The safety and well-being of aged care residents and staff remains a priority, as the Australian Government continues to work with states and territories and the aged care sector to transition to living with COVID‑19.
To assist with the COVID-19 emergency, the Government is encouraging residential aged care providers who have capacity to admit people being discharged from hospital where possible.
The Government is working with states and territories to ensure their public hospital systems are equipped to deal with any increase in hospitalisations as COVID-19 restrictions are eased in coming months.
As part of this it will be important that older Australians in hospital who will need ongoing residential care when they are discharged, are able to access care in a timely manner.
While admission practices are a matter for individual providers, we would strongly encourage you to consider people with higher dementia support needs and those with lower means.
If you do admit people with higher dementia needs, Dementia Support Australia (DSA) are able to offer support planning, clinical advice and information to service providers. More information is available at www.dementia.com.au.
Further, there is also financial support available to providers for residents who cannot pay for some or all of their accommodation costs or are facing financial hardship. Additional information is available on the accommodation supplement and on financial hardship.
There have also been a number of funding announcements and new initiatives to support aged care providers during COVID-19. Further details on these measures can be found on the department's website.
All aged care homes must follow the New Resident Entrance Protocol on COVID‑19 vaccination to protect new and existing residents. Providers should work with hospitals to ensure that:
- new entrants to residential aged care are offered a minimum first dose of a COVID‑19 vaccine prior to being discharged
- a resident’s COVID-19 vaccination status is included in the clinical transfer notes provided on discharge from hospital.
Providers are also reminded that their security of tenure obligations apply to existing residents returning from hospital.