Four Practical Things Aged Care Providers Can Do Right Now in Response to the Royal Commission’s Interim Report

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you would have heard something about the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. And it probably wasn’t good news.

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Weekly Wrap: August 18, 2019

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Weekly Wrap: August 18, 2019

Aged care news highlights from the week ending 18 August 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.


Home care regulation deficient, royal commission hears

According to Community Care Review, the regulation of quality and safety in home care is worse than in residential care even though home care clients potentially face greater risks, the Aged Care Royal Commission has heard. In closing statements after hearings in Brisbane last Friday, Senior Counsel Assisting Peter Gray QC said evidence heard by the commission in the course of the week had exposed “serious defects” in the regulation of safety and quality in aged care at both an operational and design level.

Stakeholders tell inquiry how to improve aged care

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, embedding pharmacists, tackling ageist practices, removing inequities and doing more to welcome pets in residential aged care are among recommendations in recent submissions to the royal commission. Pharmaceutical peak the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia highlighted medication safety issues in aged care and makes recommendations to ensure the safety of residents in its submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Red tape in aged care shouldn’t force staff to prioritise ticking boxes over residents’ outcomes

According to The Conversation, last week’s hearings at the aged care royal commission in Brisbane looked at regulation in aged care. While rules and regulations are designed to safeguard residents, bureaucratic “red tape” also contributes to the failings in aged care. The fear among nursing home staff of failing a review visit by an Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission surveyor has been known to shift the focus from care for residents to meeting paper trail requirements.

Mentors to aide budding aged care workers

According to Aged Care Insite, a new mentoring program is aiming to improve the perception of working in the aged care industry, amid fears staff demand will outweigh supply. The pilot program involves one-on-one mentoring with an aged care nurse, beginning with tertiary students in regional NSW and Queensland. Aged care provider Whiddon’s chief executive Chris Mamarelis said the program would help students gain clarity on the challenges and rewards of aged care work.

Are pill organisers doing more harm than good?

Nursing Review reports that the humble pill organiser could be doing more harm than good, according to researchers. The study shows that over the last decade double the amount of pill organisers are being prescribed in the UK, and pharmacists are not considering the potential implications of patients suddenly taking all their medicine. Researchers showed that patients were more likely to become unwell when they switched from taking their medication straight from the packet to using a pill organiser. This is likely because when the patients had been taking their medication sporadically, they weren’t getting the expected health improvements. Their doctor may therefore have increased the dose of the medication to try to get the desired effect. When these patients were switched to a pill organiser and suddenly started taking all of their medication as prescribed, they experienced side effects of the medication.

Questions raised over survey’s dire predictions of aged-care employment

According to The New Daily, academics have questioned a recent survey suggesting the aged care industry faces a staffing crisis. A YouGov Galaxy survey, published last week, asked students from university, tertiary college and TAFE if they’d contemplate working in aged care upon finishing their studies. Of the 500 respondents, 62 per cent (or 310) said that would be unlikely. The New Daily understands the survey, commissioned by aged-care provider Whiddon, did not take into account the courses that students were already enrolled in. It’s unsurprising students wouldn’t think to pursue a career in aged care if what they’re studying has no relevance to the industry, said Professor Irene Blackberry, director of La Trobe University’s John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research.

Let more people keep their pets in aged care: expert

According to Aged Care Insite, a researcher at the University of South Australia has called for more aged care homes to allow their residents to keep pets. Dr Janette Young, a lecturer in health sciences, made a formal submission to the aged care royal commission, calling on more homes to be accepting of animals in a country where one in two over 65s keep pets. Young pointed to the many health benefits of having a pet and said that for people in aged care pets can provide companionship, social interaction and a sense of purpose that may otherwise be lacking.

‘Dementia navigators’ to guide path after diagnosis

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, Dementia Australia has launched a trial program that will give people coping with a fresh diagnosis of the condition better access to local services and support. Funded by the federal government, the Dementia Care Navigator Trial will run in Perth and Dubbo, with plans to take the program wider in time. In those two locations, people living with dementia, their families and carers will have access to a dedicated support person, an information hub and regular seminars.

Legislation

Nothing in the news this week.

Resources and Upcoming Conferences

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.

Provider Survey – Future Design of CHSP – open 14 August 2019 to 2 September 2019

The Department of Health is seeking information from Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers regarding aspects of their current and planned service delivery. This information will be used to inform the design and development of the CHSP over the 2020 - 2022 extension period and beyond. A link to the survey will be sent via email to all CHSP service providers from 14 August 2019. The survey will close on 2 September 2019. The department encourages all providers to complete the survey to ensure your views are represented in the future CHSP design process.

Quality in Aged Care National Conference – 26-29 August 2019, Sydney

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the Quality in Aged Care Conference running in Sydney from the 26th – 29th August is once again brought to you in partnership with COTA Australia and ACSA. Following a gathering of over 200 leaders at the previous in March 2019, this next conference offers insights into the next chapter of aged care reform. It is a critical opportunity for all providers of aged care services to learn from industry leaders, peak bodies and legislators and prepare their organisations for some of the biggest challenges facing the industry, including the Royal Commission and the new standards.

Crossing the Chasm - From Compliance to Innovative Dining Solutions – Webinar – 29 August 2019

According to Winc, a poor meal and dining experience can not only have a detrimental impact on a resident’s emotional well-being but it can also lead to malnutrition resulting in increased risk of falls, illness, injury, reduced quality of life and premature death. In this webinar, Jo Cleary will discuss her solutions of how we can address this issue and better utilise food and labour resources. She’ll include novel and practical solutions that you can implement immediately.

Health Metrics 2019 World Conference – 29-30 August, Melbourne

According to Health Metrics, the 2019 conference entitled “Adapt and Align to New Thinking”, will inform and engage providers of aged care, retirement living, primary health care, home and disability care. Industry leaders and service-providers are invited to hear the latest on Technology & Innovation, Leadership & Management, Quality & Standards, Analytics & Reporting, Government, Policy and the Royal Commission.

Navigating the Aged Care System Webinar Series – Webinar 4: Aged care support and service options – Friday 30 August 11.00am – 12.30pm

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is holding a webinar on:

  • Basic help at home: overview of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme
  • How to begin services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme

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.

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.

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.

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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