Aged care news highlights from the week ending 06 September 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.
Industry alert: emergency planning for aged care services
According to the Department of Health, the high risk season for major Australian weather events and bushfires is approaching. It is important that all aged care providers are well prepared and able to respond to emergency events which may impact your service and ability to deliver care. Maintaining quality care under these circumstances requires effective emergency risk management and planning. The department’s website provides resources that can assist in your emergency planning.
New home care funds welcome but queue problem will persist: peak
According to Aged Care Insite, aged care minister Richard Colbeck has announced a bump in funding for entry-level home support, but aged care providers says the sector is being drip fed. Colbeck said $150 million in government funding will be spent over three years to enable more senior Australians to access entry-level home support. “Around 18,000 seniors will benefit from an expansion of entry-level home support over the next 12 months,” he said. “These grants will enable more services to be available in areas where demand outstrips supply so that senior Australians can continue to be at home.” Aged and Community Services (ACSA) said while the move will help thousands of Australians needing support, it won’t do much to dent the waiting list.
Dementia care: anti-psychotics a "last resort"
According to Hospital and Healthcare, recent research has found that dementia was a major cause of ill health and death in Australia, affecting up to 436,000 Australians in 2018 and causing more than 13,700 deaths in 2017. Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the research reports reinforced that more needed to be done to provide quality care for people living with dementia. “With the number of people living with dementia expected to increase to an estimated 1.1 million by 2058, this data reinforces for us that we must act now to improve medication management and support for people living with dementia in hospital environments.” A Dementia Australia paper, Medication use by people living with dementia, made recommendations including that anti-psychotics were used as a last resort and quality training in dementia care was provided for all staff working in hospitals.
Divorcees more likely to develop dementia
According to Hospital and Healthcare, divorcees are about twice as likely as married people to develop dementia, a Michigan State University study has found. The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, found that married people were less likely to experience dementia as they aged. Divorced men showed a greater disadvantage than divorced women. Sociology Professor Hui Liu and colleagues analysed four groups of unmarried individuals: divorced or separated, widowed, never married and cohabiting. Among them, the divorced had the highest risk of dementia.
Royal commission to focus on the young in aged care
According to Aged Care Insite, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety starts again this week in Melbourne and will focus on how younger Australians fare in the aged care system. Testimony will be heard from a number of people under the age of 65 who have had experience of residential care and the impact this has had on them and their families.
Queensland Government targets rogue providers with new Bill
According to Aged Care Insite, the Palaszszuk-led Queensland government made good on its promise to improve transparency among the private aged care facilities in the state, with the introduction of The Health Transparency Bill to state parliament. If passed, the bill will enable the collection and publication of information from private and public health facilities and residential aged care facilities, and would enable elderly residents and their families to make informed decisions when choosing a service.
Researchers developing data tool to identify at-risk residents
According to Australian Ageing Agenda, a research institute at Macquarie University has secured $1.8 million to develop a digital dashboard to help aged care providers monitor quality indicators and improve the health and wellbeing of residents. Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced last week a $1.3 million-grant for the Macquarie University’s Australian Institute of Health and Innovation from the National Health and Medical Research Council is among 298 new projects to share $440 million in funding.
Leaders propose strategies to improve sector viability
According to Australian Ageing Agenda, a deal between stakeholders about service and funding expectations, aged care treated as a necessary part of ageing and a non-political approach to accessing consumer wealth are among strategies needed to ensure the sector’s viability. That’s according to industry leaders and representatives who discussed the royal commission and sector issues at Health Metrics 2019 World Conference in Melbourne last Thursday. Panel members discussed key strategies needed to ensure viability of the sector in the current environment that includes the royal commission and its possible outcomes, the ageing population, declining profitability for providers and the public’s poor perception of aged care.
Aussie men lead long lives
According to Hospital and Healthcare, Australian men are living longer than any other group of males in the world, research from The Australian National University shows. And Australian women are ranked second behind their Swiss counterparts. The research was published in the journal Population Studies.
Health Transparency Bill 2019 (Qld) – Bill introduced to Legislative Assembly 4 September 2019 and referred to committee
The Bill establishes a legislative framework for collecting and publishing information about public and private hospitals and residential aged cared facilities (RACFs) and amends the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 to introduce a minimum nurse and support worker skill mix ratio and minimum average daily resident care hours in public RACFs.
Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 (WA) – Bill, second reading agreed, consideration in detail 3 September 2019
The purpose of this Bill is to provide for and regulate access to voluntary assisted dying and establish the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board.
Resources and Upcoming Conferences
REMINDER to have your say on alternative models for allocating residential aged care places – consultation closes 13 September 2019
The Department of Health is seeking your feedback on two proposed alternative models for allocating residential aged care places that encourage greater consumer choice. Your suggestions for other allocation models are also welcome. Visit the department’s Consultation Hub to view the discussion paper and provide feedback through the online survey – closes on Friday 13 September, 11.59 pm (AEST).
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.
Aged Care System Navigator Measure – Discussion Paper Open for Feedback Until 16 September 2019
The Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) has been engaged by the department to evaluate the Aged Care System Navigator Measure (the Measure). AHA has developed a discussion paper informed by stakeholder consultations and existing system navigator models. The paper outlines proposed design principles, components and considerations for implementation of aged care system navigator models in Australia. Feedback on the discussion paper will be used in the evaluation of the Measure and contribute to the aged care system navigation policy direction.
Living and Ageing Well Conference – 17 September 2019, Grand Hyatt Melbourne
According to Pearson Clinical Assessment, the overarching goal of clinical intervention when working with older people, regardless of diagnosis, is to improve the person’s quality of life. Whether you work with older adults in their own home and community, in a hospital, outpatient setting or in a residential aged care facility, there are strategies you could be using in your interventions to further enhance your clients’ quality of life. At this conference, we’ll share valuable insights and strategies from industry experts. And we’ll workshop tools designed to help you apply holistic care to older adults with a range of diagnoses, across many settings, with a goal of improving the quality of life for older adults.
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.
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.