The Australian Government Department of Health is currently delivering a significant program of 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 older Australians with respect and dignity.
In this issue, learn more about the AN-ACC funding reform, find out about an Auslan video interpreting service, register for webinars and training, and read an update on CHSP unspent funds.
Ensuring the right AN-ACC classification for aged care residents
With only 4 months until the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) is replaced by the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC), it is important for providers to ensure each resident in their care is given the right AN-ACC classification as this will determine the level of funding you will receive to meet their individual care needs. Changes to individual resident classifications may also change your care minutes target for your facility.
Please submit any requests for reclassifications early, to allow assessments to be completed before 1 October 2022.
Auslan interpreting services for older Australians contacting My Aged Care
Support is now available to assist older Australians to contact My Aged Care through a free Auslan video interpreting service. This includes tactile signing or hand over hand interpreting.
The three-way video chat connects callers to an Auslan interpreter and a My Aged Care agent at the same time.
To learn more about the new sign language interpreting service, and other accessible services, visit the My Aged Care website.
You can also access our Auslan-captioned introduction video, which shows you how My Aged Care can help you find Australian Government-funded aged care services. Watch the video on YouTube.
OPAN webinar: Diversity and inclusion in aged care
To launch its new Diversity Education Program, the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) will host a webinar on diversity and inclusion in aged care at 11.30am‑12.30pm AEST on Tuesday 7 June.
The webinar will cover:
- the importance of diversity in aged care
- examples of good practice
- diversity recommendations from the Royal Commission
- the Aged Care Diversity Framework
- insights from older Australians.
OPAN’s Diversity Education Program will help aged care providers improve how they identify and engage with the diversity of their community. This program aligns with the Aged Care Quality Standards and supports best practice.
Suicide Prevention for Seniors Program (NSW)
Would you know what to do if someone you support was experiencing thoughts of suicide?
Anglicare’s Suicide Prevention for Seniors Program equips aged care workers with the knowledge to help prevent suicide.
The free program includes a general suicide prevention online course followed by a workshop contextualising the training for seniors. Both sections should only take about 3 hours to complete.
The program is funded by the NSW Government. To be eligible, you need to be working with older people and based in NSW.
Vision Australia webinar: Understanding low vision and blindness
Vision Australia is hosting a webinar at 2-3pm AEST on Thursday 16 June about understanding the impacts of vision loss and blindness.
Tailored for assessors within a Regional Assessment Service or Aged Care Assessment Team, this session will build your knowledge and confidence to discuss appropriate supports and goals with vision-impaired clients when completing assessments.
You will learn about:
- common eye conditions and their impact on vision
- how vision loss affects daily living
- strategies, aids and equipment for people with blindness or low vision
- selecting relevant service types when referring vision-impaired clients for services.
Webinar: Technological solutions for residents in aged care
Join Swinburne’s Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults for their upcoming free webinar on ageing.
The webinar will be held at 4.45–6pm AEST on Friday 10 June. It is aimed at people employed in aged care, as well as psychologists, social workers, counsellors and volunteers who work with older adults.
Michelle Eunson from Vision Australia will provide an overview of smart home programs and adaptive technologies to support the independence and social inclusion of older Australians.
Influenza treatment deployed to residential aged care
The department has begun deployment of prescription-only medication, Tamiflu (oseltamivir), an oral antiviral used to treat and prevent influenza A and B infections, to residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in a one-off pre-placement. This is part of our 2022 winter preparedness plan.
This stock is being distributed to ensure access to supplies at the start of this year’s flu season.
RACFs will need to source additional supply through community pharmacies in line with normal arrangements once the pre-placed stock has been used.
Read more on the department’s website.
Information for providers yet to upgrade to Services Australia’s Aged Care Online web services
Providers have until 30 June 2022 to transition to web services. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates will expire on this date and access using Adaptor technology will end.
Providers who have not yet transitioned to web services should continue to work with their developer to complete their transition before 30 June 2022.
Providers need to allow up to 10 days for activation of their web services device after they have submitted a completed registration form. Your software developer can help you complete the Register or update for Aged Care Web Services form (AC027).
Updates on CHSP unspent funds
In 2021‑22, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) service delivery has been impacted by COVID-19, floods and more, resulting in under-delivery and unspent funds.
The acquittal process in July/August 2022 will give the department insight into actual underspends as at 30 June 2022. We will advise further on unspent funds in September 2022.
Until otherwise advised, CHSP providers should operate on the basis that the department may seek to recover all unspent funds, in line with contractual arrangements, excluding support for the movement to payment in arrears.
Eligible, directly contracted CHSP providers with minimal or no projected underspends may apply to receive transition funding through a targeted grant round. This will be advertised on GrantConnect, with funding provided from mid to late July 2022.