Author: Editor

New take on specialist disability accomodation

A new apartment building in Queensland will provide specialist disability accomodation for people aged under 65 who would otherwise be living in residential aged care. It is the first of 120 new high-need independent living apartments across 10 locations that MS Queensland is building as part of a new project called “Project Dignity 120”. The first apartment building located in Springfield is underway and due for completion in April 2018. MS Queensland CEO Lincoln Hopper said the project came about in response to the housing crisis and demand for suitable independent living accomodation. “Sadly we’re in the grip of a housing crisis, so if you have a disability and you need this type of housing, there’s simply not enough available so we’ve got people asking us to build this as fast as we can and our mission to build 120 is really a response to that,” Mr Hopper said in an interview with The Queensland Times. “Last count there were just under 1300 people aged under 65 living in residential aged care, so if that’s a symbol of the size of the problem we’re taking a step into the future and doing that for 120 people at least.” “We call this Project Dignity 120 for a really obvious reason and we’re hoping that this restores dignity, independence, choice and control over their circumstances and that’s probably one of the...

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Mercy Health moves to small house model

Mercy Health has introduced an entirely new model of care at its not-for- profit homes in Western Australia, at Edgewater and also Claremont, with plans to roll the initiative out across all its new developments into the future. The small household model has proven highly successful in the Netherlands and other European countries, and is based on the concept of a social model of care whereby seniors live in a household of no more than eight people, rather than the larger group settings of traditional aged care services. This strengthens individualised care that promotes independence and autonomy, enabling older...

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AISC Chair Prof John Pollaers to lead aged care workforce strategy

Professor John Pollaers has been appointed Chair of the aged care workforce strategy taskforce, in a move that highlights just how seriously the Government is taking concerns about future staffing of the industry. The former Fosters and Pacific Brands CEO also Chairs the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), which was established by the COAG Industry and Skills Council in May 2015 to give industry a formal, expanded role in policy direction and decision-making for the vocational education and training sector. Members of the AISC include industry leaders nominated by Commonwealth and state and territory ministers responsible for skills and training; a peak body representative (rotating between the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group); and two ex-officio members (senior government officials). While the Government has said very little about the taskforce since it was announced with a $2 million funding commitment in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, Ministers Ken Wyatt AM and Greg Hunt confirmed Professor Pollaers’ appointment in a joint press release yesterday. The Productivity Commission recently forecast Australia will need almost one million aged care staff by 2050, emphasising the urgent need for a skilled workforce to support quality care and continuing reform. In an interview with Inside Ageing earlier this year Minister Ken Wyatt said future workforce planning by the aged care industry must incorporate all roles within an organisation...

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Industry responds to aged care review

The industry peak bodies have expressed collective disappointment in the Government for ruling out changes to the annual and lifetime caps, as well as including the full value of the owner’s home in the means test for residential aged care.   In response to the release of the legislated review, ACSA described the recommendations as a “mixed affair”, with CEO Pat Sparrow warning more investment is needed to meet demand for home care along with additional – not fewer – financing options.    “The release of this report affords an opportunity for a broad discussion about the sort of care the community, particularly older Australians, expect and how it will be financed into the future,” Ms Sparrow said. “That’s why it was disappointing to see the Government rule out any changes to the annual and lifetime caps, as well as including the full value of the owner’s home in the means test for residential aged care.” “By ruling out these two financing options, the Government is limiting its own ability, as well as that of providers, to respond to the changing needs of Australia’s rapidly ageing population.” “With around 1.3 million older Australians receiving some form of aged care (in 2015-16) and that number set to grow Australia needs to have a sustainable, flexible and quality aged care system. This means we need our Parliament, the community at large and the aged care...

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12 months+ wait for home care packages

Most people who have been approved for a home care package in recent months will have to wait more than a year to be allocated a package, according to updated information on My Aged Care. While the Department is yet to release data about the national queue for home care packages – despite committing to providing the information two months ago – figures from 2015 published in the legislative review show almost 90,000 people were unable to access home care packages, including 68,000 with high need. Labor has called on the Government to release updated data urgently, with Senator Helen...

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