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Information and Resources for Providers

A range of resources and information are available for aged care providers relating to coronavirus and how this can be managed within your organisation.

Always ensure you are relying on a trusted authority or source for your information and updates as this situation continues to evolve and more facts come to light.

Click here to access links to Department of Health resources
Click here for Training & Development resources, including ACSA's COVID-19 Webinar Series

 

Second review of Industry Code on Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes

3 July: The Industry Code on Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes was reviews on 26 June 2020 by consumer and provider advocates. The review considered and incorporated feedback from a range of stakeholders as well as through the peak bodies, and incorporated updated AHPPC advice and the most recent state and territory directives with which aged care providers and visitors must comply. Read more

Sign in / sign out templates for residential aged care facilities

4 June: ACSA would like to thank BaptistCare for sharing their sign in / sign out templates for visitors and contractors. These templates are simple and easy to follow sheets including standard COVID-19 questions and declarations, to keep records of all those entering residential aged care facilities. Download the Sign In / Sign Out templates

OPAN Flyer to assist providers, residents and families with Industry Code on Visitation during COVID-19

15 May: OPAN is working as a key representative in the introduction of the Industry Code on Visitation during COVID-19 to support older Australians, their families and representatives to gain reasonable and effective visitations throughout the pandemic. Where there may be challenging discussions with families in relation to adhering to the Code, or challenges in families and representatives respecting the right of the older person to choose who visits, it's particularly important to help older people and their representatives find a solution with providers that enables them to remain connected while keeping safety as a priority. OPAN has developed a print resource to help promote this.

This info card should be given out to anyone visiting your facility who has concerns about the implementation of the Code, or anyone who is trying to visit a resident but is unable to because of the facility's current protocols. In conjunction with the Department of Health, 50 flyers will be printed and distributed to each facility by 5 June, and these should ideally be on display near the entrance of your facility or in any visitor waiting spaces. Download the OPAN Info Card

Planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe

14 May: The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has created an online planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead. The tool brings together information from across government on the range of help and assistance available to support businesses. The online planning should take about 30 minutes to complete and leave businesses with a clear idea about what they will do to keep people safe, how they will get their business back up and running and how they might adapt their operating model. Read more

Businesses should seek advice from their local WHS authority, Safe Work Australia, or contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure they meet all their legal obligations by the required deadlines.

Industry Code for visiting in aged care homes released

12 May: The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 has been released by 13 aged care peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations. The Code creates a nationally consistent approach that ensures residents can receive visitors while minimising the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. The Code was finalised late this afternoon after public consultation with both consumers and aged care providers, in order to cement a human rights approach to industry practice during the pandemic that both protects and respects aged care residents and their visitors. Click here to download the Aged Care Visitor Access Code

Please note: Initially the superseded Emergency Management Code for SA (No. 2) was inserted into the Visitor Access Code. This has now been corrected to Emergency Management Code No. 3 as at 13 May 2020.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: Q&A on flu vacccinations and identification of Quality Assessors

1 May: ACSA has liaised with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission around member questions relating to records of flu vaccinations and identifying Quality Assessors when contact is made via phone. Read the ACQSC's responses here

Proforma letters to families: Visiting restrictions for residential aged care

30 April: ACSA would like to thank AdventCare and Kalyra Communities for sharing these letters, which can be used as a proforma for other residential aged care providers. These two letters provide alternatives for communicating with families and advocates around either extension of visitation restrictions, or commencement of rolling back restrictions to visiting residents. Both letters reinforce requirements for visitors to have a current influenza vaccination. Please keep in mind when working with these proforma letters that each state and territory has specific directives which must be considered. Download proforma

Augmented caring@home resources to assist service provider preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic

27 April: caring@home has launched augmented caring@home packages for carers including an Emergency COVID-19 pack.  These packs are designed to assist clinical service providers and health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support home-based palliative care and help limit risks of community COVID-19 transmission.  These packages are funded by the Australian Government. Read more

Advice from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: screening of people entering residential aged care facilities

22 April: The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has today contacted residential aged care providers with important information from the Chief Clinical Advisor regarding screening of people entering residential aged care facilities. Read more

The Commission has also published guidance for residential aged care facilities on Supporting safe, quality care for aged care consumers during visitor restrictions relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which you can read here.

Health translations in 30 languages, including COVID-19 resources

22 April: Health Translations is an online library which enables health practitioners and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find free translated health information. This website provides direct third party links to resources from the Department of Health, state governments, NDIA and more, with both easy English and translated COVID-19 information readily available. Read more

Hospital discharge and Admission procedure - additional assessments

21 April: The following two documents are available for use in covering an isolation / close observation period following hospital discharge for existing residents, and new admissions. This information is targeted to the current COVID-19 context and is in addition to routine observations of new or re-admitted residents. ACSA would like to thank HammondCare for their input and assistance in developing these documents, which you can download here.

Managing Asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic

16 April: The National Asthma Council has recently published COVID-19 clinical advice for health professionals managing people with asthma. The Australian Asthma Handbook provides the national guidelines for asthma management and this COVID-19 clinical advice is particularly important for health professionals managing patients with asthma in residential aged care facilities at this time. Read more

Restrictive practices: understanding and managing behaviours in a pandemic

16 April: The need to keep everyone safe and supported is challenging for residential care services during the COVID-19 restrictions. Dementia Support Australia is here to support people with dementia where behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are impacting their care. This is especially important during this time. Read more

OPAN launches COVID-19 Information Pages

14 April: To help you understand the impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions and alleviate confusion, OPAN has collated common questions asked to OPAN aged care advocates and Information Line, and provided answers on their new COVID-19 FAQ webpage. OPAN has also developed a resources page to connect you with useful and relevant resources developed by OPAN and other organisations on their new COVID-19 Resources webpage. If you have questions that are not answered by the FAQ or Resources pages there is a button on each page where you may submit your questions. Learn more

No jab, no job - Managing influenza vaccination compliance for your employees

9 April: The States and Territories have now operationalised the mandatory influenza vaccination requirements for Residential Aged Care Facilities by way of Directions and Orders issued pursuant to public health legislation in each of their jurisdictions. Click here to read a summary from ACSA's Employee Relations Team to assist you in managing compliance for your employees. Read more

Flu vaccination compliance with Commonwealth and State legislations

8 April: The State and Territory Directions set out specific requirements in relation to influenza vaccinations. There are slight variations between the jurisdictions, so you are encouraged to review the relevant state or territory’s Direction, links to these can be found below. Some states and territories have now also released additional guidance relating to these Directions.  While the National Cabinet agreed to nationally consistent measures, residential care providers and staff should contact their relevant state or territory departments for any clarification regarding the application of these restrictions in each state and territory.  Read more

Taking a proactive approach to inactivity: Get Up Guide

1 April: Guide Healthcare has created the ‘Get Up Guide’, a free and simple training program for carers which provides ideas and different exercises to encourage residents to get up and move each day. Training is delivered through short videos, which can be shown during staff handovers or in the break-room. Each video comes with a summary handout sheet, which covers the daily exercises and has a log where residents can record their efforts. The program also includes a weekly live exercise session with a Guide Healthcare physiotherapist through Zoom, and weekly exercise challenges to create some fun, help to build some community connection and generate a purpose for exercising. Read more

Webinar: COVID-19 and Registered Charities

31 March: The ACNC recognises that many charities may have to make difficult decisions at this time. The ATO and the ACNC recorded a free webinar for charities and not-for-profits on Monday 30 March 2020, discussing the Government stimulus measure that affect them, as well as issues that are affecting charity operations during the COVID-19 crisis. The ATO discussed the implications of the Government’s Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure, including what’s available to charities and NFPs and where to get advice. Access the webinar recording here.

You can also find out information about how the Government measure affects charities and not-for-profits on the Australian Taxation Office website page Boosting Cashflow for Employers.

New self-assessment for COVID-19 preparedness

31 March: The ACSA Quality Portal has incorporated a new self-assessment which will help residential aged care providers to easily follow the COVID-19 preparedness survey that was released recently by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. The self-assessment guides residential aged care providers through the components they should address in developing their infection control/respiratory outbreak plan. Read more

Aged care activities pause due to COVID-19

27 March: With considerable resources from the aged care sector and Government now required in the campaign to keep senior Australians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, several long term measures will be put on hold for at least six months. 

The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) assessment trial, the 2020 Aged Care Approval Round and the implementation of the home care payment alignment project will all be postponed as the Morrison Government deals with an unprecedented health emergency. Read more

Evidence of Employment within an essential service

26 March: ACSA would like to thank Wintringham for sharing their letter to be used as proforma for other members and employers of aged care employees. Please download the proforma letter for you to use to issue to your employees to keep with them should they need it to confirm their role and employment in the aged care sector. Download proforma

16 April: We have also created a template Identification Card that you can edit to create a simple ID confirmation for your employees. Download ID card template

Restrictions to visiting residential aged care facilities

25 March: We know a number of States & Territories have published their declarations on restrictions to visiting residential aged care facilities. In some cases these restrictions go beyond what was announced by the Prime Minister last week. ACSA has convened and is working with consumer representatives, LASA and the Guild to provide some more guidance for members. The current situation is:

  • The guidance provided by the Prime Minister on visitation restrictions is based on the minimum requirements advised to the National Cabinet by the AHPPC. This guidance is to be observed by all residential aged care facilities;
  • In some circumstances, residential aged care facilities may introduce further measures or restrictions in response to their individual local risk factors. However, the rationale for additional measures will need to be clearly articulated and implementation needs to be done in consultation with residents and families; and
  • Where State or Territory Governments have provided additional direction to residential aged care providers about additional COVID-19 protection measures (including further reductions to visitation) they will need to considered by the facility, implemented as required, and included as part of the rationale for escalation of additional protection measures.

Dementia help sheets to navigate coronavirus

24 March: In response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, Dementia Australia has released four Help Sheets outlining tips for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends of people living with dementia, residential care providers and home care providers. Click here to learn more and to access the Help Sheets

Fact sheet for senior Australians to stop the spread and save lives

19 March: A comprehensive fact sheet is now available for senior Australians as the campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19 continues. Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said the online guide was a one-stop-shop at a time when clear advice has never been more important. "Senior Australians and their loved ones must have access to updated information to ensure they can protect themselves, whether they're living at home, with family or in care," Minister Colbeck said. Read more

Strengthened guidelines to protect aged care residents

18 March: Aged care facilities around Australia are now required to restrict visitation as the Federal Government continues to combat the spread of coronavirus. Visits should be limited to two people per resident at one time each day, restricted to rooms, outdoor or specific areas designated by providers. Children should not visit aged care centres at all. Large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment should also be ruled out until further notice. Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Senator Richard Colbeck said the tough measures were the best way of protecting older and vulnerable Australians in care. Read more or download the fact sheet

CareApp - now offered FREE in response to COVID-19

16 March: In the wake of the latest news around COVID-19, CareApp, a powerful communication and careapp-logo-(1).pngengagement platform for aged care providers, has announced it will offer use of the platform completely FREE for the duration of this pandemic. Loved ones can use the app to effectively check on family members in aged care facilities during this time of crisis. 

By sharing photos, video and audio, as well as notices, events and newsletters, CareApp provides a personalised and reassuring window into the care and wellbeing of loved ones.
Learn more or contact Keegan Sard: 0419 798 102 or email keegan@careapp.com.au to register your interest.

 

Caring for yourself through the COVID-19 pandemic

Connection and support through the coronavirus outbreak
Beyond Blue has developed a suite of online resources about coping with COVID-19 in response to rising community concern about the virus. Contacts about COVID-19 to the Beyond Blue Support Service are increasing and Beyond Blue’s online discussion forum about the virus is attracting unprecedented interest. Beyond Blue is encouraging a calm, practical approach to managing the emotional impact of the virus. The new Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak web page includes tips about coping with self-isolation, how to talk to children about the outbreak, advice for health care workers, and information about support-seeking. Read more

Self-care resource for health workers during disasters
Regularly using methods of self-care is important for healthcare workers on a daily basis, but is especially important during disasters. Working during disasters is work that can be powerful, and can have a great impact. It can be challenging in ways that are different to the situations in your regular work. Using self-care techniques will help to maintain your standards of work. This is important during disasters, where you may not be able to use your normal methods of self-care, and it can be easily overlooked. The following resource, 'Self-Care for Healthcare Workers During Disasters' has been prepared by Brigid Larkin, a registered paramedic completing a PhD in disaster resilience. Read more

Australian Psychological Society information and resources
The Australian Psychological Society has collated a number of helpful resources which are available to help identify and manage coronavirus anxiety; maintain your mental health during social isolation; staying mentally healthy for older adults; and tips on accessing psychological services via telehealth. Read more

Gow Gates Insurance Brokers partnering with Black Dog Institute
ACSA Industry Partner Gow Gates Insurance Brokers is partnering with Black Dog Institute to provide a range of mental health resources that can be shared with CEOs, CFOs and staff. Contact Jessica Wells, Manager - Health, Gow Gates Insurance Brokers for more information on (02) 8267 9942 or email health@gowgates.com.au.

 

Click the links below to find more information and resources:

 

1.png  Click here for information and resources from the Department of Health

 

4-(1).png   Click here for infection control and health emergency planning resources

 

5.png   Click here for World Health Organisation (WHO) resources, videos & media

 

6.png   Click here for information and advice from ACSA Partners (incl. legal)

 

7.png   Click here for official communications to providers from sector authorities

 

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For more information, you can:

  • Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Visit the Department of Health website.
  • Contact ACSA's Member Support Line on 1300 877 855 or email memberadvice@acsa.asn.au.

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