device Library service for our residents. They can borrow devices such as a tablet and discover the new possibilities themselves. We provide a manual of how to use the devices and 1:1 explanations and guidance.