Information for the Aged Care Sector Issue 2021/18

In this issue: celebrate the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2021, dementia in Australia report released, support for the Stolen Generations accessing aged care, and upcoming engagement activities calendar.

Date published:
Health sector

Celebrate the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2021

The United Nation’s International Day of Older Persons is a reminder to celebrate the older people in our lives and recognise the significant contribution they make to our communities.

This year’s theme, Digital Equity for All Ages, highlights the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons. For advice and learning resources, including e-safety training, visit the Be Connected website, an Australian Government initiative designed to empower all Australians to develop digital skills and confidence.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and the Council of the Ageing (COTA) are also marking 1 October as Australia's inaugural Ageism Awareness Day.

A live social media video by OPAN will touch on conversations about ageism, its impact, and how we can each play a part in combatting harmful stereotypes. To find out more, visit OPAN’s Facebook page. To register for a webinar held by COTA, visit Every Age Counts website.

Dementia in Australia report released

On 20 September, during Dementia Action Week, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the Dementia in Australia 2021 report. The report is the first of its kind in almost 10 years and provides a comprehensive picture of dementia and its impacts on Australia’s health and aged care systems.

Up to 472,000 Australians are living with dementia, and more than half of people in residential aged care have dementia. Dementia is now the third-leading cause of disease burden in Australia and the second-leading cause of death.

For more information read the report or watch the watch the video of the online launch.

Support for the Stolen Generations accessing aged care

By 2023 all of the more than 17,000 Stolen Generations survivors in Australia will be aged 50 and over.

For trauma survivors, things that happen in their daily lives can trigger a reaction, such as anger, breathlessness, crying or feeling sick. These triggers are personal and unpredictable.

To help you to provide appropriate care, safety and comfort for Stolen Generations survivors and their families, the Healing Foundation provides training and resources, including a Working with the Stolen Generations guide, fact sheet for aged care staff, Healing Our Way podcast and glossary poster.

Planning ahead to provide culturally appropriate trauma-informed care for Stolen Generations survivors, and ensuring aged care workers understand the meaning of ‘healing’ to reduce re-traumatisation is suggested in the Action plan to support Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people guide.

Effective use of these tools may help you demonstrate Standard 2 of the Aged Care Quality Standards. For more information email

Upcoming engagement activities calendar

The Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub now has a calendar of upcoming engagement activities to help you identify activities of interest and plan your involvement.

The Hub is a central source of information about aged care engagement activities with the department. It includes listings for current engagement activities such as webinars, online forums, surveys and consultation papers.

As we progress the reforms together with you, please get involved and encourage others to as well. Visit the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub and sign up at

Have your say: improving choice in residential aged care

The department is seeking feedback about the design and implementation of a new residential aged care system that will assigning places directly to senior Australians from 1 July 2024.

The new system will give people more choice in selecting a provider and foster a stronger residential aged care market.

You are invited to provide feedback on the design and implementation of this major reform. Submissions are open until 14 November 2021 via the department’s Consultation Hub.

New reporting: Form now available for First Food and Nutrition Report due 21 October 2021

If you signed an undertaking with the Department of Health for the 2021 Basic Daily Fee supplement, your first Food and Nutrition Report is due by 11:59pm AEDT on 21 October 2021.

The form is now available on the My Aged Care service provider portal. Download a copy of the explanatory notes to help you complete the report.

The Food and Nutrition Report will look at the quality and quantity of daily living services provided to residents, with a focus on food and nutrition. It is for residential aged care services and Multi-Purpose Services.

Please note that supplement payments will cease if reports are not submitted by due date. Back-payments will not be provided.

If you have any questions or require assistance with the report, please email

New reporting: Priority 2 reportable incidents to be lodged from 1 October

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is rolling out the next phase of the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) to residential aged care, as part of its work to protect and support the welfare of senior Australians.

From 1 October 2021, residential aged care providers will be required to report Priority 2 incidents using the SIRS tile on the My Aged Care service provider portal.

A Priority 2 notification is a reportable incident that does not meet the criteria for a Priority 1 reportable incident. Under the SIRS legislation:

  • Priority 2 reportable incidents must be reported to the Commission within 30 days of a provider becoming aware of the incident.
  • Priority 1 reportable incidents must continue to be reported within 24 hours.

A decision support tool to determine the priority of an incident will be available on the Commission’s website from 1 October. For more information please see the SIRS guidelines.

Reminder! Fees on resident's day of departure

Residential providers are reminded that only some types of residential aged care fees can be charged on the day a resident permanently leaves your service. Under the Aged Care Act 1997 you can charge:

  • a basic daily fee
  • an accommodation payment.

You can only charge these fees if you provided the resident with the services they are intended to cover on their day of departure. You cannot charge:

  • a means-tested care fee
  • an accommodation contribution.

Go to the department’s website to learn more.

Reminder! Do you have your Behaviour Support Plans in place?

From 1 September 2021, it is a requirement for all residential aged care providers to have Behaviour Support Plans (BSP) in place for consumers that need them.

The BSPs form part of the existing Care and Services Plan and are aimed at protecting the rights, safety and wellbeing of senior Australians. They are required for any care recipient:

  • who needs behaviour support
  • where the use of a restrictive practice has been assessed as necessary, and
  • where a restrictive practice is being used.

For more information on minimising restrictive practices, visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

Have your say: Approved Provider application fee

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will soon be charging a fee to recover the costs of assessing applications to become an approved provider of aged care.

The fee is being introduced to:

  • new applicants for approved provider status
  • existing approved providers seeking approval to provide additional services or change the types of services they provide

It will ensure quality applicants enter the market, improve the efficiency of the approval process and reduce the number of applications that are incomplete or don’t reflect an understanding of legislated requirements.

The Commission has published a Cost Recovery Consultation Paper and invites you to share your feedback on its website.

QI Program Manual Part B now available

Part B of the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) Manual is now available for download. Part B contains a range of tools and resources aimed at helping providers to improve quality of care.

Further information about the QI Program, including the Manual, is available on the department’s website.

The way Home Care Package provides claim has now changed

Improved Payments Arrangements (IPA) legislation came into effect on 1 September 2021.

Tips for Home Care Package providers for the September claim include:

  • enter an invoice amount for every care recipient in care, even if $0
  • any unspent Commonwealth subsidy from the September claim onwards will accrue in the care recipient’s home care account, with the balance available in the payment statement and Aged Care Provider Portal
  • you can start to report provider-held Commonwealth unspent amounts, reporting at least once before 31 December 2021, with mandatory reporting ongoing from the December 2021 claim
  • you can opt in to return the Commonwealth unspent amount until 28 February 2022
  • for care recipients who depart on or after 1 September, you have 70 days to finalise outstanding amounts and adjust any event information.

You can read more on the Services Australia website.

Infographics and educational resources are available on the Health Professional Education Resources Gateway.

For more information, visit the department’s website.

Reminder: Appropriate use of Home Care Package funds

Home care service providers are reminded that they should not use Home Care Package funds to pay commissions for referrals by third parties. The department does not consider these charges to be reasonable business costs.

In addition, home care providers cannot charge the package for services provided before a home care agreement is in place.

Providers inappropriately using funds to pay these fees will be referred to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Learn more about Home Care Pricing on the department’s website.

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