Aged care

No notice for aged care home inspections

All Australian aged care homes were now subject to unannounced quality and safety audits, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt announced this week.

The legislation, which came into force on Sunday, 17 March, meant the homes would no longer be given notice of the date of their re-accreditation audit.

“These changes will strengthen the oversight of aged care services to provide greater assurance that standards of care are consistently maintained, not just at re-accreditation times,” Mr Wyatt said.

Have your say on respite care services

National Seniors is seeking insights from members regarding experiences of respite care services as part of a current consultation undertaken by the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) on behalf of the Federal Government.

The ACFA has been tasked by Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt to undertake a study and report on the increasing use of respite care and the appropriateness of the current arrangements, including funding structures, for providers and consumers.

We are seeking your input on the following aspects of the respite care system:

Aged care industry urged to back education and training

The aged care industry and consumers are being urged to support a newly-established Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and nominate for membership to help ensure the future high quality of aged care.

Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) chair Professor John Pollaers said the Aged Care IRC should be an industry-driven group, with membership reflecting the diversity of the sector, particularly in the areas of palliative care, dementia, nursing, mental health, functional health and pharmacy, as well as including employee representatives and providers.

Aged care accommodation approvals process streamlined

The Federal Government says it is streamlining aged care accommodation approvals, so that providers can continue to focus on their core business of caring and supporting senior Australians.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the new accommodation price renewal system would simplify the process for providers not seeking to increase their charges when their approvals lapsed.

“We have listened to the sector and are committed to red tape reduction across aged care,” Mr Wyatt said.

National Seniors joins call for immediate action on elder abuse

National Seniors has joined with other seniors and community legal groups to form a coalition to tackle elder abuse.

At the recent National Elder Abuse Conference, the group welcomed a National Plan announced by the Federal Government.

But the group said immediate funding was needed in the 2018-19 budgets of all governments across Australia to prevent and combat elder abuse.

In a conference statement, the group declared “there is no excuse not to act nationally now”.

New national plan to support unpaid carers

National Seniors has welcomed the announcement of a new national approach to support unpaid carers, due to take effect later this year.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan this week announced an extra $85.6 million to fund new support measures and services from October 2018, through the Carer Gateway website.

The services would include peer support, counselling, coaching and educational resources.

Have your say on aged care staffing

Australians have just over two weeks to complete an online survey or contribute to the current national review of the aged care industry’s workforce.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said a top priority was to ensure the industry had a strong supply of appropriately trained, skilled and resourced staff.

“To ensure adequate staffing and skills, I announced a workforce taskforce last November that is due to produce Australia’s first aged care workforce strategy by July,” Mr Wyatt said.

New flu shots target over 65s after 2017 horror season

The Federal Government is urging people to be vaccinated against the flu this winter after the virus last year claimed the lives of 1,100 Australians – more than 90 per cent of whom were aged 65 or over.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the new vaccines Fluad® and Fluzone High Dose® had been registered in Australia to specifically provide increased protection for older people whose immune systems responded less effectively to vaccines.

Federal Pre-Budget 2018-19 Submission

National Seniors submission to the Federal Budget 2018-19 consultation process presents a number of key recommendations to the Federal Government on behalf of older Australians.

Featured Article