Date published: 
14 June 2022
Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

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, register for the Quarterly Financial Report webinar, read about World Elder Abuse Day and learn about the new Workforce Planning Tool.

Please share this newsletter with your networks, and encourage them to subscribe. You can also visit the Engagement Hub to get involved in the aged care reforms.

Webinar: Recording of consumer experience Interviews information session

On 25 May 2022, 320 individuals attended a webinar information session on the Consumer Experience Interviews Program, hosted by IQVIA and the Department of Health.

Consumer Experience Interviews have begun and will finish in October 2022. They will feed into the Star Ratings to be published on the My Aged Care website by the end of 2022. Star Ratings will help older Australians and their families compare the quality and safety performance of different services and providers.

Facilities are invited to participate and provide industry input to Consumer Experience Interviews. If a facility is unable to participate in the Consumer Experience Interviews, this will be noted on their My Aged Care listing.

View a recording of the webinar.

Quarterly financial report webinar

The first Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) is due on 4 November 2022. To help prepare, we are holding a webinar for providers to understand their reporting requirements and expectations.

Presenters will discuss all segments of the QFR, including:

  • viability questions
  • quarterly financial statements
  • care costs and labour hours
  • food and nutrition reporting

Grant Corderoy from StewartBrown will also provide technical detail on the completion of care minutes.

The webinar will be held at 11am‑12.30pm AEST on Thursday 16 June 2022.

Register or read more about the Quarterly Financial Report webinar.

If you have any questions or need help accessing the webinar, please contact ffbconsultation [at] health.gov.au

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 15 June 2022

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June is an important opportunity to promote a better understanding and prevention of the abuse and neglect of older persons.

Sadly, 600,000 or 14.8% of older Australians experience elder abuse every year.

Preventing and responding to elder abuse is everyone’s responsibility, and health and aged care professionals are often the first people to suspect or witness it.

Resources available to support health and aged care workers to recognise and address elder abuse include the Abuse of the Older Person: eLearning program for Health and Aged Care Professionals and #ReadyToListen project.

For more information on elder abuse awareness, you can visit the Compass website or contact 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374).

Webinar: Recognising and responding to elder abuse 

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 24 June. It is aimed at people employed in aged care, as well as psychologists, social workers, counsellors and volunteers who work with older adults.

Gary Ferguson and Jacinta Woehl from Senior Rights Victoria will define elder abuse, identify key contributors to such abuse and suggest ways care staff can respond to instances of abuse. They will present a case study that demonstrates the nuances of working with older people experiencing abuse.

Find out more information and register for the webinar.

Workforce planning tool

The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council’s Workforce Planning Tool is now available.

The free online tool will help workforce activity planners:

  • better understand workforce planning
  • adopt proactive workforce planning practices
  • sustain better practice over the long term.

It’s suitable for small to medium aged care providers across residential and community care settings.

The tool has been co-designed with and for the aged care sector. It is confidential, easy to use, and will fit with the daily demands of those responsible for workforce planning.

To access the tool, visit the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council’s website.

Preventing dementia explained in 10 languages

The National Ageing Research Institute has developed a range of animated videos in 10 languages, to make information about dementia more accessible for people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The short videos provide practical tips about lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of dementia, and information about support services for families caring for someone living with dementia.

Research shows positive changes to health and lifestyle can reduce dementia diagnosis. Prevention may not be possible, but we need to raise awareness with everyone.

Almost 30% of Australians aged over 65 were born overseas, mainly in non-English speaking countries.

The videos are available in Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, Spanish, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Hindi and English.

Find and share the animations.

About ME one-page story workshops for aged care organisations

Helping Hand Aged Care offers free online workshops to aged care organisations to help them create and implement About ME one-page stories for their clients. These stories can help you provide culturally safe, appropriate, and inclusive care.

About ME stories capture important personal client information that allows aged care providers to personalise care. This evidence-based person-centred tool can reduce the need for people to keep re-telling their stories during intake and assessment. This can be particularly helpful for those who have experienced trauma, as well as for those living with dementia.

To arrange an About ME one-page story workshop for your organisation, contact Meg Schwarz by calling 0418 976 129 or emailing mschwarz [at] helpinghand.org.au ( )

Apply to claim specialisation for care of older Australians from diverse backgrounds

We are implementing the Specialisation Verification Framework to help older Australians with diverse aged care needs choose the care that best suits them.

From 27 June, aged care providers who specialise in delivering care that is sensitive to the needs of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences will be able to apply for verification. To claim specialisation, you will need to provide evidence that meets the criteria in the Specialisation Verification Framework.

An independent assessor will verify applications and the outcome will be published on your My Aged Care Find a Provider profile. Verified specialisations will remain valid for three years.

We will provide more information in the coming weeks and encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Online aged care mental health training

Until 30 June 2022, the Australian Psychological Society is offering two free online courses for people working in residential aged care facilities.

Applied Mental Health in Residential Aged Care: Practical Program for Clinicians is for psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, mental health nurses, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers.

Funded by the Department of Health, this course counts as 8 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and covers:

  • techniques for navigating the aged care system
  • assessing common mental health issues
  • some evidence-based psychological interventions.

Register for the applied mental health course for health professionals.

A separate course, Supporting the mental health of older people in residential aged care: Mental health awareness training is available for non-mental health trained workers in residential aged care, for example registered nurses, physiotherapists, audiologists, speech pathologists, dieticians, personal care workers, attendants and peer workers.

Also funded by the department, this course counts as 6 hours of CPD, and will help workers:

  • improve their ability to identify symptoms
  • gain the knowledge and tools to effectively respond to, and care for, residents’ mental health.

Read more and register for the course for non-mental health trained workers.

Improving access to primary health in residential aged care

The department is working to achieve better integration across the aged care and health care systems to benefit older Australians.
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are being funded to support providers to:

  • establish telehealth facilities and equipment to enable virtual consultations between residents and health care providers
  • develop plans and procedures to support residents to access medical services after hours
  • offer training and education to support staff to promote telehealth and after-hours services and digital medical record keeping procedures, including adoption of My Health Record

These activities will help reduce avoidable hospitalisations for older Australians in residential aged care settings.

Read about Supporting access to primary care for aged care residents.

Further details will be made available to providers in the coming months.

Services Australia – getting ready for the new AN-ACC funding model changes

Services Australia is preparing for the new AN-ACC funding model changes due to commence on 1 October 2022. The internal Aged Care Payment System is also being upgraded, which will impact residential aged care providers and software developers.

To help you get ready for these changes you can read helpful tips for providers and software developers.

Online claiming channels will be temporarily view-only from 14 July to 22 July 2022 inclusive. Services will be unable to submit events or finalise claims during this time. Please finalise outstanding claims before 13 July to avoid any payment delays. Providers will be paid the July advance as normal and will also be paid the August advance early (mid-July) to minimise financial impacts.

Changes to accommodation supplement for pre-2014 care recipients

If you get or have previously received an Accommodation Supplement, Services Australia may need to retrospectively adjust your rate.

This may affect you if you received the supplement for people who started in your care before 2014.
You don’t need to do anything.

If you’re affected, you’ll see these adjustments and further detail on your next payment statement. You might also notice this statement is longer than usual.

Services Australia will also recalculate the Accommodation Supplement for anyone still in your care that this change applies to.

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).

Vision Australia webinar offers CHSP providers tips on vision loss

Vision Australia is presenting a webinar at 12‑1pm AEST on Wednesday 22 June on how Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers can support senior Australians experiencing vision loss.

This session will help providers interact confidently and respectfully with vision-impaired clients to continue to support them to live independently.

The webinar will cover tips on:

  • how to ensure vision-impaired clients are safe and comfortable when receiving services in their home
  • practical ways to help people with low vision in social and community settings
  • strategies to ensure programs are inclusive.
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