Thank you for continuing to stay up to date with the latest information via this newsletter.
Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams and encourage them to subscribe for future updates. You can view past editions of the Protecting Older Australians Newsletter as well as other announcements for the aged care sector on the department's website.
Anyone living in an aged care facility, their family or representative who needs support should contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.
Continuous activity periods for the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID‑19 (SACWIC) Grant
Continuous SACWIC funding is now available for providers in locations where multiple hotspots are declared for the same hotspot or high risk location, and are separated by less than 14 days.
Activity periods for the SACWIC grant are determined by hotspot or high risk location declarations triggering Commonwealth support. Recently, there have been declarations announced in Victoria and New South Wales where the end date for the first hotspot or high risk location and the start date of the second hotspot or high risk location are less than 14 days apart.
To better support providers in these circumstances, declarations of hotspots and high risk locations separated by less than 14 days will be considered as one activity period for the purposes of SACWIC funding. This change to the current arrangement is designed to better support providers with any costs incurred with implementing single site arrangements across hotspot periods and minimise disruption to workers.
This change will mean that providers can submit one grant application for the SACWIC grant for continuous funding across the activity period, which will encompass both hot spots or high risk locations, at the end of the activity period. This change has been reflected, for relevant hotspot or high risk areas, in Appendix 1 of the SACWIC (GO4215) Grant Opportunity Guidelines.
Providers experiencing significant financial hardship may apply during the activity period, however these applications will be accepted on a case by case basis.
VIC Health - updated advice for aged care residential facilities
The Victorian Government has issued updated Guidance on COVID-19 risks for residential aged care facilities (PDF, 8 pages), with changes to Victoria’s restrictions that came into effect from 11.59pm on 19 September 2021. The key changes to the Directions include:
Prospective residents – regional Victoria (excluding Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong)
- Prospective residents who live in regional Victoria (excluding Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong) can visit an aged care facility in regional Victoria (excluding Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong). They can be accompanied by one other person who also lives in regional Victoria (excluding Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong). The facility must not be in Metropolitan Melbourne, Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire or Greater Geelong.
- Only one such visit can occur at any one time.
- There is no limit on the number of prospective residents that can visit over the course of a day.
Prospective residents – Metropolitan Melbourne, Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong
- Prospective residents who live in Metropolitan Melbourne, Ballarat, Mitchell Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Greater Geelong can visit an aged care facility if they are:
- An inpatient in an acute care hospital awaiting discharge to a residential aged care facility (or a nominated family member visiting on behalf of the inpatient).
- A resident of an aged care facility that is due to close and are therefore required to find alternative accommodation.
For further advice please keep up to date with the Requirements for residential aged care facilities.
Please don’t hesitate to contact agedcareCOVIDpreparedness@health.vic.gov.au if you have any questions.
Wellbeing Webinar series for older people, their families and carers
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) are holding a three-part wellbeing webinar series featuring researchers, health and wellbeing specialists and people with lived experience to share their tips, ideas and suggestions, so you or an older person you know, can support their physical, mental and emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Older people are looking ahead to what a reopening after COVID-19 restrictions will look like for them.
'Your Wellbeing', a three-part webinar series from OPAN, supports older people to prepare to get back to doing what they love with the people they love, as soon as they can do so safely.
The first webinar in the series was held on Tuesday 14 September, you can watch Your Wellbeing: Supports during COVID-19.
The upcoming webinars are:
- Your Wellbeing: Staying Physically Active
Tuesday 28 September 2021 at 11:30 AM (AEST) - Register to attend Staying Physically Active
- Your Wellbeing: Social and Emotional Strategies
Tuesday 12 October 2021 at 11:30 AM (AEDT) - Register to attend Social and Emotional Strategies
Tune in or screen the series in your aged care home for tips and ideas to get ready to live life to the fullest when your community reopens after COVID restrictions.
More information about this series and how to register can be found on the OPAN website.
State and Territory aged care COVID-19 information
As the COVID-19 situation can change rapidly, aged care providers are reminded to stay up to date on visitor restrictions, PPE requirements and other measures relating to COVID-19 in aged care, from their relevant state or territory website below: