Your Aged Care Update – 21 November 2023 – Issue #45

Your Aged Care Update #45: Alternative clinical care arrangements for when a Registered Nurse is not on-site; Free Maggie Beer Foundation food satisfaction questionnaire; National Nursing Workforce Strategy consultation and more.

Date published:
Audience:
Health sector

Alternative clinical care arrangements for when a Registered Nurse is not on-site

Residential aged care facilities must have a registered nurse (RN) on-site and on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless they have an exemption.  
  
When there isn’t an RN onsite, providers must have alternative clinical care arrangements in place to meet the clinical care needs of residents at all times.  
 
This includes alternative care arrangements:  

  • for residents who need high-level or complex care  
  • to monitor residents and detect clinical deterioration  
  • to access emergency services if needed.  

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has published a fact sheet on alternative care arrangements.  
  
More information on alternative care arrangements is available on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website.

Free palliative care education and training for aged care staff

Free training and education is available to build the skills of aged care staff who look after people who have a life-limiting illness.

Education and training can be delivered through: 

  • online or in-person courses and training programs  
  • in-service on the job training 
  • professional colleges’ continuing professional development (CPD) programs.  

Topics include: 

  • the principles of palliative care 
  • end-of-life care 
  • ethical and legal issues 
  • communication skills 
  • psychosocial and spiritual issues 
  • identifying and controlling symptoms 
  • multidisciplinary care and teamwork.

Enrol in a program or course

Influenza vaccination reporting now open

Residential aged care and home care providers should report influenza vaccinations provided in 2023 for: 

  • aged care residents, where applicable 
  • residential and home care staff, who have voluntarily provided information. 

This data collection enables us to: 

  • plan and support vaccination activities in 2024 
  • make sure steps have been taken to protect residents and staff from infectious diseases. 

Access the online reporting form until Thursday 29 February 2024.

New video series on the Aged Care Quality Standards

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has launched the Up to Standards video series. The new video series was developed to answer the most common questions on the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards.   
  
The first episode discusses the anticipated timing of implementation and the Commission’s role.   
   
If you have any questions or feedback about the Standards, please email agedcarereform@agedcarequality.gov.au to help the Commission ensure that the sector is prepared.  

Webinar: Cross-cultural communication in an aged care setting

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing (Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care Victoria) is hosting a free webinar for people working in the aged care sector.

The webinar will provide information on communicating effectively with residents from diverse cultural backgrounds in an aged care setting (cross-cultural communication). We will also discuss the Cross-Cultural Care Program for Aged Care Staff developed by Flinders University.

When: Tuesday 28 November at 2 pm (AEDT) 

Register for the webinar

The webinar is part of the online Cultural Diversity in Ageing Interactive Webinar Series 2023-24 and may assist aged care providers to meet the aged care quality standards.

You can watch recordings of the previous webinars from the 2021, 2022 and 2023 Diversity Webinar Series for free, anytime.

Free Maggie Beer Foundation food satisfaction questionnaire available until December

We are encouraging residential aged care providers to take up the Maggie Beer Foundation's food satisfaction questionnaire. The questionnaire is part of the Improving Food in Aged Care through Education and Training program.

This free and easy-to-use questionnaire measures food satisfaction amongst residents, their families and staff. Accurate data will give you a clear insight into what you are doing well and what can be improved.

The food satisfaction questionnaire comes with online training, a user guide and ongoing support to help you collect data. It was developed by Flinders University and has been peer-reviewed as valid and reliable.

The food satisfaction questionnaire is available until December 2023. To register your interest visit the Maggie Beer Foundation website or go directly to Flinders University food satisfaction questionnaires.

COVID-19: Protecting aged care residents

Residential aged care providers are reminded of their responsibilities to protect residents from COVID-19. 

Make sure your: 

  • outbreak management plan is up-to-date 
  • staff and visitor screening and access is in place 
  • staff know infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures, including mask wearing
  • resident and staff vaccinations are up-to-date
  • residents can access antivirals quickly if needed. 

See the our website for prevent and prepare and COVID-19 support information. 

The 2023 summer supply of bulk personal protective equipment (PPE) is completed.  It is your responsibility to store and maintain a standard PPE supply through existing commercial channels. 

Check your state or territory health department advice for community risk. WA Health and NSW Health advise aged care homes to consider mask wearing requirements for staff and visitors. 

Prepare now for bushfire season: Resident relocation

In an emergency like a bushfire, you may need to relocate residents to maintain their level of care.

When this happens, you can temporarily relocate residents to a different aged care home or location. You do not need to discharge them from your service.

Our fact sheet covers temporary relocation of resident arrangements: 

  • provider responsibilities  
  • funding 
  • what help is available to providers. 

During an emergency, always contact 000 first. After you have called emergency services, you can also contact your local state and territory office if: 

  • you need help finding accommodation because of an evacuation 
  • you cannot meet your obligations under your grant or aged care funding agreement. 

For contact details and more help to maintain service continuity during emergencies, visit Service continuity and emergency events in aged care

Survey: Communicating with people with limited English proficiency

Monash University invites residential aged care staff to complete a 20-minute survey about their experience communicating with residents who have limited proficiency in English.

This will be used as part of a project to improve the care of older people with limited English proficiency living in residential aged care homes.

All participants who complete the survey will go in the draw for one of 10 x $50 eGift Cards.

Complete the survey

If you have any questions, please contact Jason Yeung, Research Assistant, on (03) 9904 4822 or ncha.racren@monash.edu.

The ethical aspects of this project have been approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (Ref no: 23885). 

Webinar: Home Care Packages - Program Assurance Reviews

You are invited to a webinar about the key learnings and outcomes of the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program Assurance Reviews on unspent funds and pricing transparency on My Aged Care. 

The webinar follows the publication of the summary reports for the 2 reviews.
 
When: Thursday, 7 December 2023, 2pm (AEDT)
 
The webinar will include a live Q&A and you can submit a question when you register. 
 
Register for the webinar
 
This webinar will be recorded and available at webinars for the aged care sector
 
Find more information and the summary reports on HCP Program Assurance

National Nursing Workforce Strategy consultation

We invite nurse practitioners, registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing (however named), nursing students and aged care providers to give us feedback on the National Nursing Workforce Strategy. 

Your input will identify opportunities that a national approach to nursing workforce strategy should consider.

To have your say: 

  • attend a workshop or webinar  
  • upload a short video  
  • make a written submission  
  • complete a short online survey.  

Visit the National Nursing Workforce Strategy Consultation Hub to participate.

Consultation closes 30 November 2023.

National Suicide Prevention for Seniors Program

Would you know what to do if an older person you support was having thoughts of suicide? 

Anglicare offers free suicide prevention training workshops for those caring for or working with older people.

You will learn about: 

  • warning signs of suicide  
  • common risk factors for older people 
  • how to have a conversation and refer someone to professional support.   

The online workshops run for 3 hours and no prior mental health knowledge is required. 
 
The program is accredited against the Suicide Prevention Australia standards and funded by the NSW and Australian governments.

If you are interested, email Anglicare at suicide.prevention@anglicare.org.au or visit suicide prevention on the Anglicare website.

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