Protecting older Australians – COVID-19 update 26 June 2020

What’s new: residential respite fact sheet, temporary subsidy increase for Home Care Packages during COVID-19, translated resources and a reminder: Stay COVID free – do the 3.

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s edition includes a new fact sheet for residential respite providers and information on the temporary subsidy increase for Home Care Packages.

We have also included a list COVID-19 resources that have been translated into a number of languages and updated FAQs on flu vaccination requirements for aged care facilities.

A reminder that this newsletter will now be published twice weekly and will continue to include updates and resources relating to COVID-19.

As always, many thanks to you and your teams for your continued support to protect older Australians.

Residential respite fact sheet

To further assist residential respite providers, an Information for residential respite providers fact sheet is now available.

This fact sheet includes current guidance on ACAT assessment processes, residential respite extensions, and general program delivery information to support providers during COVID-19.

Temporary subsidy increase for Home Care Packages during COVID-19

An additional $22 million is available to Home Care Package providers to support additional service delivery costs and workforce supply pressures during COVID-19. Providers can use these funds to meet increased costs resulting from COVID-19, such as additional infection control procedures and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for aged care workers in accordance with this guidance.

Any changes to current pricing as a result of COVID-19 must be included in a care recipient’s Home Care Agreement and consent to these changes must be obtained. Care recipients must not be disadvantaged by any pricing changes or the introduction of a new service charge. Updated prices, including temporary changes, must be published in the Full Price List on My Aged Care. Read further information on price transparency.

If providers choose to introduce and charge care recipients for a new service, providers should note:

  • The new service must involve providing the consumer with additional care and/or service in exchange for the new charge.
  • Providers must not separately charge for business costs. Business costs may be rolled into the prices of care and support services.
  • A provider may charge for package management costs but this charge must be no more than a reasonable amount. This may cover the cost of organisational activities including compliance, quality assurance and infection control plans and procedures.

If providers are unsure of their responsibilities in relation to proposed price changes or service charges, they should obtain their own independent legal advice.

The temporary subsidy increase covers the period 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020, unless otherwise stated by the Department.

Translated resources

The Australian Government has engaged with multicultural communities since the beginning of the pandemic, given its early impact on specific culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

In addition to the Department of Health’s campaign materials, the Department of Home Affairs has established a dedicated website – COVID-19 Information in your language, providing culturally and linguistically diverse communities with a single source of information in 63 languages other than English.

Resources that are available from the COVID-19 Information in your language website include the following fact sheets:

  • Stay COVID Free Do The 3
  • Testing for COVID-19
  • What you need to know about Coronavirus
  • Help for finances and mental health
  • Protecting you from Coronavirus
  • Easing of Restrictions
  • Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia
  • COVIDSafe app - New tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19
  • It’s OK to have home care

Other translated resources that are available including the aged care visitor access code, can be found on the department’s website.

Stay COVID free – do the 3 and stay home if unwell

Once again, we are reminding everyone working in aged care to stay at home if you are unwell – even if you are only mildly unwell. It is the best thing you can do for the vulnerable people you care for.

This is just one measure needed to ensure you keep yourself and others safe. The Stay COVID free – do the 3 poster also details how important it is to wash hands, maintain physical distancing and download the COVIDSafe App.


Coming soon

  • Provider perspective on outbreak management

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