The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care is currently delivering a significant program of aged care reforms together with the aged care sector. Our vision is to ensure aged care is delivered with security, dignity, quality and humanity.
In this issue, read about the importance of the department’s new name, register for webinars and training, and learn about AN‑ACC fact sheets and updates.
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.
Department’s new name to reflect government’s aged care priorities
From 1 July 2022, the Department of Health has been renamed the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
This change reflects the importance of aged care in the community and the high priority the new Government places on aged care reform. It also demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making the national health and aged care system the best in the world.
The department’s website address and email addresses will remain unchanged.
Online aged care mental health training
Throughout August 2022, the Australian Psychological Society will continue to offer 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 and Aged Care, 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.
Webinar: End of life and palliative care: What you need to know
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 22 July. It is aimed at people employed in aged care, as well as psychologists, social workers, counsellors and volunteers who work with older adults.
Dr Di Clifton and Sheena Appleyard define palliative care and outline biopsychosocial and spiritual models of care. They correct misconceptions of palliative care, and use case studies to illustrate approaches for addressing the needs of palliative patients and their families. They emphasise the importance of attending to patients’ feelings of loss, identity, autonomy, dignity, life meaning and purpose.
Find out more information and register for the webinar.
Suicide Prevention for seniors program
Would you know what to do if someone you support was experiencing thoughts of suicide?
Anglicare’s Suicide Prevention for Seniors Program equips those who support older people, with the knowledge to help prevent suicide.
The free program has expanded nationally and includes a general suicide prevention online course followed by a workshop contextualising the training for older people. Both sections should only take about 3 hours to complete.
The program is funded by the NSW and Australian Governments. To be eligible, you need to be working with older people and have internet access.
If you are interested, please email Anglicare at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Anglicare website.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission wants to learn from people who use aged care
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is inviting people who use or are thinking of using aged care services, their families and carers, to register their interest to join its Consumers and Families Panel.
The Panel will help the Commission in its work as the national aged care regulator. Members will share their ideas and opinions about aged care issues that are important to them. They can also give feedback on how the Commission communicates with people who use aged care and how they in turn want to interact with the Commission.
To be part of the Commission’s Consumers and Families Panel, register by Friday 12 August via the Commission’s website or by calling 1800 951 822.
Update on AN-ACC shadow assessments
We have heard concerns from residential aged care providers that Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) assessments may not be completed by 1 October 2022 when the new care funding model is due to begin.
To date, around 91% of active aged care residents around Australia now have an AN‑ACC classification with almost every facility visited for assessments at least once. Based on current progress, the department is on track to complete all assessments well before AN‑ACC goes live.
To ensure assessments are completed before 1 October 2022, we encourage providers to submit entry information for new residents into the Services Australia system and requests for reclassifications via the My Aged Care Provider Portal as early as possible.
Update on AN-ACC funding and care minutes estimator and fact sheets
Providers can now access an online AN-ACC funding and care minutes estimator to help with estimating their potential Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding and care minutes targets for their residential aged care facilities.
We have also published a number of new fact sheets about care staffing reporting, palliative care entry arrangements, residential respite care and the pricing advice from July 2023.
In response to stakeholder feedback, we have also updated existing fact sheets on the funding reform resources webpage with the latest information on the new funding arrangements.
We are continually updating our resources and encourage you to regularly visit the residential aged care funding reform webpage for the most up-to-date information.
Services Australia: Updates to the aged care payment system
The implementation date for Services Australia's Aged Care Payment System (ACPS) has been revised from July 2022 to August 2022.
This will impact all residential aged care providers including services:
- using the Aged Care Provider Portal
- submitting claims through Aged Care Web Services.
There will be no changes to July claiming and payments. We will provide more information on the changes for August as it becomes available.