Your Aged Care Update – Issue 36, 2023

Your Aged Care Update #36: Residential aged care pricing activities – access for the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority and more.

Date published:
Health sector

Aged care wage increase: Information for local government and councils

A new factsheet to help local government and councils understand the aged care wage increase is available on our website. It includes information on:

  • how to implement the Fair Work Commission’s 15 per cent wage increase for workers
  • how the government funding applies across the different aged care programs.

Download the Factsheet: Aged care – information for local government and councils. Read more about Better and Fairer Wages.

Act now for a Dementia-Friendly Future this Dementia Action Week

Dementia impacts more than 400,000 Australians. The theme of this year’s Dementia Action Week (18 - 24 September) is ‘Act Now for a Dementia-Friendly Future’. It highlights the importance of building awareness and acceptance of dementia in the community.

Dementia is the leading cause of disease burden for Australians aged 65 years and older.  For more information and to get involved, visit Dementia Australia’s campaign page.

A report summarising feedback on key elements of a consultation paper for a new National Dementia Action Plan is now available.

We are currently seeking feedback on the Draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines. This will guide the design of residential aged care accommodation to improve quality of life for older people, including creating more accessible and dementia-friendly environments.

What we've learnt: Volunteers in Aged Care Survey results

We conducted a ‘Volunteers in Aged Care Survey’ between April and May 2023.

We want to understand what is working and what can be done to improve the consistency of volunteer training and support across Australia. Top findings:

  1. volunteers are essential to aged care
  2. many volunteers and volunteer managers noted the need for accessible and appropriate training
  3. volunteer managers and providers are experiencing significant difficulty in recruitment and retention of volunteers.

We are using the results of this survey in the design and implementation of strategies. Our goal is to better support, recruit and train aged care volunteers and volunteer managers, who are a vital part of the sector.

Read more about what we heard.

COVID-19: Aged Care Support Program update

The 2023 COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program is in progress. Providers who have applied are already starting to receive outcomes and payments.

Do not delay your application, particularly aged care providers who have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks prior to 30 June 2023. We have a dedicated team of assessors ready to help.

Applying as soon as possible after outbreaks occur helps us process applications smoothly and reduces delays towards the end of the grant cycle. 

Grant information, frequently asked questions and specific eligibility requirements are available at GrantConnect (GO6223).

Webinar: Vision Australia - Introduction to accessible communications and marketing

Vision Australia is hosting a webinar about accessible communications and marketing.

The 2-hour webinar is free for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers and will benefit aged care workers, communications and marketing staff. We will cover:

  • practical advice on implementing accessible communication techniques for websites, emails, social media and documents
  • writing alternative text for images to ensure access for people who experience vision loss or blindness
  • video captions, transcripts, sign language versions, audio description
  • ensuring text and language are readable for all.

When: Tuesday 3 October 1:30pm to 3:30pm 2023 (AEST)

Register for the webinar now to secure your spot.. There are only 30 spots available.

Email questions to

Care minutes targets now available at service level

Providers can now see their service level care minutes targets for the October to December 2023 quarter in the My Aged Care service and support portal.

Mandatory care minutes targets for residential aged care services begin on 1 October 2023.

Targets are based on the amended care minutes allocations for the AN-ACC classes of residents who were in care from June to August 2023.

Learn more about changes to care minutes allocations.

Stocktake on the design of residential aged care accommodation

There is still time to provide input to the Stocktake on the Design of Residential Aged Care Accommodation. Input closes 3 October 2023.

If you provide residential aged care accommodation, we want you to tell us about the design of your existing home(s). This applies to all homes, including services provided flexibly through Multi-Purpose Services or the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

The Stocktake will help us to understand the impact of the National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines. It will also help us understand the level of change and support that may be needed, ahead of their introduction in 2024.

To participate, you will need your service-level National Approved Provider System ID. If you’re having difficulty accessing the Stocktake, please contact

Feedback required: Draft design guidelines and principles for residential accommodation

We have been working with older people, the aged care sector, and technical experts to improve the design of residential aged care accommodation. We have also developed the Draft Design Principles and Guidelines, which can be downloaded from the department’s website.

We are interested in your feedback on the draft and factors likely to impact the adoption of principles. Complete this feedback form, which should take 10 to 15 minutes, by 20 October 2023.

We will also be conducting a design-ideas competition to test and refine the Design Principles and Guidelines and show how they can be applied.

The findings of the consultation will inform a new Residential Aged Care Accommodation Framework. It will include the final National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines and measures to support implementation.  These will be introduced from July 2024.

COVID-19: Have your say on the effectiveness of the Infection Prevention and Control lead role

Are you an infection prevention and control (IPC) lead?

We are evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the IPC lead role in aged care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The consultation will be run by Healthcare Management Advisors and includes:

  • an online survey for IPC lead nurses
  • virtual and in-person interviews in a range of residential aged care homes
  • consultation with other key stakeholders.

Follow this link to complete the survey. Results will provide information on:

  • how well the IPC lead role has been implemented and recommendations to improve it
  • what is the perception and experience of the IPC lead role
  • how well has the IPC lead role been supported
  • how has the IPC lead role impacted the role of nurses generally
  • training and education for IPC leads.

The IPC survey for lead nurses will close on 31 October 2023.

More information

COVID-19: Update on processing of Aged Care Support Program Extension grants

We have engaged extra resources to speed up processing times for the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension grant (GO4863).

We’ll let you know if an external agency assesses your application. Please be assured these agencies are working with us and your privacy will be maintained.

We anticipate all application assessments will be finalised by mid-October 2023.


  • incomplete or incorrect applications lead to delays or applications being assessed as ineligible.
  • where additional information is requested, you have 14 days to respond.
  • extensions will not be granted. Applications will be finalised based on information on hand.
  • advise us of any changes to your organisation's authorised contact details by emailing

Grant information, including eligibility requirements, is on GrantConnect (GO4863).

Home Care Package providers: Collecting the income-tested care fee

Reminder that Home Care Package (HCP) providers are responsible for collecting the income-tested care fee (ITCF) from care recipients who can afford to contribute to their aged care.

The ITCF is calculated by an income assessment completed by Services Australia.  

Approved Home Care Package providers need to:

  • know which care recipients were assessed as needing to pay ITCF
  • discuss with care recipients and outline all fees in their home care agreement
  • set up processes to correctly manage fees.

Providers cannot adjust the price submitted to Services Australia in their claim process to avoid collecting the ITCF.

Use our understanding fees for home care fact sheet to explain fees to your care recipients.

Home Care Packages Program: Data Report now available

We have released the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program Data Report for the period 1 January – 31 March 2023.

Key findings

  • 268,744 people had access to a Home Care Package as at 31 March 2023. This is an 18% increase in access from the previous 12 months.
  • In the March 2023 quarter, 25,495 people entered a HCP for the first time. This is the largest increase to date in a single quarter.
  • There were 30,839 people in the National Priority System waiting for a package at their approved level. This is a decrease of 47% since 31 March 2022.

Read the full report on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AHW) GEN Aged Care Data website.

Variations to grant agreement for aged care Registered Nurses’ payment – Round 1

Applications for round 1 of the Aged Care Registered Nurses’ (ACRN) payment closed on 28 February 2023.

Providers requiring variations to grant agreements for round 1 have until Friday 29 September 2023 at 2pm (AEST) to submit requests.

We will not be able to accept any variations requests after this time. All variation requests must be sent to

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