Fewer Nurses and More Worries: What the Data Tells Us About the Residential Aged Care Workforce

There has been a lot of research into the residential aged care workforce over the past few years and it has produced an abundance of data. To help you make sense of this data, we’ve identified five of the most relevant studies and summarised what they tell us about the residential aged care workforce.

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Weekly Wrap: October 06, 2019

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Weekly Wrap: October 06, 2019

Aged care news highlights from the week ending 06 October 2019.

The information in the Weekly Wrap is aggregated from other news sources to provide you with news that is relevant to the aged care sector across Australia and worldwide. Each paragraph is a summary of the subject matter covered in the particular news article. The information does not necessarily reflect the views of CompliSpace and Critical Success Solutions.


New GP guidelines could reduce Aus dementia rates

According to Hospital and Healthcare, the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care has found that around 15% of dementia cases globally could be prevented by making straightforward GP-recommended changes, such as reducing blood pressure or increasing physical activity. With this in mind, new guidelines have been issued for Australian GPs that will hopefully help reduce dementia rates nationally.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Releases Scenarios Involving Physical and/or Chemical Restraint

To help providers understand issues and their responsibilities around minimising the use of physical and/or chemical restraint, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has released “Scenarios involving physical and/or chemical restraint”. The scenarios consist of a range of case examples to help providers understand issues around the use of physical and chemical restraint.

Aged care stakeholders tell inquiry how to improve services

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the Government needs to review assessment processes, develop an indigenous workforce strategy and urgently fund trusted organisations to expand their capacity to support ageing Stolen Generations to access aged care, advocates have told the royal commission. Stolen Generations experience fear and anxiety, low awareness about services and assessment pathways and re-traumatisation when they access aged care services, the submission highlights. They are likely to be worse off than other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the same age and socioeconomic outcomes.

Balance exercise via tablet could help prevent falls at home

According to Community Care Review, an exercise program delivered via an app on a tablet could be a convenient and enjoyable way to prevent falls among older people living at home with dementia. Limited research shows balance and strength training could help reduce falls among older people, which led Associate Professor Kim Delbaere, a principal research scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and her team to develop an individually tailored balance training program that takes users through exercises using on-screen text, video demonstrations and voice-overs. StandingTall is progressive in terms of times people exercise as well as the intensity of the exercise, and includes regular balance assessments to keep it challenging yet safe.

Aged care telehealth emergency response trial shows promise

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, a hospital-based outreach service for aged care has avoided more than half of the physical visits it would usually make and increased its reach by assessing residents by video, the early results of a study find. The study underway aims to improve the Northern Sydney Local Health District’s Aged Care Rapid Response Team’s (ARRT) efficiency and judgment about a resident’s need to be seen in person and the urgency of the situation. The pilot, which involves staff at four residential aged care facilities using iPads to make video calls instead of referrals over the phone, has conducted about 60 video conferences in July and August. The approach is allowing the geriatric assessment team to see more residents overall, said Dr James Hardy, a specialist geriatrician with Royal North Shore Hospital and ARRT.

Volunteers line up to test funding tool

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, more than 850 facilities with a total of 70,000 places have volunteered to trial an alternative residential aged care funding tool, the Department of Health reports. The trial will field test the prototype Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding assessment tool developed by the University of Wollongong as part of the Resource Utilisation and Classification Study and plans to replace the current Aged Care Funding Instrument.

Doing ‘everything’ near the end of life may be inappropriate for seniors in ICU

According to Aged Care Insite, a recently released review of 13 medical studies published over the past two decades has investigated how well-informed people are, and would like to be, about intensive care. The review involved 6194 older patients or relatives from Australia, the USA, Canada and France. Two messages were clear. Firstly, people are aware of the concept of ‘futility’ – providing treatment that doesn’t change what happens to patients in either the short or long term – even if they call it something else. Secondly, seniors have strong opinions about such treatments but are not often given the opportunity to express them. Some of the reasons suggested for this lack of consultation included patients’ cognitive impairment or advanced age, doctors’ doubts about prognosis, paternalistic attitudes towards decision-making, and generally a difference of opinion between health professionals and members of the community regarding what is realistically achievable in the ICU.

Delirium 'national emergency' declared by doctors

According to The Senior, a brain condition that strikes more than 100,000 Australians each year - resulting in episodes of extreme confusion, terror and paranoia - has been declared a "national emergency" by medical experts. They are calling for a comprehensive government response into delirium - a sudden, severe episode of confusion and impaired thinking that causes 10 per cent of dementia cases and 900 deaths in Australia each year.

A hit in aged care, Star Wars video games are

According to Aged Care Insite, University of New England postgraduate student Alex McCord – who completed neuropsychological testing of 24 Feros Care residents before, after and one month following their time playing the video game Star Wars Battlefront – said she was keen to test whether gaming could serve as an enjoyable form of cognitive stimulation. And, she said, it did. McCord found it significantly improved residents’ ability to switch tasks and maintain visual attention. What’s more, these benefits were sustained one month later.

Legislation

Nothing in the news this week.

Resources and Upcoming Conferences

GP Guide to Clinical Care of Older People

According to Aged Care Insite, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has released its fifth edition of the Silver Book, a guide for GPs dealing with the clinical care of older people.

New spiritual guide for community providers

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the latest resource from Meaningful Ageing Australia provides information for community aged care providers on how to introduce a spiritual care program for their clients. The guidebook, titled The Space Between: Implementing spiritual care in community aged care, is based on an award-winning program run by Catholic Healthcare over the past decade.

New Aged Care Means Assessment Forms

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released the new Aged Care Calculation of your cost of care (SA486) digital form. Your clients can fill it in online, print and sign it and send it to DHS with their supporting documents. The digital form uses dynamic questions tailored to the customers’ individual circumstances.

Uploading Data Collection Template: Quick Reference Guide for CHSP providers

The My Aged Care Provider Portal will open from 22 July until 11.59pm AEST 23 October 2019 for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers to upload the grandfathered client data collection template. The Department of Health has released a Quick Reference Guide that explains how to upload the data collection template into the My Aged Care Provider Portal and select the services each client receives.

Standard 8 Organisational Governance Masterclass – various locations across NSW, ACT and QLD in September and October 2019

Australian Ageing Agenda invites you to join your fellow directors, chief executive officers, executives & mangers to enhance your understanding of the Consumer Outcome, Organisation Statement and Requirements of Standard 8 and the practical steps and activities you should take.

Managing Dignity of Risk Challenges in Residential Aged Care WORKSHOP – various locations across Vic and NSW in October and November 2019

According to The Communiques, this essential workshop is designed for executives, senior managers, clinicians and relevant personnel to provide a systematic approach to examining the issues of how to manage risks for older residents living in residential aged care facilities. Balancing staff and organizational responsibilities of duty of care with the residents’ rights and choice in Dignity of Risk. For more information, including times and locations of workshops, follow the link above and download the full program.

ACSA National Summit – 8-10 October 2019, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) is hosting the 2019 ACSA National Summit, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), 8–10 October 2019. The 2019 ACSA National Summit will bring together thought leaders and innovators – both local and international – to discuss hot topics, challenges and opportunities, workshopping together to uncover solutions to some of the aged care industry’s biggest challenges.

In Conversation with Professor Mary Marshall – Perth 22 October 2019; Sydney 31 October 2019

The Dementia Centre is hosting “In Conversation with Professor Mary Marshall”. Mary Marshall, Emeritus Professor, OBE, is an international leader in the design of environments for people living with dementia, and social care. Topics covered:

  • Mary Marshall's interest and career in dementia, where this started
  • why design was so important in her work
  • what has changed since she began in dementia design and social care
  • what needs to change
  • a Q & A with the audience opportunity.

LASA National Congress – 27-29 October 2019, Adelaide

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the LASA National Congress will offer global perspectives, best-practice keynotes, and interactive, thought-provoking discussions, designed to empower our industry to actively embrace future opportunities and become the change we want to see. This year’s theme is: Better Ageing Futures for All Australians.

National Conference on the Future of Aged Care: Beyond the Interim Report of the Royal Commission – 19-21 November 2019, Melbourne

According to Criterion Conferences, this national conference will be the first opportunity to critically unpack and explore the Royal Commission’s Interim Report, with strategic insights from key industry leaders and experts.

Strengthening the Aged Care Workforce – 3-5 December 2019, Melbourne

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, after two successful events in Sydney, the Strengthening the Aged Care Workforce conference will be taking place on the 3rd - 5th December 2019 in Melbourne for the first time. Designed in partnership with COTA Australia & ACSA, this conference will bring together industry leaders to discuss how service providers can train, support and guide their workforce through the changes taking place in this sector.

ACE Editorial Team
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | ACE Editorial Team
ACE is published by CompliSpace and Critical Success Solutions. CompliSpace is an Australian company that specialises in helping organisations manage their legal and regulatory obligations. Critical Success Solutions is an Australian company that specialises in helping Aged Care and Disability Services manage their regulatory and legal requirements.

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