Thank you for continuing to stay up to date with the latest information.
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.
National webinar on Aged Care COVID-19 preparedness
Monday, 13 December 2021 – 2pm to 3pm AEDT
Aged Care Providers are encouraged to check and maintain their COVID-19 outbreak management preparedness as we continue to move towards ‘living with COVID’, including in the context of increased movement across borders and higher levels of aged care visitation anticipated over the upcoming holiday period.
The department is hosting a COVID-19 preparedness webinar for the aged care sector to highlight the importance of being prepared to respond to any future COVID-19 cases in aged care. This will include key reminders on infection prevention and control, and the supports provided by the Commonwealth in the event of an outbreak.
The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, will be joined by the following presenters to talk about the importance of outbreak preparedness:
- Mr Michael Lye, Deputy Secretary of the Ageing and Aged Care Group
- Ms Janet Anderson PSM, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner
- Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM – Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer
- CEO’s of two leading aged care providers to detail their experiences dealing with outbreaks to date.
The webinar will be held on Monday, 13 December 2021, 2pm‑3pm AEDT
11am – 12pm WA | 12.30pm – 1.30pm NT
1.30pm – 2.30pm SA | 1pm – 2pm QLD
This webinar is FREE and registration is not required. The webinar will be recorded and available on the department’s website for on demand viewing.
This webinar is relevant for all levels of aged care workers involved in preparing for and responding to COVID-19 outbreaks. This includes staff at the executive and senior management level (e.g. CEOs, CFOs, quality and assurance managers and residential aged care facility managers) as well as those workers involved in direct care for residents and practical on-the-ground response actions.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the Minister and the department.
The details to join the webinar are provided below:
Join by personal device or computer:
Event number: 2653 133 6294
Event password: BZkSHygF383 (29574943 from phones)
Join by phone:
+61-2-9338-2221 Australia Toll Free
Access code: 265 313 36294
COVID-19 webinars for in-home and community aged care workers now online
The last in a series of special COVID-19 webinars for in-home and community aged care workers are now available on the department's website. The webinars were held for workers across Australia in every state and territory.
The webinars cover topics such as:
- why it is so important to get vaccinated against COVID-19
- how the COVID-19 vaccination mandate in a worker’s state or territory applies to them
- how workers can access priority vaccinations
- how workers will be supported to be vaccinated by their workplace
- grant opportunities available for employers to support their workers to get vaccinated
- some of reasons workers might feel hesitant about getting vaccinated and how they can be reassured.
Each webinar includes around 30 minutes of Q&A discussion covering questions submitted by workers.
FREE 1-2-1 sessions with an Emergency/Crisis Management Practitioner
A reminder that FREE 1-2-1 sessions with an emergency/crisis management practitioner are available throughout December 2021, under the Aged Care Emergency and Crisis Management Training Program.
This is a valuable opportunity for you to work with an experienced emergency/crisis management professional to receive tailored guidance specific to your organisation’s unique circumstances.
The sessions will leverage First5/RiskLogic’s significant crisis management expertise to help better prepare your organisation to maintain delivery of safe and quality care in challenging situations. They will build on the foundational theory presented in the online training, as well as the Resilience Policy and Framework content covered in the group mentoring webinars to date.
The number of sessions are limited. First5/RiskLogic will be inviting those who have completed over 50 per cent of the online training modules to register for the 1-2-1 mentoring on a first-come, first‑serve basis.
For those yet to register for or complete the FREE online modules – it’s not too late!
You can still visit the RiskLogic website to find further information and sign-up, with this training continuing to be available until 23 December 2021.
SA Health – updated strategy for RACFs
The South Australian Office for Ageing Well has released an updated COVID-19 Strategy for Residential Aged Care Facilities (PDF 73 pages) that includes advice on decision making regarding ongoing care of RACFs residents who test positive to COVID-19, as well as other changes reflective of the current COVID-19 situation in SA. This Strategy will continue to be updated as and when required.
To support the Strategy, two supplementary fact sheets have been developed to provide detailed information to RACFs about the support that they can expect to receive from SA Health in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak:
- The Care Location for COVID-positive RACF Residents fact sheet (PDF 3 pages) provides information to RACF about the risk-based criteria used to determine either care-in-place or hospital transfer for COVID-positive RACFs residents.
- The COVID-19 Primary Care Response Strategy Interface with RACF fact sheet (PDF 3 pages) outlines the interface between the COVID Care Response Team (CRCT) and RACF, and clarifies the different roles of CRCT and CDCB in RACF COVID-19 outbreaks.
A range of other resources are also being developed to provide additional support to aged care providers as the state transitions to the next phase of its COVID-19 response, including:
- SA Health Guidance for COVID exposures in aged care settings. In the meantime, you may wish to review the Department of Health’s Work Permissions and Restrictions Framework for Workers in Health Care Settings (PDF 13 Pages)
- Guidelines for the appropriate use of Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) by RACF.
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in RACF, the Joint Protocol: Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in South Australia Residential Aged Care Facilities (PDF 35 pages) formalises the coordination of government support to an aged care provider in managing the outbreak and this will be reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect the current requirements.
Further information about COVID-19 and Aged Care is available on the SA Health website.
NSW Health – festive season guidance for RACFs
NSW Health has developed festive season guidance for residential aged care facilities, which provides tips and reminders for providers when hosting festive events and activities in a RACF.
Being prepared means your facility and residents can enjoy this time, while remaining COVID-safe. Please feel free to download it and circulate it to your facility community.
OPAN free online concert – Jingle Bell Rockout
Tuesday 14 December : 2pm – 3pm (AEDT)
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is hosting a free end of year concert in celebration for older people throughout Australia featuring Australian Idol winner and popular singer-songwriter Damien Leith. Hosted by Kyle Olsen and Maria Berry, this hour-long live event is set to spread cheer across the country, with appearances from National Older Persons Reference Group members who will share their festive season traditions.
Register for yourself or on behalf of your RACF to stream this glittering and fun-filled event.
If you register but can't make it on the day, you will be provided a replay link to enjoy the event at your convenience.