Aged care news highlights from the week ending 21 July 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.
Queensland promises staffing level reports, mandated ratios
According to Aged Care Insite, private aged care providers operating in Queensland will be asked to publicly report staffing information. If they don’t, it may be published for them, should legislation proposed by the State Government go ahead. The move by premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is an effort to help bring the state’s private aged care providers in line with its public ones that will have mandated staff-to-patient ratios. As private aged care is the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government, the state’s mandated staffing legislation does not extend to such providers, but Palaszszuk said all would be asked to publicly report staffing information “for the sake of transparency”.
Maggie Beer says food budget of $7/day per aged care resident is 'impossible'
According to SBS News, celebrity chef Maggie Beer says it is heartbreaking to read the wide-ranging complaints about the food served in aged care homes. Some aged care homes spend as little as $7 a day on food for each resident amid a "race to the bottom" to cut costs, a royal commission has been told. Chef Nicholas Hall says some aged care providers and third-party caterers say they are interested in food satisfaction but are really only focused on saving money. "They're just racing to the bottom to see who can feed for the lowest amount of cost," Mr Hall told the aged care royal commission on Tuesday.
Government recruiting for aged care funding reform trial
According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the Department of Health is seeking residential aged care providers to trial a new assessment framework for residential aged care funding. The trial aims to develop and test a model of external assessment for residential aged care funding and will involve between 5,000 and 10,000 aged care residents in metropolitan, regional and remote areas, who will be assessed using the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) tool. The trial aims to:
- field test the assessment tool, IT systems and hardware, support arrangements, and assessment workforce management; and
- collect data to validate the findings about the expected distribution of care recipient classifications.
Malnutrition screening reported lacking in aged care
According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the system needs to focus on the individual and their nutritional needs because currently residents are malnourished and starving to death, the royal commission has heard. A panel of experts told the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hearing in Cairns on Tuesday about the dire need to improve nutrition in aged care. Qualified nutritionist and University of Melbourne researcher Dr Sandra Iuliano said the new Aged Care Quality Standards, which came into effect on 1 July, do not meet the needs of residents.
Awareness of Phone Scams
According to a Department of Health newsletter, all service providers should be aware that there have been recent reports of scammers targeting Home Care Package recipients via phone. These scammers often start by offering a better Home Care Package and attempting to lure the client into making a payment of some description, including through the purchase of vouchers. In one reported case, a scammer advised the client they could offer a better Home Care Package deal and that they were eligible to receive a sum of money, but in order to receive this money they had to pay upfront through the purchase of vouchers.
Aged care doesn’t need to be boring: Here’s how sport can help revitalise it
According to Aged Care Insite, it’s well known that exercise is a key element to living a long and healthy life. According to a recent Harvard study, it can help with cholesterol levels, reduce the chances of having a heart attack, ward off dementia and other degenerative mental disorders, and even help prevent cancer. But simply getting on a treadmill or exercise bike can become rote and boring. An active, engaging sports program can replace a traditional exercise program and actually offer more benefits than simply walking. The camaraderie of team sports and the competitive fires sparked by individual competitions will make exercise something to look forward to instead of something to dread.
Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2019 (Cth) – introduced 22 July 2019
Introduced to the House of Representatives on 22 July 2019, this is a Private Member's Bill to require the quarterly publication of ratios of aged care recipients to staff members for each residential care service operated by approved providers. The Bill aims to create greater public transparency in the provision of residential care services.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Amendment (Worker Screening Database) Bill 2019 – introduced 22 July 2019
Introduced to the House of Representatives on 22 July 2019, this is a Private Member's Bill to amend the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 to establish a database for nationally consistent worker screening, for the purpose of minimising the risk of harm to older Australians from those who work closely with them. The Bill will require all workers and volunteers in the aged care sector to undergo a screening process with their details then registered on a national database operated by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Resources and Upcoming Conferences
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.
Navigating the Aged Care System Webinars – 24 July 2019, 9.30am-12.00pm
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is running a series of free webinars on Wednesday 24 July:
- 9:30am-10am AEST - Webinar 4 - "What is My Aged Care" and "How to Register for My Aged Care"
- 10am-10:30am AEST - break
- 10:30am-11am AEST - Webinar 5 - Practical demonstration on how to register for My Aged Care
- 11am-11:30am AEST - break
- 11:30am-12pm - Webinar 6 - "Assisting with Registering for My Aged Care for Diversity Groups"
National Elder Abuse Conference – 22-23 July 2019, Brisbane
According to the National Elder Abuse Conference website, the NEAC will help safeguard the right of older Australians to live free from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect. NEAC 2019 is an opportunity to drive real change as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety unfolds and a National Plan on Elder Abuse is in the spotlight. With speakers being progressively announced, the inspiring line-up of international, national and local experts will attract more than 500 delegates from across Australia to collaborate on the issues associated with elder abuse.
Victorian Healthcare Week Expo – 23-24 July 2019, Melbourne Convention Centre
According to IQPC, the 9th Annual Victorian Healthcare Week Expo is returning to Melbourne next week on the 23-24 July at its new home - the Melbourne Convention Centre. Victorian Healthcare Week 2019 is the largest healthcare event in Victoria and is the premier meeting place for the Victorian Aged Care community to connect, network and explore the future of the design, delivery and operation of Australia's Aged Care system.
Royal Commission into Aged Care – Community Forum – 12 August 2019, Adelaide
According to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, a community forum will be held in Adelaide. Commissioner, The Honourable Richard Tracey AM RFD QC will attend.
Location: Adelaide Town Hall, Auditorium, 128 King William Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Date: Monday, 12 August 2019
Time: 1:30pm to 4:00pm
There will be a chance to give written feedback to the Commission and to talk to Commission staff. A limited number of people will be able to give a brief statement. If you would like to do so please let us know when you register. Guidelines will be provided to all registered speakers.
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.
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.
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.