The Australian Government Department of Health is currently delivering $18.3 billion in aged care reforms together with the aged care sector. Our vision is for aged care services to be accessible, high quality and to care for senior Australians with respect and dignity.
In this issue, how you can help us create safer aged care accommodation, phase two grants open for the Specialist Dementia Care Program, and we shine a light on best practice for hearing assistance programs in aged care.
Data experts IQVIA to conduct consumer experience interviews
Consumer experience interviews will be undertaken in residential aged care services to help inform Star Ratings, which will give senior Australians more confidence when choosing aged care services.
To conduct the interviews, the department has engaged IQVIA in a consortium with Access Care Network Australia and Health Consult, which has substantial experience in the aged care sector. IQVIA will be in touch with residential aged care providers to schedule interviews.
Around 20% of care recipients will be interviewed nationally, including residents from vulnerable communities, diverse cultures and those with special needs.
Find more information on the department’s website and look out for an upcoming webinar.
Next 2021 Basic Daily Fee Supplement Report due 21 April 2022
Thanks to those providers who submitted their previous Basic Daily Fee Supplement Reports covering Food and Nutrition.
The next report is due 21 April 2022, for all residential aged care, Multi-Purpose Services and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care services. You can access the report from 1 April 2022.
To ensure your service continues to receive the Basic Daily Fee supplement of $10 per resident, submit your form by this due date. Back-payments will not be made.
Have your say: New residential aged care design standards
We want to hear what is important to senior Australians in the design of high quality residential aged care accommodation.
Senior Australians, their families, carers and aged care advocates can help us create safer, more innovative aged care accommodation.
Key elements of aged care accommodation include:
- dementia friendly
- suitable for diverse population
- safe design standards
- standards that support innovation.
We encourage you to share the online survey with the people you care for, their families and carers. They can also complete the survey by phone or request a hard copy with a reply-paid envelope.
Find more details on the department’s Consultation Hub. The survey is open now, and closes on 20 April 2022.
Specialist Dementia Care Program webinar: Apply for Phase Two grant
Eligible aged care providers in the following Primary Health Network regions are now able to apply for a grant through the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) Phase Two Grant Opportunity (GO5304):
- NSW: Hunter, New England and Central Coast, Central and Eastern Sydney, South Eastern Sydney
- WA: Perth South
- Victoria: Eastern Melbourne, Western Victoria
- SA: Adelaide
- Tasmania: northern and southern regions only
Applications for funding under this grant round close 2pm AEST, Friday 13 May 2022.
The department will host a webinar at 2–3pm AEST, Thursday 7 April 2022 to provide an overview of the SDCP; eligibility, referral and assessment process for the SDCP; learnings from the first phase; and more details on this grant opportunity.
Register for the webinar by 5pm AEST, Wednesday 6 April. Questions for the panel can be submitted when registering for the event.
The webinar will be recorded and available after the event. Find the recording and information about the Grant Opportunity (GO5304) on the GrantConnect website.
National Strategy for Volunteering: Submissions open for questions and feedback
Volunteering Australia (VA) has launched a website to help develop a National Strategy for Volunteering, the first of its kind in 10 years.
Over the next 6 months, VA is looking to engage with all people who have a vision for volunteering in Australia.
VA will conduct consultations until September to give you a chance to provide feedback and insights. People can have their say via an open submission page on the website and a mix of face-to-face and digital workshops in every state and territory.
Update your provider information on My Aged Care
Is your profile in the My Aged Care Find a provider tool accurate and up to date?
A strong profile helps potential care recipients see if your services are right for them. Assessors and My Aged Care contact centre staff also use your profile to refer recipients to services.
We’ve developed tips and guidelines about what to include in your organisation’s profile, how to edit it, and how this appears on the My Aged Care Find a provider tool. There’s also an option to provide feedback on this resource.
View tips and guidelines on the My Aged Care website. Look out for more tips focussing on different areas of your profile in the coming months.
National Forum: Enabling Better Aged and Community Care for Forgotten Australians
Many Forgotten Australians – people who were placed into institutional aged care or foster care as a child – continue to face complex issues as a result of their experiences.
The inaugural National Enabling Better Aged and Community Care for Forgotten Australians Forum is happening on 4 April in Brisbane and via Zoom. The hybrid event will bring together Forgotten Australians, service providers and researchers to highlight what the future could hold for aged and community care for Forgotten Australians.
Participating in this event may assist in identifying strategies to help your services provide culturally safe, appropriate, and inclusive care that is tailored to the needs of each individual.
Good Practice Guide for aged care hearing assistance programs
Did you know that more than 70% of Australians aged over 70 and around 85% of people in residential aged care experience hearing loss?
People with hearing loss may find it difficult to communicate, but there are some simple things those caring for them can do to help.
A free Good Practice Guide, endorsed by the Deafness Forum of Australia, is available to help establish and maintain an effective hearing assistance program. The guide was prepared for residential aged care and is also applicable in home care.
Adopting the strategies in this Guide may assist you to provide appropriate care tailored to the needs of each individual – a requirement in Standard 1 of the Aged Care Quality Standards.
Have your say: Understanding the experience of the aged care sector using translating and interpreting services
The department is conducting a survey on the issues the aged care sector faces when accessing translating and interpreting services for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people, Auslan users and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families.
We would also like to understand difficulties residents may have in accessing information due to low literacy, and/or vision or hearing impairments.
Responses are confidential, and respondents will remain anonymous.
We encourage you to complete this short online survey, closing COB 22 April 2022.
Information for providers using Services Australia’s Aged Care Online web services
Aged Care software developers should have now upgraded their web services products.
Aged Care providers upgrading to web services need to:
- have web services-compatible Business to Government (B2G) software
- register their organisation in Provider Digital Access (PRODA) – this can be done in PRODA now, while awaiting web services software to become available
- register the device in PRODA
- register the details of which services are using B2G software by completing the Register or update for Aged Care web services form (AC027). AC027 forms cannot be processed until your developer’s Notice of Integration (NOI) has been issued.
Find more information on the Services Australia website.
Help for software developers to prepare for aged care system change
Services Australia is upgrading its residential aged care payment system from June 2022.
This system upgrade will affect you if you are a software developer providing services to residential aged care providers. You’ll need to update your software so these providers can continue using your products to access our services.
Support files for the new residential aged care funding model are now available to help you do this.
These changes support the transition to the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model on 1 October 2022.