Author: Editor

New advance care planning guide

Aged care providers can now order copies of a new guide, which offers comprehensive information on advance care planning specific to the aged care sector from engaging with patients and families, policies and procedures and legal aspects relevant to each state and territory. The publication, Advance care planning in aged care: A guide to support implementation in community and residential settings was developed in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI). The guide was developed using findings from a literature review, a national survey of community and residential aged care providers, consultation with community and residential aged care staff from four states, and consultations with older people, as well as existing resources produced by Advance Care Planning Australia. “Until now there have been limited practical, evidence-based resources for the aged care sector to confidently support patients and families with advance care planning. This new guide will hopefully fill this gap,” said Dr Karen Detering, Medical Director for Advance Care Planning Australia. Dr Frances Batchelor, NARI Director of Clinical Gerontology, said, “Although biomedical advances enable humans to live longer, the quality of life and end-of-life care is an issue that is rarely addressed in older people nearing the end-of-life.” “Advance care planning gives older people the opportunity to discuss and determine their preferences for medical treatment if and when they are incapacitated. It also helps ensure that time and...

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Participants needed for study on radios and loneliness

Participants are needed for a new study into the role of the radios in combating loneliness and depression amongst older people. In partnership with the Community Broadcasting Foundation, Dr Amanda Krause from The University of Melbourne is exploring older listeners’ radio listening practices, and how these might relate to their sense of well- being. Many older people have restricted access to social contact and are highly vulnerable to a range of socio-emotional problems including loneliness and depression, making this research particularly important. Existing research indicates that participating in music-making opportunities benefits include reducing depression and anxiety symptoms and offers opportunities for social interaction. Dr Krause is keen to consider whether music listening can do the same. She has focused on the radio, because it is a very familiar, longstanding technology which offers people both information and entertainment. Dr Krause says that preliminary findings from interviews she has conducted with Melbourne residents 65 years and older indicate that individuals define their ‘relationship’ with the radio in different ways. “For some people the radio offers companionship – both by listening to music programs as well as to radio presenters. I am interested in people’s listening motivations, too.” Some people spoke not only about their enjoyment from listening to the radio, but about consciously modifying their listening in efforts to improve their mood. The current research will help understand how older listeners...

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Royal Freemasons celebrate fashion in style

Inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s attendance at London Fashion Week earlier this year, Royal Freesmasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI) Villages across NSW and ACT have decided to stage a series of fashion events in the lead up and during Sydney Fashion Week from 13-17 May to celebrate the individuality and style of the people they care for. Frank Price RFBI CEO said after staging a fashion shoot at RFBI Lake Haven Masonic Village we saw the joy it brought to our residents to dress-up in their favourite pieces of clothing. “At RFBI Lake Haven Masonic Village we engaged a professional stylist who brought in additional accessories and hats to add some finishing touches to the outfits. Along with hair and make-up we chose specific locations around the Village that really brought the photos to life. One of our residents who took part said she has never felt so beautiful in her life. “As the Queen clearly shows, regardless of how old you are you can always have an individual fashion style. These fashion transformations allowed our residents to have a lot of fun and express themselves in a positive and unique way so we plan to do more. “We thought as our residents can’t attend Sydney Fashion Week why not bring it to them. Some of our other villages across NSW will be staging fashion parades and fashion shoots, working with...

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Gov offering $600K for digital health test beds

The Australian Digital Health Agency is calling for proposals for innovative test beds that can be rigorously reviewed and then scaled nationally. These pioneering initiatives will be co-produced by consumers, governments, healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs and will test evidence-based digital empowerment of key health priorities. Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said digitally enabled models of care are an important priority in Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure and the test beds demonstrate the Agency’s commitment to work collaboratively with stakeholders. “Our global peers are increasingly recognising that Australia is in a unique position to test and trial digital health solutions that can be implemented in a diverse and sometimes fragmented system, and have the ability to scale nationally. “During my time as CEO, I have witnessed some incredible innovations that involve consumers, providers, and healthcare organisations tackling critical priorities such as managing chronic disease in completely new ways. The Agency wants to support these types of initiatives, to assist in their evaluation, and to develop an evidence base of sustainable, scalable initiatives to support further investment,” said Mr Kelsey. The Agency is seeking expressions of interest that build on areas of high level of digital maturity, with evidence of integrated governance arrangements between the participants. Test beds should involve new approaches to addressing a health challenge rather than pilots that have no plan or capacity to scale across a...

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ANMF launches new staffing ratios national campaign

Aged care workers have rallied across Australia, urging the Federal Government to legislate for improved staffing ratios in residential aged care. The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation chose International Nurses Day to launch its new national campaign to fix the crisis in aged care. Events were held in every state for people to call on federal politicians to legislate staffing ratios in residential aged care facilities as a matter of urgency. “International Nurses Day is a day when the whole community can stop and reflect on the amazing contribution nurses make to Australia’s health and aged care systems,” the...

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