Your Aged Care Update – 10 October 2023 – Issue #39

Your Aged Care Update #39: Age care sector survey open; New process for palliative care entry and more.

Date published:
Health sector

Aged care reforms survey now open

As we continue to reform aged care, we want to understand how to support you to implement changes to aged care.

Are you receiving the information you need to effectively plan and prepare for the reforms? What’s not working? How are the reforms impacting you?

Take our short survey to help us measure your awareness of upcoming reforms and the support you need to prepare and implement changes.

The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. Please share this link with others in the sector, so they can have their say too.

Your input lets us know what we need to do to assist you and ensure changes to aged care are adopted.

The survey closes on 31 October 2023.

Referrals open for older people to receive in-person visits from a volunteer

Older people who may not have regular contact with friends or relatives, or are feeling isolated from their culture or heritage, benefit from a volunteer visitor.

The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) supports regular in-person volunteer visits to provide friendship and companionship to older people receiving government-funded residential aged care or a Home Care Package.

Anyone can refer an older person to be matched with a volunteer visitor, including their aged care service provider, family member, friend, or the person can refer themselves.

If you think your home care recipient or resident will benefit from companionship, refer them to the ACVVS by filling this online request a volunteer form. It will only take a few minutes.

Are you prepared to manage older people's health during heatwaves?

Now is the time to prepare for managing the health of older people during heatwaves.

Severe heatwaves will be a part of this high-risk weather season.

Consider how you’ll monitor for heat-related illness in older people living in residential care, or those accessing home-based care during heatwaves.

Check our new guidance to help you review and update plans, including checklists for:

Older people often suffer more acutely from heat stress and dehydration. This can be because of pre-existing conditions and even some medications. The more these factors are at play, the worse the effect could be.

For more information on the high risk weather season, access the National Emergency Management Agency's 2023-24 briefing.

COVID-19: Frequently asked questions on ATAGI updated advice on 2023 booster dose

If it has been six months since receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, an additional dose:

  • is recommended for people aged 75 or older
  • should be considered for people aged 65-74, following discussion with their health care provider.

Aged care residents who have not yet received any booster dose this year are advised to do so.

Aged care providers are responsible for ensuring residents have access to COVID-19 vaccine doses. Contact your primary care vaccine provider or your Primary Health Network to organise COVID-19 boosters for residents.

Frequently asked questions are available:

For information on COVID-19 vaccinations for aged care providers, visit the department’s website.

Resources available ahead of webinar: Quality improvement in residential aged care

Our ‘Quality improvement in residential aged care’ webinar, on 2 November 2023, will focus on the Quality Indicators and Star Ratings programs.

In the webinar our QI Program and Star Ratings teams will share real examples from across the sector and advice on how to make the most of our quality improvement manuals.

To prepare for the webinar, providers are encouraged to view our website resources.

Quality Indicators:

Star Ratings:

Register to attend the webinar.

New process for palliative entry into residential aged care

The palliative care entry process for residential aged care has changed.

From 1 October 2023 approved providers have 14 days from the date of a resident’s permanent (non-respite) entry into residential aged care to:

  • ensure the resident has undergone a medical assessment by an independent medical or nurse practitioner confirming their palliative care status
  • submit the Palliative Care Status Form.

Providers must notify Services Australia of a resident’s entry for palliative care within 28 days of the resident’s entry to the service.

To fulfill the notification requirement, complete the Aged Care Entry Record in the Services Australia Aged Care Provider Portal.

For more information see the updated Palliative Care Status Form.

COVID-19: Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Lead role survey reminder

IPC Leads are invited to tell us how effective and impactful their role has been during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthcare Management Advisors are working with us to understand:

  • how well the IPC Lead role has been implemented and recommendations to improve it
  • what is the perception and experience of the role
  • how well the IPC Lead role has been supported
  • how the IPC Lead role has impacted the role of nurses generally
  • training and education needs for IPC leads.

Complete the IPC Lead role online survey by 31 October 2023.

More information

Reminder: Feedback on the Draft Design Principles and Guidelines for residential accommodation

There is still time for residential aged care providers to have their say on the draft Design Principles and Guidelines.

We are seeking your feedback on the draft and factors likely to impact adoption.

Your feedback will help us finalise the Design Principles and Guidelines before their introduction from 1 July 2024.

It will also inform a new Residential Aged Care Accommodation Framework, including measures to support implementation.

The survey closes on 20 October 2023.

Have your say on the future of Australia’s nursing workforce

We’re working on a National Nursing Workforce Strategy for all sectors, including aged care. The strategy will address workforce challenges and support the nursing sector to deliver care that puts people at the centre.

To help inform the strategy we’re running:

  • face-to-face workshops in metropolitan and regional areas in each state and territory until the end of November 2023
  • webinars and an online survey will be available in October for participants who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions (more details to come).

During these sessions, we hope to capture views on nursing workforce issues and better understand the enablers and barriers which impact on the delivery of care.

Sign up to attend a workshop.

Learn more about the National Nursing Workforce Strategy.

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.