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Discover the Cater Care difference.

Front Cover: Elsie and Rowley. Read the profile on page 29.

Voice of the aged care industry Summer 2009




2 5 6 9

National Update CEO’s Report Presidents Report Announcing a review of the Aged Care Act 1997 State Reports

19 24 27

Congress 2009 Review Future Directions for Aged Care Award Winners

Profiles 29 Elsie and Me 32 Mary Anne Edwards 35 36 39 40 42

Technology IT Vendor Forum Update ITAC 2010 RIBA the friendly robot nurse Aged Care Introducing Video Games for Fun and Fitness SIMsystem™ set to revolutionise continence care


Bryan Dorman Francis Cook Tony Smith Mary Anne Edwards Viv Padman Geoff Taylor Kevin O’Sullivan Rod Young Jane Murray


45 Facebook for Seniors Veterans, aged statistics and other helpful hints for the ACAR 46 49 53

Workforce Tips For Conducting A High-Quality Interview National registration for nurses, an opportunity or another burden to bear? (Part 2) ‘The Supper Club’ - a #1 hit with Aged Care

54 56 57 59

Sponsor Articles Launch of Seniors Living Domain sees project development simplified for aged care providers e3learning and ACAA’s online training partnership Reverse Auction Platform saving you money on energy costs… now and in the future! Advance directives, health care decisions and impaired capacity – a heady mix



PO Box 7, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 T: (02) 9212 6922 F: (02) 9212 3488 E: W: Contact: Charles Wurf

Suite 6, 11 Richardson Street South Perth WA 6151 T: (08) 9474 9200 F: (08) 9474 9300 E: W: Contact: Anne-Marie Archer


62 66 68 70 73 76 77 80 82 84

86 Calendar of Events 87 Product News

Aged Care Australia is the official quarterly journal for the Aged Care Association Australia

Unit 5, 259 Glen Osmond Road Frewville SA 5063 T: (08) 8338 6500 F: (08) 8338 6511 E: W: Contact: Paul Carberry





PO Box 335, Curtin ACT 2605 T: (02) 6285 2615 F: (02) 6281 5277 E: W:

PO Box 208, Claremont TAS 7011 T: (03 6249 7090 F: (03) 6249 7092 E: Contact: Tony Smith

PO Box 995, Indooroopilly QLD 4068 T: (07) 3725 5555 F: (07) 3715 8166 E: W: Contact: Anton Kardash


Editorial Another Great Idea: Its Time Has Come New reporting drives industry performance improvement Old-timers still having a good old time Industry Feedback Horizon Care at Links Seaside Longevity’s March Influenza Vaccination among Staff in Aged Care Facilities New Industry Initiative: National Electronic Resident Agreement Software Compliance review of Aged Care Investment Allowance National Guide for Aged Care Chart 2009/10

Level 7, 71 Queens Road MELBOURNE VIC 3000 T: (03) 9805 9400 F: (03) 9805 9455 E: W: Contact: Gerard Mansour


Adbourne Publishing PO Box 735 Belgrave, VIC 3160

Advertising Melbourne: Neil Muir (03) 9758 1433 Adelaide: Robert Spowart 0488 390 039 Production Claire Henry (03) 9758 1436 Administration Robyn Fantin (03) 9758 1431

DISCLAIMER Aged Care Australia is the regular publication of Aged Care Association Australia. Unsolicited contributions are welcome but ACAA reserves the right to edit, abridge, alter or reject any material. Opinions expressed in Aged Care Australia are not necessarily those of ACAA and no responsibility is accepted by the Association for statements of fact or opinions expressed in signed contributions. Aged Care Australia may be copied in whole for distribution among an organisation’s staff. No part of Aged Care Australia may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the article’s author.

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


national update

CEO’s Report The comparative data and national average are set out in Table 1 below: Table 1: COST OF CARE COMPARISON 2006 – 07 Rod Young CEO, ACAA

AGED CARE FUNDING INADEQUACY CONFIRMED BY DoHA In response to a question in the Senate earlier this year, the Minister recently provided a set of answers which set out the average cost of care in each state and territory. What was interesting about this information is that it actually detailed significant variations between the costs of care as calculated by government in each jurisdiction.

ACAA would like to wish all our readers a joyous Christmas and a prosperous New Year.





















Estimate of Subsidy income ACAA has then looked at the average subsidy income that is received across all jurisdictions and estimated the income received by providers including supplements and special subsidy items such as enteral feeding and oxygen. Table 2 below sets out all of the analysis of subsidy income including CAP and special supplements STATE




























































SOURCE: Bill Bourne, ACAA NSW Business Services

What is interesting from this analysis is that if you look at the average Australian cost figures supplied by the Minister and then deduct the income the industry receives, you will find that there is a shortfall per resident per day of $10.17 as a national average The $10.17 amounts to a total shortfall in subsidy income provided by Government to sustain quality care services of $630M per annum. The estimate of subsidy is in our opinion, a conservative estimate and as the information provided by the Minister to the Senate is the Government’s own information, we consider that this assessment of shortfall is an accurate one. ACAA therefore calls on Government to recognize the level of shortfall being suffered by the industry and the urgent need to address this significant funding shortfall and particularly, to recognize the enormous impact that this has on the capacity of aged care providers to provide the level and quality of service that we earnestly believe we should be able to do and which our elderly frail clients are entitled to. n

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


national update

President’s Report Bryan Dorman, President, ACAA

The recommendations within the Health and Hospital Reform Commission Report contained major issues over the long term reform of aged care for Government to consider.


t the time of releasing the report, Prime Minister Rudd also announced that it was the intention of Government to have the Productivity Commission closely examine these aged care recommendations, and that the Government would be providing Terms of Reference to the Commission for the review task. On request, ACAA had presented recommendations and comments to Government on what might best be included in those Terms of Reference. It is our understanding that, at the time of going to print, the Government is still to provide its Terms of Reference to the Productivity Commission for the scope of the review. The likelihood now, is that the Productivity Commission will be unable to report back to Government any sooner than the end of 2010 calendar year. In essence, this means that any aged care reform agenda will not receive serious consideration or decision making, until at least 2011. Even if Government makes the 2011 deadline, many reforms will require a lengthy rollout period, and will most likely take up to seven years to implement with the impact of any reforms not likely to be completed until 2017 or later. Given many of the current conditions, constraints and difficulties that the industry operates within, this means that

aged care providers must have decisions from Government on a range of pressing issues, which are of a short to medium term nature. As an interim, this will provide the industry with some form of viability, until an aged care strategy , as part of a national health reform agenda, is effectively developed and the industry can proceed on the long term path of working towards those strategic objectives. ACAA has recognized this short and long term timeframe and has submitted to Government a number of measures that could be implemented, in the interim. If accepted by Government, these would have little or no cost to the public purse. A summary of these interim measures are as follows: 1. Change the ACATs role so that they determine suitability for access into care, then have aged care providers assess, in conjunction with the care recipient, the appropriate level of service, and the appropriate point of delivery for the assessed service. Cost: There is no direct cost to Government 2. Remove the current national 40% concessional resident ratio as a pre-determinant for the payment of the full concessional resident supplement and replace it with regional targets with the lower concessional supplement being paid at the margins where a provider fails to meet the regional target. Cost: It is estimated that the cost to Government will be approximately $25 M per annum 3. Allow high care providers who have achieved 1999 certification and 2008 space and privacy standards to charge an escalated accommodation charge per day on a sliding scale based on the resident’s assessed assets. ACAA Recommends an accommodation charge per day rate of $70. The challenge of achieving consumer acceptance, ACAA believes, can be handled by Providers. Cost: There is no cost to Government

4. Extend the pension assessment provision from low care to high care residents so that a person paying a lump sum contribution and a person paying an accommodation charge are treated equally for pension assessment purposes. The current system unfairly discriminates against high care residents paying an accommodation charge. Cost: There is no cost to Government 5. Transfer the aged care annual indexation to the greater of CPI or The All Groups Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index. Cost: Compared to the maintenance of COPO and ongoing CAP, it is believed that there will be little cost differential and therefore no cost to Government 6. Remove certification as an ongoing obligation on aged care providers and install the Building Code of Australia as the applicable building standard with which the industry should comply. Cost: There is no cost to Government 7. Replace the requirement for the lodging of audited General Purpose Financial Reports with a simplified set of financial data capable of providing all the relevant and appropriate information for the creation of an annual financial benchmark analysis of industry performance which will be published by the end of the relevant calendar year. Each analysis must also be undertaken by an appropriately qualified consultant. Cost: There is no cost to Government 8. Support the deployment across aged care of an electronic medication management system with an objective of having ninety five percent of all aged care providers using electronic medication charts and communicating electronically with GPs and pharmacists within four years. Cost: $40M per annum over four years These 8 measures are each quite easily achieved, and are relatively low cost to Government. Collectively, they go a long way to easing the short term burdens on the industry and the systemic discrimination of our residents. n

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


national update

Announcing a review of the Aged Care Act 1997 Julie McStay, Partner, Hynes Lawyers Aged Care Association of Australia (ACAA) is pleased to announce it has engaged Hynes Lawyers (Hynes) to undertake a long awaited review of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) (Act). This marks a very important first step forward in the reform of community and residential aged care in Australia. It also demonstrates ACAA’s commitment to addressing the concerns and difficulties in the provision of community and residential aged care currently being experienced by for profit and not for profit providers of residential and community aged care in Australia.


s a collaborative effort by Hynes and the ACAA, the review will involve significant industry consultation and will ultimately result in the preparation of a report to be submitted to Government and to the Opposition. The report will identify the aspects of the Act which are currently impeding the continued viability and growth of the industry as well as identifying a pragmatic series of reforms. The first stage of the review is complete. During this first stage Hynes Lawyers consulted with a wide cross section of providers from the very smallest for profit and not for profit providers, right up to the very largest providers in the sector, with a view to identifying the areas of the Act that are in most urgent need of reform. At the end of that consultation process, it was clear that there are four keys areas of the Act that the majority of providers agree are in most urgent need of reform. They are: •

the accreditation process;

the complaints investigation scheme;

care fees and accommodation charges; and

the allocation process.


Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

The framework for the review revolves around identifying how the current provisions in the Act which regulate these topics should be reformed to improve the long time viability of the industry whilst continuing to achieve the policy objectives of the legislation. Hynes has drafted a survey tool which will be issued to as many aged care providers across the country as possible including all members of the ACAA. The survey tool seeks to gather data to indicate industry preferences for the reforms necessary to the Act to allow the Act to continue to achieve its objectives while also allowing the industry to grow to meet current and likely future demand. Once the survey is complete it is intended that a report will be prepared, based on the data collected in the survey, which will illustrate the proposed reforms to the legislation which have the support of the industry. The ACAA and Hynes will jointly submit the report to the Commonwealth Minister for Ageing and the Shadow Minister for Ageing. The Health and Aged Care team at Hynes lawyers has many years experience in providing corporate and commercial advice to community and residential aged care providers, placing it in an excellent position to comment on and undertake a review of the Act. Both Hynes and the ACAA are concerned that to date the government has failed to address the long term reform issues needed within the Australian community and residential aged care system. It is hoped that the Ministers will support the widespread calls for review and reform of the Act as the survey results will surely demonstrate the need for urgent action to address these issues. The final report will contain meaningful information for all industry stakeholders and hopefully send a strong message to the Government and to the Opposition that reform must be considered a matter of absolute priority to ensure the continued viability of the industry. Reform of the Act is required today if the community and residential aged care system currently in existence in Australia is to evolve to meet the needs of tomorrow. n

national update


The industry has faced an enormous transitional period since March 2008, and has worn the significant cost and effort of systems change and staff training involved in moving to ACFI.

Charles Wurf, CEO ACAA-NSW

ACFI Review The Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) has now passed the 18 month mark since introduction in March 2008.


t the time of introduction, Government, Department and Industry agreed that a comprehensive review would take place at the 18 month mark, and this review process is now underway in the latter part of 2009. ACFI was a once-in-a-decade funding reform that has farreaching consequences to residential aged care in Australia. The industry has faced an enormous transitional period since March 2008, and has worn the significant cost and effort of systems change and staff training involved in moving to ACFI. All providers now have a year and a half of practical experience with the funding instrument and business rules. The financial results are in for a full year of receiving the resources attached to the new assessments and applying them to the actual delivery of care needs. A comprehensive program of validation has been developed and introduced. October saw the release of the first data set as at 30 June 2009, (available at nsf/content/ageing-acfi-30june.htm) and this initial data set showed that in the first 15 months some 157,000 assessments were completed under ACFI. November saw the release of the Terms of Reference for the Review of ACFI (available at The review will focus on whether ACFI has achieved its objectives of: •

Better matching funding to the complex care needs of residents;

Reducing the documentation created by aged care providers;

Reducing the level of disagreement between providers and the findings of departmental validators.

The review will also examine: •

The funding levels of approved providers in particular of low care providers and providers in rural and remote areas;

Access to appropriate care, especially for residents with special needs;

If there are any gaps or anomalies in the ACFI in relation to care needs;

If the ACFI appropriately recognises the roles of care providers in relation to the delivery of care needs; and

The appropriateness of Schedule 1 of the Quality of Care Principles 1997 in determining the services to be provided to residents of aged care facilities with differing levels of care needs.

In response to this review, ACAA-NSW has advised all members of a comprehensive response planned for Friday 4 December 2009. ACFI : Facts, Speculation and Review, is a joint initiative with ACS NSW & ACT, and will be a full day program designed to receive feedback from NSW providers. The information collated on 4 December 2009 will inform the submissions made from NSW to the Review in the early part of 2010. n

national update

Aged & Community Care Victoria Gerard Mansour, CEO ACCV

Vision 2019 ACCV launched a project in 2008 to create a ‘vision’ to focus on the long term aspirations of our industry in providing the best quality of life possible for older Victorians. As a result of the collaboration between ACCV members, consumers and other industry peak bodies, ACCV’s Vision 2019 was produced.


t is widely recognised by governments, industry and the broader community that we need to develop an aged care system for the future that will meet the needs of our rapidly ageing population. Older Victorians have contributed significantly to the wealth of our rich, diverse state. Vision 2019 proposes a range of strategies intended to stimulate planning by government and the aged care industry. These strategies aim to strengthen the capacity of our aged care system to successfully meet the needs of our diverse, ageing community into the future. Our vision is that as we age, all Victorians will have the best possible quality of life supported by an aged care system that meets our lifestyle and care needs. ACCV, as the industry body in Victoria, will work closely with aged care providers, government, the community and key stakeholders to achieve these strategies, build upon these opportunities and realise our vision.

4. A Financially Viable and Environmentally Sustainable Industry A financially secure and green industry that meets the needs and expectations of our ageing population. 5. An Accessible and Quality Aged Care System All Victorians can access and depend on high quality aged and community care services. By creating Vision 2019, ACCV has met one of its core aspirations to set a clear vision for our industry and the many older Victorians who rely upon our support. ACCV has now grown to represent over 90 per cent of the Victorian aged care industry and continues its commitment to maximise the use of member funds. As the voice of our members, our Vision ensures that ACCV will continue to actively promote the need for reform of our aged and community care industry so that we can have a robust and sustainable industry for the long term. A key focus for the next 12 months in particular in striving towards our Vision 2019 is through promoting the importance of key reform in order to build a viable and robust aged and community care industry for the long term. This year, there were two national reports initiated which clearly identified the need for aged care reform: the Senate Inquiry into Residential and Community Aged Care in Australia report and the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) report. There can be no doubt there is overwhelming support for governments at all levels to prioritise the need for reform of the aged and community care industry. Going forward, one of the most significant steps for our industry will be responding to the more recently released NHHRC report, which has advised the Federal Government that there should be three fundamental goals in reforming aged care: •

ensuring greater choice and responsiveness for consumers;

getting the most effective use of public monies while protecting those older people who are most in need; and

Vision 2019 is underpinned by five key goals:

1. Positive Ageing within Our Communities As Victorians age, they will be supported to maintain the best possible health as well as their interests, social and community connections.

creating an environment that fosters a robust and sustainable aged care sector.

Over the next year, a priority for Government will be to find an appropriate balance between its aim for greater consumer choice and building a financially viable industry for the long term.

2. A Responsive Service System A network of aged and community care services that are integrated with the broader health, housing and human service system. 3. A Vibrant and Capable Workforce A workforce that is inspired, skilled and valued so older Victorians experience quality care and a fulfilling life.

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Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

Vision 2019 will ensure ACCV will continue our work with government to seek reform and a far greater investment in both residential and community aged care.

To view an electronic copy of Vision 2019, visit n

national update

Aged Care Queensland Anton Kardash, CEO Aged Care Queensland

The recommendations flowing from the National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission have been a key focus for ACQI over the past few months. At the Annual General Meeting, ACQI members were treated to a mini consultation with the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot.

This year has been very full with ACQI continuing to build its capacity to provide members with a voice for change. Next year looks even more exciting with some real hope that this change will eventuate.


o commence the session, former Commissioner Rob Knowles spoke on the work of the commission and some of the underlying issues that they had considered. The Minister followed with a short introduction and then facilitated an extensive session with members connected by conference call from across Queensland. Members had the opportunity to provide comment and feedback on the recommendations directly to the Minister. The 60 participants felt the session was of great value, with both short-term and more strategic issues being discussed. Following this session, the Annual General Meeting was held. ACQI is pleased to announce that Ross Smith (CEO RSL Care) was re-elected to the position of President. The ACQI member services team was also pleased to host a Contemporary Community Care workshop, which was attended by 129 members. The forum provided a valuable opportunity for members to keep abreast of the latest issues in the sector, and represented an ongoing commitment by ACQI to provide members with high quality information. On a day-to-day basis the member services team continues to build its consultancy services to members, and increasingly to non-members as well. In addition to providing support on issues as diverse as accreditation, complaints investigation, ACFI validations, pre-accreditation audits and training, the team has been asked to provide coaching and mentoring services to an increasing number of members. ACQI has continued its strong support for its retirement village members with a resounding legal win. The recent Jomal Pty Ltd v Commercial & Consumer Tribunal & Ors decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal has ended one of the longest-running and most contentious disputes about the interpretation of the Queensland Retirement Villages Act in the industry’s history. The decision upholds the validity of provisions in existing contracts which make residents personally responsible for maintaining, repairing and replacing capital items that are in or affixed to residents’ units, but owned by the operator. ACQI joined with RVA and with financial support from some members to ensure that the Queensland retirement villages industry will benefit from the certainty that this decision brings to this long-contested issue. This year has been very full with ACQI continuing to build its capacity to provide members with a voice for change. Next year looks even more exciting with some real hope that this change will eventuate. n

national update

ACAA - WA Anne-Marie Archer, CEO ACAA-WA

It was wonderful to see so many members at the recent ACAAWA Annual General Meeting. For those who were unable to attend I have provided details of our new Board of Directors.

Ian Maybury from Zenith Insurance presenting the incoming 2009-10 ACAAWA President Michael Iles with a $20,000 cheque.

2009-10 ACAAWA Board of Directors President Mr Michael Iles

St Michael’s Residential Care

Vice-President Ms Irene Mooney

The Bethanie Group

Federal Director Mr Geoff Taylor

Aegis Aged Care Group

Board of Directors – in no particular order Mr Michael Iles

St Michael’s Residential Care

Ms Irene Mooney

The Bethanie Group & NAMPAC Chair

Mr Geoff Taylor

Aegis Aged Care Group

Ms Pauline Iles

St Michael’s Residential Care

Ms Pippa Cebis

Guildford Village

Mr David Cox

Embleton Care

Ms Nita Peploe

Continuing Healthcare

Mr Mike Brown

The Bethanie Group

Ms Michelle DeRonchi

The Regis Group

Ms Jackie Dillon

Second Avenue

ACAAWA CEO, Anne-Marie Archer with the outgoing President Stephen Becsi and Vice-President Pauline Iles and Geoff Taylor who will maintain in the Federal Directorship position

I wish to extend my genuine thanks to each and every one of the ACAAWA Directors for committing their time, professional experience and resources to the Association to ensure we can continue to work towards our charter on behalf of our members.

Industry Support

I would also like to extend thanks and appreciation to our outgoing Board Director and President Mr Stephen Becsi from The Bethanie Group who has stood down for 12 months due to work commitments.

In addition, we would also like to pay special thanks to Kim Gilbert and his team from Zenith Insurance for their continued support and once again contributing their generous sponsorship of $20,000 to ACAAWA.

Stephen’s contribution to the Association has been outstanding and the changes he has made notable; and we look forward to working with him again in coming years. We would also like to welcome Jackie Dillon back to the ACAAWA Board.

These funds will go towards our membership services and activities for the direct benefit of the members of our office in Western Australia.

I look forward to working with the Directors in the coming year to deliver a high level of membership services, whilst always striving to effect change for the industry.

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Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

We would also like to extend thanks to all of our State Corporate and Associate Members as it is through their continued financial support, as well as their sharing of information and resources we are able to support our Industry Members in the West. n

national update

ACAA - SA Paul Carberry, CEO ACAA - SA

Keep the Ageing Going Healthy and positive ageing is a commonlydiscussed theme these days, one in which my own interest is increasingly personal, as well as theoretical.


or individuals, the advice is straight-forward enough: watch what you eat and drink, keep your mind and body active, enjoy life, have goals and be positive.

However, for people aged 45-65 who’ve lost their job, but want to keep working, some of that advice may be hard to follow.

For our industry, keeping mature-aged people in the workforce is of double importance. Firstly, our own nursing and carer staff have higher average ages than the general workforce, and we wonder where their future replacements, in fact the greater numbers we’ll need, are going to come from. Are we doing all we can to look after and retain those we already have? Secondly, along with every other sector, aged care will be affected by the overall decline in workforce participation, the increasing numbers partly or totally dependent on government income support, the increasing numbers requiring medications and advanced healthcare solutions, and the escalating unit cost of these services. In turn, these factors will affect the government’s income, force taxation re-thinks, as well re-thinks about its spending priorities. As an industry which currently receives 70% of its income from the Commonwealth, our stake in all of this is profound. Some commentators see these projections being forestalled by a large increase in the Australian population, driven by young adult migrants, who will spend 40 years in the workforce, and help offset the natural demographics. Whether this is part of the solution or not, one thing is clear; Australia needs to make sure it utilises the talents of its current 45-65 year olds, so that they can be part of the solution too. So, how are we doing? According to one national recruiting firm: “In the workplace, there is a great deal to be gained from age diversity. Age diversity enables organisations to profit from the invaluable contributions that each age group can offer.(1) However, “Ageism can be spotted in almost every stage of employment, from recruitment and selection to terminations. Age can influence decisions about training and development, promotions and demotions, retrenchments and redeployments. In some organisations it is a dominant theme”(1). It’s hard for unemployed fifty-year olds to remain active and positive if they can’t get past first base in the job market. And Australia can’t afford to have their experience and talent go to waste. So, our society needs to change its attitudes, and employers need to understand the benefits of employing older people. Whilst it’s not our core business, I think our industry needs a voice in shaping community attitudes towards older workers, and shaping government policy to provide incentives for them to stay in the workforce, and for employers to keep them there. n

(1) Kelly Services,, 2009:


The 28th ACAA Annual Congress By Mike Swinson This is one of those instances in life, where words may simply fail to convey the reality of three frenetic days, but I’ll try to paint the picture as best I can. The images that are included will give life, colour and movement to my humble script.


he venue for the Congress was the new Melbourne Convention Centre. It’s massive, sprawling, vast empty spaces, plenary rooms, tier after tier of escalators, floor after floor of stairs for those who choose to exercise, all linked to the new Hilton Hotel, on the banks of the Yarra. The old Melbourne dockland is being transformed. It’s wonderful at six in the morning, (ask Rod Young) if you need to clear your head from a night’s hard work. To walk along the river and simply soak up the feeling of freedom, the crisp morning air, resonating with the sounds of exercise. You are surrounded by people on the move, on bikes, skates, two feet like Rod and I, others in rowing shells on the river. I almost expected to bump into Toad yelling at the Washerwoman. Well, please allow me my little idiosyncrysies, it was early and I was trying to keep up with Rod, who was chatting nonstop.

the Golden Girls from, yep, Queensland; Marilyn Munroe made it back to Vegas and onto the knee of Elvis! No-one who attends these functions ever goes home and fesses up to spouse and family that ‘it was the best bloody conference ever, I danced all night, did my bit and a bit more for the wine industry, sold a bucket load of software/hardware/ finance, but really it was tough going.’ Really? How could it be tough going, listening to Professor Nifty Neville Norman, (his description, not mine) as he made economics and interest rates a topic for laughter and good fun. He is a specialist who has managed to get it right when all else around him were floundering. Unemployment rates: will peak at less than 7 per cent. The Stimulus Package: needs to be wound back, but how? How will all that impact on your sector, aged care? Who knows, but at least look back, learn and plan for what you think is coming. Or the cautionary tale from Lawyer Brian Herd, of the aged care resident who broke the rules, but won the ensuing argument. She installed in her room, a toaster, big fridge, an electric jug and a microwave, contrary to the conditions of her signed Residential Care Agreement. Brian said the resident was asked by the facilities Workplace Health and Safety Officer ‘to remove the items and de-clutter her room.’

Rowing coaches abound, either on the river in small boats, or on bikes on the tow path, all with loud hailers, the sounds of a city well and truly awake.

She removed the toaster, and then lodged a complaint with the Complaints Investigative Scheme (CIS) alleging a breach of rights.

The Congress itself, 700 delegates. A place for commercial vendors and speakers to mingle, chat, do business, swap stories, and build networks. Speakers, spruikers, performers, singing bus drivers. People dancing in the street, people ‘working’ late, late, late. Young people being led astray by others who should know better. Then there was the ghost of Heath Ledger;

The CIS finds in favour of the facility. The resident appealed to the Aged Care Commissioner. To cut a long and fascinating story short, she won. The Legacy of this decision: The rights of the resident override the provisions in your Residential Care Agreement. >

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



< Guess what? Your facilities are about to be filled with bolshie baby boomers, so look out! Or listen to Allan Turner’s application of common sense to the utilisation of IT on a huge scale by Silver Chain in WA. Allan updated delegates on the success of his deployment of more than 1800 high tech phones to employees. He talked about the millions of dollars that can be saved with the adoption of new technology. ‘It’s part of how the industry will survive,’ said Allan. You missed an opportunity to be a part of the Future Directions discussion panel, where the messages of change came thick and fast. Panel member Mike Rungie, the CEO of the Adelaide based ACH Group suggested that ‘the federal government will have to change from being a regulator in aged care to being a facilitator, giving consumers more control over what happens to them when they need assistance and care services.’ It seems everyone hopes the Minister for Ageing and her Government gets that message and works co-operatively with the industry to develop an effective future directions strategy. Unfortunately, she missed a golden opportunity to engage with industry leaders on an in-depth thought exchange process. To help develop a vision for the future so facility owners (Private and Not-for-Profit) can begin to plan ahead. Mark McCrindle, one of Australia’s foremost social researchers, had revealing statistics re-enforcing the truth of the Tsunami warning of demographic change that is approaching. >

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



< He detailed that in 1948 Australia’s population was 7.7 million, 5.8% or 443,000 people were aged between 65 and 75. In 2008, our population had tripled to 22 million but those aged 65 to 75 had quadrupled to 1.6 million. It’s estimated that by 2048 we will have 3.5 million Australian’s aged between 65 and 75. In fact it’s expected that there will be 400,000 of us who will be over 100. Who pays for the carer and where do we source all these workers from? Well, according to Mark we are in the midst of a baby boom, 300,000 in a single year. Combine that with an increase in immigration, and our population will hit an estimated 35 million in the years ahead. There is hope! David Lane, Director, Thomson Adsett, launched the new planning and design tool for anyone in aged care interested in improving and dymistifying the design and costing processes of new or replacement buildings. This is a remarkable piece of IT. It is a world first and Australia can be proud of the fact that it was developed here and is available to all aged care owners to help with design and construction planning. It’s well worth a look, no matter if you are at the small end or big end of town. Rod Young said in time the Seniors Living Domain will prove to be a very powerful tool, as it will update annually the cost of construction by state and territory. It will also allow providers to

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Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

develop a costed sketch plan at their computer thus saving a lot of time and money. A thirty day free trial of the software is available for viewing at: n


Future Directions for Aged Care By Mike Swinson ‘We set up focus groups among some of our most frail residents, most living at home. They had a good range of disabilities, including blindness and dementia. When we asked them if they were interested in Consumer Directed Care, they said, “No. Too complicated, leave it the way it is.”


ut when we asked them the question, “If you had $150.00 to spend on care, how would you spend it?” We got enthusiastic responses, including: •

They know about and want independent living aids, but they are too expensive.

They want regular holidays.

They want staff who do the things they want on the days they turn up!

They all want to return to doing volunteer roles.

They want to save for a rainy day.

It seems that almost everyone wants dignity, respect, some control over what care is delivered, in what form and when, and as normal a life as is possible in the circumstances. It’s called Consumer Directed Care. Even the Minister for Ageing, Justine Eliot said in her address to the congress, ‘We want to allow Australian’s to live with the maximum degree of dignity and independence possible.’ So who was on the panel of aged care personalities? •

Mike Rungie, CEO of the ACH Group in Adelaide.

Jim Toohey, then CEO of Tricare in Queensland.

Russell Halpern, a Director and founder of the St Ives Group from WA.

Michael O’Neil, the CEO of National Seniors.

It seems there is no easy answer to the vexed question of ‘where to from here?’ How to predict what your future clients will demand/want/need in an uncertain market, in very uncertain economic times is a tough ask. It is made more difficult because governments come and go and aged care policy seems to be largely developed on the run or in the months before an election! Jim Toohey summed it up this way, ‘there is no civilization in human history that has had to consider how to deliver intensive care to so many people for so long. The approaching Tsunami of an ageing population, the demands of baby boomers for better care and a much bigger say in how that care is delivered is getting closer and closer.’ Just before the panel discussion got underway, Social Researcher Mark McCrindle, from McCrindle Research painted a fascinating picture of future population trends. ‘In 1948 Australia’s population was 7.7 million, 5.8% or 443,000 people were aged between 65 and 75. By 2008, our population had tripled to 22 million but those aged 65 to 75 had quadrupled to 1.6 million. It’s estimated that by 2048 we will have 3.5 million Australian’s aged between

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65 and 75. In fact it’s expected that there will be 400,000 of us who will be over 100.’ Mike Rungie said, ‘Australians will have to come to terms with big changes in the way the aged care sector is funded and operated, otherwise the system will collapse as the demand for care skyrockets.’ Russell Halpern added this important rider to that conversation. ‘The federal government will have to change from being a regulator in aged care to being a facilitator, giving consumers more control over what happens to them when they need assistance and care services.’ It will be interesting to see if the Minister and her Government can recognize these pressures and allow the system to evolve in this manner? Russell, in his inimitable style sounded a warning for providers. ‘We will have to offer clients seamless aged care services, where people stay with a single provider from community care delivered at home, to a nursing home, with strong links to acute health care facilities. That’s what people will demand.’ Mike Rungie: ‘the three most important areas of aged care that require urgent action are: •

Increased innovation from both public and private sectors in the way we fund and deliver aged care services.

The focus of care needs to shift away from regulation and control to providing a better quality of life to older and frail Australians

Greater flexibility in the way funds are provided to, and managed by, the sector from government.’

Michael O’Neil, welcomed the discussion and direction to ‘ A stronger Consumer Focus.’ ‘That’s what our people are happy to hear, because it’s what they say they want,’ he said. Mike Rungie: ‘I want to talk about three things that I think need fixing. They include a greater focus on living and on good health, because the feedback we are getting says, care is great, staff are great but quality of life is ordinary. There doesn’t seem to be mush vision about what quality of life is like when you are eighty or beyond. ‘The second is innovation. I don’t see a lot of innovation in aged care and finally we need to attract graduates into the sector, to make it attractive for younger university graduates to want to work in aged care. We are setting up a teaching and research aged care facility, attached to a hospital, as a joint venture with two universities. ‘ This is the sort of wide ranging discussion that you need to be a part of, to hear first-hand what pioneers like Mike Rungie are doing, that’s why Congress’s like the recent ACAA event are so important to the industry. According to Rod Young, the CEO of ACAA, ‘the aged care industry needs to work with its future consumers and collectively convince government, that a core component of this change to a stronger, more consumer focused service, is for government to change the current regulatory regime to one of supporting the industry to meet changing expectations and demand.’ n


ACAA 28th Annual Congress Awards 2009 ACAA would like to acknowledge the commendation, high commendation and winners of the ACAA 2009 Awards. These submissions are a wonderful demonstration of best practice in the aged care industry. ACAA congratulates the following award recipients:

Employer of Choice Awards Employer Commendations:

Management Awards – Facility / Team Category

Mareeba Aged Care

Facility / Team Category Special Commendations:

Canterbury Private Nursing Home

Mary Ogilvy House

Employer High Commendation:

Mareeba Aged Care

The Whiddon Group Wingham

Facility / Team Category Runner Up:

Employee Commendation:

Canterbury Private Nursing Home

Spiritus Neilson Home

Facility / Team Category Winner:

Employee High Commendation:

Hillcrest Aged Care Facility

Chelsea Manor

Winners: Baptcare Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV)

Management Awards – Manager Category Manager Category High Commendation:

Building Awards – Renovated Building Category

Judy Mann (Diment Towers (IRT))

Renovated Building Category High Commendation:

Manager Category Winner:

Miranda Aged Care Facility (Doherty & Associates)

Margaret Thornton (Moruya Retirement Village (IRT))

Manager Category Runner Up: Dawn McDonald (Clermont Nursing Home)

Renovated Building Category Winner: Wentworth Manor (Regis Group)

Building Awards – New Building Category

Management Awards – Clinical Category Clinical Category Commendations: Julia Emmott (Miranda Aged Care Facility - Doherty Care)

New Building Category Special Commendations:

Clinicial Team Goodwin Care, Farrer ACT

Blue Care Labrador Gardens

Clinical Category Winner is:

Georges Manor (Kresner Group & Advantaged Care)

Kristen Smith (Uniting Care Ageing)

New Building Category Winner: Brian King Gardens (Anglican Retirement Villages)

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Elsie and me By Mike Swinson When I rang and spoke to Elsie and Rowly, they took the call on a speaker phone so they could both talk to me together. You may not think that’s special, but its revealing, because it’s a reflection of the way things are and have been with these two remarkable individuals.


oth are aged 95, both sound decades younger. Rowly just passed his driving test and has a new licence that will last him another ten years, now that’s optimism for you. ‘We plan everything we do, always have done,’ says Rowly. ‘From the time when we were first married and we had to live on three pounds a week, with rent taking half of that, we learnt to budget. Times were very tough then in the thirties, but we managed. We used to see if we could manage to buy one bottle of lemonade a week out of what we had left.’

They grew up in the same street in the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield. They lived two doors from one another and Elsie told me that she remembers Rowly being a mischievous young bloke, always ‘up to something.’ Rowly said his mum used to give him a penny to catch a tram to the tech college where he was training to be an electrical fitter and turner. Rowly used to walk to the

Rowly and Elsie were married at 11.00am on the 11th of November and this year they celebrate their 76th wedding anniversary. It’s a date that is easy to remember as the nation stops at that moment every year in memory of those who gave their lives in war.

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Elsie and me (continued)

college every day and pocket the money, to buy ‘something special.’ ‘I never ever told mum that’s what I did; if I had she wouldn’t have given me the money.’ He told me that he was always very ambitious, ‘I always wanted to get on and do something with my life. I love fixing things up, then moving on to something else.’ If you look back at his life, that’s precisely what he’s done. He built a business from scratch, sold it, bought a run-down farm, built it up till there was ‘nothing left to do,’ and sold it. Moved into a falling down house, fixed it up and still live in it. To this day they are both active, having travelled the world three times since Rowly retired, and still go bowling and to clubs. By now you may have gathered that Rowly does most of the talking, while Elsie chips in from time to time with a quick comment. Elsie is one of those quiet, always get it done and not make a fuss types, salt of the earth, if you know what I mean. She told me that when Rowly asked her to marry him, she thought to herself, ‘He’ll do me. He’s pretty good looking, bit of a wag. I didn’t know then that once we were married it would be as tough to try and get by as it was.’ Elsie said that she lived a quiet life and didn’t have many friends. ‘Rowly got me to go to Rotary and that helped my self confidence a lot.’ Even though they once lived in the Collingwood area, they are not the slightest bit interested in football, don’t smoke or drink. ‘Couldn’t afford it for a long time,’ said Rowly. ‘These days we do have a glass of red wine with dinner at night. We are both fit and healthy, even though for years we ate food dripping with fat, bread and dripping, bread and butter puddings.’ During the war years Rowly worked at an ordinance factory as an electrical fitter. ‘After the war there was nothing to do, it almost drove me silly, and so I got out.’ Rowly started his own business in his back shed, fixing water pumps, it grew and grew. One thing led to another

and soon he was employing people, re-conditioning valves and pumps. He moved into new premises and soon had almost all the major oil companies as clients. ‘I realised early on,’ said Rowly, ‘that if I printed my invoices they looked professional and were easy to follow and check. I could hardly write one out these days, my writing is so bad, but I always printed them because it looked professional.’ ‘Rowly would come home at night, dirty and greasy,’ said Elsie, ‘wouldn’t take his shoes off at the back door! Still I forgave him his little sins. We almost never squabble or argue. We always work things out between us. Always have.’ ‘I never became the bookmaker for Rowly’s business,’ said Elsie, ‘I wasn’t clever enough.’ ‘She was home with a full time job, looking after the five kids,’ says Rowly, ‘she wouldn’t have had time for that anyway.’ Some years ago, one of their daughters developed Alzheimer’s disease. It shocked them both the way it changed her personality and they had a tough time coping with her illness and supporting her husband and his family. ‘It’s awful the way it destroys people,’ says Rowly. ‘It was horrible to see her suffer. Finally she

We almost never squabble or argue. We always work things out between us. Always have.

died and that was a release for everyone. It’s tough to lose one of your kids, because she wasn’t really very old, not by our standards anyway, she was only 60.’ They both joined the local Rotary club and that has taken them all over the world three times since Rowly retired. Rowly and Elsie were recently profiled in the Good Weekend magazine. In the final paragraph, journalist Dani Valent reveals a touching insight to the depth and strength of the couple’s relationship. “I don’t think we’d change much in our lives. I often think that we are almost one. If one of us lost the other, it would be like losing part of yourself. It would be very hard. But we are optimists; (if you hadn’t already guessed!) we never think it’s going to happen.” Well, Rowly does have another ten years to go on his licence and if he goes early, Elsie was told she’d get a refund! n

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Mike Swinson Profiles ACAA Board Member from Mackay, North Queensland.

Mary Anne Edwards like it or looks like it. She comes in for visits when she isn’t away on trips around Australia and the world.’ Mary Anne and her mother are both trained nurses. Both have worked in the aged care sector before becoming facility managers then owners. Maryanne is a qualified midwife and reveals that ‘I realised after working as a midwife that I liked older people more than I did young mothers!’ I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from that statement. On 31st Dec 1984, Mary Anne and her mum took over the lease on a thirty bed high care facility, not purpose built, in an older style building. Its future was limited. They had the foresight to take advantage of land that became available diagonally opposite the building and built a new, single room facility in 1999, with 30 high care beds and 10 low care. Then in 2007 they extended it by another 23 beds.

‘I think an industry sector is only as strong as the people who represent it and speak for it. Somebody has to take that responsibility. I don’t mind doing my bit. It would be all too easy to let other people do the travel, the work and the meetings, it would be easy to criticise from the outside, but that’s not me.


fter all, I live in regional Mackay and you could just as easily slip along in the current of life and let the flow take you for the ride, I don’t like

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that. I like to know why we are doing what we are doing. It is in the best interests of our clients and our staff for me to be involved at board level with ACAA.’ Meet Maryanne Edwards, a board member of ACAA from Mackay in North Queensland. Mary Anne is a self described workaholic, not over the top, but she likes to be active and involved. She and her young 80 year old mother (Joan) own and run a 63 bed private, purpose built aged care facility in Mackay. It has 42 high care beds and 21 low care. ‘I own the facility with my mother; she has retired, but doesn’t like the ‘R’ word, so I never mention it. Joan still takes prospective clients through the facility about once a week. She has such a wealth of knowledge of the aged care industry and this town that it would be crazy not to utilise it. Even though my mum is 80 you would not know it, she neither acts

Mackay is a wonderful coastal town, far enough away from both Townsville and Rockhampton to survive and prosper. Sugar cane, fruit, vegetables and mining are its biggest industries, not to mention the adjoining cattle country in the Brigalow areas to the West. ‘Joan started working in aged care in 1973 and became Director of Nursing in 1977. I left Mackay in 1977 to train as a nurse at PA Hospital in Brisbane, stayed there for 5 years, then came back, got married along the way, had four, was it five kids, kept working and seemed to manage somehow. ‘The kids got limited time with me, but what they got was good. We all enjoy a wonderful close family relationship, even though they are now scattered across Australia. ‘We work well together and I use Joan as a sounding board when I need help and advice. We live beside each other and are best friends; our relationship is much more than a traditional mother /daughter one.’

We work well together and I use Joan as a sounding board when I need help and advice. We live beside each other and are best friends; our relationship is much more than a traditional mother / daughter one

I asked her, “If you had the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliott in your office for an hour, what would you say to her?” ‘Well, as it turns out, I did have a meeting with Justine Elliott here in Mackay,’ said Mary Anne, ‘arranged by our local member; I’m sorry to say it was not productive from my point of view’ Mary Anne doesn’t pull punches, she is the sort of person who speaks her mind, sometimes calls a spade ‘a bloody shovel,’ that sort. She launches into what must be for her a well trodden path and topic. ‘Apart from all the obvious capital funding issues, this government is making an already difficult industry more difficult. Mary Anne is just warming to her topic. ‘The Minister can make the industry as accountable as she likes. However that sort of punitive action, doesn’t make the

industry any more attractive for staff, it doesn’t make it more attractive to people who want to invest in new facilities, and that’s what the industry needs.’ ‘In Mackay it is so competitive with the mining industry for staff and yet we are so constrained by the funding regime, it makes it almost impossible to compete and the Minister doesn’t seem to understand or appreciate the difficulty providers and staff deal with every day. The staffing difficulties are not limited to care staff; we can’t get cooks, cleaners and nurses.’ Mary Anne told me that while the aged care industry appreciates the extra finance that has been made available for new aged care staff training, it needs more help to up-skill existing staff. ‘We need leadership and vision from the Minister and the federal government,

because it takes a long time to create change; sometimes the changes they have made have not been beneficial from either a business operating perspective or care delivery perspective.’ So “summing up on that” I ask? ‘I think the Minister needs to sit down with the industries peak bodies and negotiate on the major issues and be prepared to compromise, as we are. This negotiation needs to be in two stages. Immediate issues that will help the industry over the next couple of years and long term strategic issues that will effect change over the next twentyfive years. ‘Otherwise we are not going to have facilities and care available for millions of older and frail Australians as we hit the demographic time bomb everybody keeps talking about.’ n


Aged Care IT Vendor Forum Update Aged Care IT vendors have now created an association named ACIVA - the Aged Care IT Vendor Association. The Committee voted the following persons to be in the following positions for the next 12 months; Secretary – Mark Audley (Wecare), Treasurer – Chris Gray (icare), Chairperson – Caroline Lee (leecareplus). 


hree sub-committees have been formed with Peter Staples (Management Advantage) chair of the Medicare committee, Wes Radulski (Goldcare) chairing the Accreditation agency committee and Caroline Lee as chair of the ACFI committee. The committee are very grateful for the support provided by the Aged Care IT Council and the two industry bodies in supporting the formation of the association. We very much look forward to liaising with the council and various government bodies regarding issues of interest to all in the industry but more specifically, supporting a greater understanding of IT concepts and issues amongst all stake-holders.

Amongst other objectives, our Articles of Association include objectives such as: • • •

To provide value to businesses providing technological solutions to the Aged Care Industry of Australia and their clients. To support education activities with the Aged Care Industry of Australia to enhance an understanding of technological solutions and commensurate implementation strategies To disseminate relevant information to businesses providing technological solutions to the Aged Care Industry of Australia regarding changes to that industry, regulatory bodies and/or government bodies. To gather, promote & communicate the position of ACIVA with Regulatory, Government & other relevant bodies to ensure vendor involvement in any policy changes within Aged Care that will impact on the industry’s IT systems

The 21 foundation members of the association represent most if not all the largest providers of IT systems to the aged care industry, demonstrating an identified need for collaboration on various initiatives. As vendors we will also be addressing matters that relate specifically to the needs of aged and community care organisations, to support them in their implementations and auditing/validation experiences. We will remain in close contact with the IT council and partner with them on initiatives which affect us both. For further details related to the association or to become a member, please email n


ITAC 2010 Smart Aged Care – The eHealth Revolution


TAC 2010 will provide key content and opportunities for individuals and organisations with an interest in the aged care sector. International and national experts will present on a range of topics related to the conference theme.  Presentations will also focus on the broad business and strategic issues facing an industry dealing with multiple challenges in an environment of substantial reform. The conference will bring together experts across the fields of community care, medication management, assistive technologies and offsite information systems delivery.

Who Should Attend ITAC 2010? • • • •

Chief Executive Officers Government policy makers – Federal and State Operation Directors and Managers Hostel Supervisors

• • • • • •

Chief Information Officers Care Managers Industry Partners Operational staff Healthcare Administrators Carers Directors of Nursing

Exhibitors ITAC 2010 is the perfect opportunity to showcase your products and services to a highly influential audience. So don’t wait, book your stand now before they are all sold.

Aged Care Industry IT Awards The Aged Care Industry IT Awards will be held again this year in conjunction with ITAC. Categories for submissions will be: • • •

ICT Company of the Year Best Implementation of the Year – under 150 beds Best Implementation of the Year – over 150 beds

More details on the awards will be available soon. Keep an eye on the website for submission forms. ITAC 2010 is proudly supported by the Aged Care Industry Council (ACIC). Go online to to find out more details and to register your interest. n


RIBA the friendly robot nurse and down, and other more intricate moves. Motion is adjusted and suspended or resumed by touching on RIBA’s tactile sensors. Its base has omni-directional wheels so it can move in any direction. RIBA has specially-created joint positions and link lengths designed for lifting up a human. It’s slim arms and joint structure have high rigidity and high output torque, while two cameras and two microphones allow it to follow an operator using visual and audio cues. When the operator is within its view, RIBA detects the position (direction and distance), and moves to the operator’s front. RIBA also detects sound source direction. RIBA the robot nurse can lift and carry patients up to 61kg/134lbs

It might look like a cross between a snowman and a badly-designed toy polar bear, but the nursing fraternity should appreciate this robot that can lift patients in and out of beds and wheelchairs on command, while at the same time saving nurses’ backs and improving patient care and safety.


IBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) is said to be the first robot that can lift up or set down a real human (up to 61kg/134lbs) from or to a bed or wheelchair. RIBA does this using a combination of its very strong human-like arms and by novel tactile guidance methods using high-accuracy tactile sensors. RIBA was developed by integrating RIKEN’s control, sensor, and information processing and TRI’s material and structural design technologies. Robots like RIBA could prove themselves very worthy acquisitions when you consider the number of times patients in hospitals and care facilities are lifted and moved each day - no wonder many care-givers struggle with bad backs, injuries and exhaustion, not to mention the patients who suffer from poorly-executed moves. Then there are patients who can’t be moved often enough when nursing staff is limited.

First RI-MAN, now RIBA RIBA is the second generation robot to emerge from RIKENTRI. The first model, named Ri-Man, had limited safety and performance functionality, but RIBA’s human-like arms equipped with high-precision tactile sensors and a body encased in a soft exterior of urethane foam, guarantees patient safety and comfort say its makers. The nursing robot responds to operator’s commands from the basic “hello”, “goodbye” and “shake hands”, through to lifting up

The robot’s body is covered with soft materials and the elbow and waist joints are isolated, making RIKA safe for physical interactions with humans. This softness also contributes to patient comfort when they are being lifted. A teddy bear shape was deliberately used to put patients at ease and to give a friendly, non threatening, appearance. Staff can control RIBA’s motion by directly touching its tactile sensors. RIBA’s makers say this is an intuitive control method because the contact position and force direction coincide with those of the desired motion. By pattern processing RIBA can detect the operator’s touch even when in the process of lifting a human.

Specifications: • • • • • • • • • • •

Height: 140cm/55in Weight: 180kg/400lbs (including battery) Payload:61kg/134lbs (tested value) Area tactile sensor with 128 sensing-elements (for each upper arm), 86 sensing-elements (for each forearm) Hand sensor with 4 sensing-elements (for each hand) Vision sensor: two cameras Auditory sensor: two microphones Operation time: one hour in standard use Actuator: DC motor Power: NiMH battery Base movement: Omni-directional with omni-wheels

The nursing-care assistant robot has been created by the RikenTri Collaboration Centre for Human-Interactive Robot Research (RTC), which was established as a joint collaboration project by RIKEN and Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd (TRI). They believe robots like the RIBA should be able to alleviate much of the burden surrounding manual patient moves in hospitals and aged-care facilities. RIBA is scheduled for release in the near future, but until then RIBA can be seen in action through a series of videos at In a world coming to terms with an aging population, robots like RIBA are going to play an increasing part in patient care. n This article first appeared in

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Aged Care Introducing Video Games for Fun and Fitness

When you walk into The Salvation Army’s Barrington Lodge in New Town, you pass the usual scenes you expect in an Aged Care Home.


ome residents are knitting; others are grabbing a quiet afternoon nap in the sun.

But in the Chapel, an area normally quiet and serene, you encounter a fascinating occurrence. Two of the residents are playing video games on a projector.

the machine permanently into the fitness, therapy and wellbeing program of the home. “We’re hoping that it will improve their balance, keep their mobility going and improve their general fitness and wellbeing,” Dianne said. She goes on to explain that most of the residents, and indeed most elderly in aged care, are at high risk of falling. Part of the reason this machine has been introduced is to measure the balance and strength of the residents using it. Anne Olding, Risk Assessment Manager for The Salvation Army, agrees.

The machine itself doesn’t depend on you pressing buttons to play the game - rather, it uses motion senses.

“We are actually reducing the risk [of falls] by providing them with a program to help with their balance,” she said.

This means you must mimic real life actions to the game you are playing - be it serving a tennis ball or swinging a gold club - by swinging your arms or body in time.

Anne continues, giving another reason for the installation of the video game, to help create a bond between the residents and their grandchildren who come to visit.

The system isn’t only for entertainment purposes. Dianne Richards, the Therapy Coordinator for the home, is integrating

“Once the residents get the hang of it, they can use it with their families, grandchildren and friends.

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“It’s great, although I’ve embarrassed myself a few times,” says Barry, one of the residents currently using the machine. “My old arm seems to be going [better] and the old body seems to be getting the benefit.” Phyllis, his virtual tennis partner, agrees. “I’ve found it real good,” she says while smiling. “It’s really getting me concentrating.” While video games won’t supplant the traditional methods of exercise for aged care residents such as walking and hydrotherapy, it is hoped that this new technology can assist in keeping them fit and entertained, if not a little frustrated. “Oh, I keep missing the balls,” bemoans Phyllis as the computer serves ace after ace. “I’ll have to get used to it.” n Source: This article first appeared on (September 2009)


SIMsystem™ set to revolutionise continence care

The innovative SIMsystem™ or ‘Smart Pad’, for improved continence care in residential aged care facilities was launched onto the Australian market in November 2009.


Philippa Lewis, CEO of Simavita, the manufacturer and developer of the SIMsystem™ was very excited about the MTAA’s industry recognition and endorsement of the SIMsystem technology which arrived in the lead up to the roll out of the technology to aged care facilities Australia-wide. “The SIMsystem™ is the next step towards the digitalisation of aged care. Manual assessment processes are unreliable, inaccurate, labour intensive and disruptive to patients, said Lewis.

IMsystem™ was also a finalist in the prestigious Medical Technology Association of Australia’s Kerrin Rennie Award for Excellence in Medical Technology in Improving Quality of Life in September.

She says that the new technology eliminates intrusive practices that could embarrass and upset the resident and delivers better diagnosis, more effective management and treatment of incontinence.

Managing incontinence in aged care facilities is a major issue as it takes away resident’s privacy and dignity and is a huge cost burden requiring the most amount of staff time compared to other care. The Commonwealth government spent $1.3 billion on urinary incontinence care of residential aged care patients in 2003(1).

“The SIMsystem™ is a major cost benefit in aged healthcare” says Lewis. Trials of the SIMsystem™ funded by the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), showed that the device reduced the cost of continence care by up to one third in aged care facilities. Simavita has met with members of Government to

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discuss the integration of the SIMsystem into aged care facilities. As the brainchild of the late Dr Fred Bergman, a Melbourne GP who recognised the need for better quality and more efficient treatment of incontinence while working in aged care during the 1980s, the SIMsystem™ has undergone successful clinical trials and is registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The award winnning SIMsystem™ was showcased on the ABC Television program’s The New Inventors and won the People’s Choice Award in September 2008. Simavita is holding a series CEO luncheons and round table discussion for leaders in the aged care industry to coincide with the SIMsystem™ launch and further information about these events will be available from n


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Report 2006, Australian Incontinence Data Analysis and Development


Case Study:

the lost card can be cancelled at a push of a button.

VingCard electronic locks benefit Mareeba Aged Care facility

Sam Baker Director of Mareeba Aged Care Facility said they chose VingCard because: “The theme of the facility was to make sure it was cutting edge on all facets. We wanted to future proof everything so that in 5 years time we didn’t need to retro-fit electronic locks as we expected that we would need to do it at that time.”


Over the last few years VingCard has released new products such as RFID locks where you simply have to put the card near the reader for the door to unlock. There is no need to find the keyhole and turn the key which makes a card system much easier to use for older people with failing eyesight and arthritis. At Mareeba Aged Care Facility Sam Baker made the comment that: “At this early stage bothresidents and staff have found the locks easier to use than mechanical locks”

raditional applications for VingCard card-operated electronic locks have been in hotels and motels but now with technological advances in the products, other types of properties are beginning to use them as well. Aged Care Facilities are one of these property types and in this issue of Aged Care Australia, we will take a look at how the installation of VingCard electronic locks has benefited Mareeba Aged Care Facility and can also benefit other facilities of this type in the future. The first most obvious benefit is the ability of the VingCard system to cancel a lost card with a new one without needing to change the lock barrels and re-issue expensive metal keys. With VingCard the cost of this exercise would be $1.50 for a new key instead of $100-$200 or even thousands of dollars if the key lost was a master key. If the system is controlled centrally by a wireless network

Besides being easily able to cancel lost cards the system can interrogate who has entered rooms and when they entered. It can also find out which rooms people opened by reading their card. Alternatively if the system is centrally controlled by a wireless network both these operations can be completed at the push of a button. Sam Baker said that “although they haven’t had to use this feature since opening he could see it becoming very useful in the future”

The VingCard system can also control which rooms people can access based on the requirements of their job so staff members don’t need to carry a huge set of keys around with them. They simply need a card, keyfob or wristband. As well as controlling which rooms staff can access the system can control when the card works so it will only work during certain hours of the day in case the card is taken home and lost. This is important as if the card is still valid whoever finds it will have access to the building. In conclusion next time you are looking to build a new Aged Care Facility, upgrade or improve an existing facility have a look a the extra benefits electronic locks provide in improving the operation and security of you property. Having said this, I will leave the last comment to Sam Baker: “I would highly recommend other facilities install VingCard electronic locks as it is an efficient, effective and trouble-free system. Security is a high priority for us and using the VingCard system gives us one less thing to worry about when running the facility” n


Facebook for seniors NEC Australia has launched a social networking site like Facebook targeted for older Australians.


he community portal will enable seniors to communicate online with their friends and family. The site will also contain Centrelink Pension news, information on retirement and seniors’ health updates. NEC Australia is also working with the federal government to deliver over 2,000 internet kiosks to communities around the country. The Broadband for Seniors program aims to build community participation and social communication among older Australians.

The group manager of NEC Australia, David Cooke said access to the internet enables older people to live fuller lives. “Our community portal provides a place where family members can share contact with older relatives,” he said. “Photos can be deposited onto the community site as well as allowing older Australians to access community, social and assistance information. “In a lot of cases, tech-savvy grandchildren are the drivers for older Australians to learn more about the internet and stay involved in the lives of their families.” The NEC Community Portal homepages offers links to a search engine and online games as well as websites about key interest areas such as gardening, golf and cooking.

Veterans, aged statistics and other helpful hints for the ACAR


reparing a submission for places in the ACAR is an important job and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is able to provide information that will assist Aged Care providers in this task. Veterans are a special needs group, as defined in the Aged Care Act 1997, and as such Aged Care providers must state how they will cater for veterans’ needs when applying for Aged care places. To help with this process, DVA has prepared a comprehensive website. There are links to veteran demographics and statistical information by state and territory, facts sheets, and explanatory notes on veteran culture and health. This website http://www. index.aspx may provide valuable assistance for aged care providers in developing veteran specific programs and in understanding the special needs of veterans.

“We are moving to a broadband enabled society, and delivering information, learning and social engagement through broadband has proven positive effects on well being, and can fend off the loneliness people often feel as they get older,” said Mr Cooke. n Source: Australian Ageing Agenda


Tips For Conducting A High-Quality Interview By Dr. Ken Byrne

The interview is a surprisingly complex process. It involves two parties, both of whom are buying and selling. There is substantial potential for dishonesty among both parties.


he applicant’s job is to sell themself as the best available applicant. In doing so the applicant is rarely if ever very fully candid. This is understandable. They want the job, and want to make themselves look as attractive as possible. At the same time, they have to consider how this job compares with where they now work, or with other roles they have in mind, to decide if they want to ‘buy’. The employer is also selling. The organisation must be able to persuade applicants that this will be a rewarding place to work. In doing this some employers are less than candid in describing the less attractive aspects of the job. The employer is also buying. In hiring someone they are preparing to invest a considerable amount of money – usually someone else’s. Before doing so you want to find out who this person is, not just what they know. To prepare for the interview it’s important that your questions are well thought out. You must have high quality questions that allow you to get the most value from the limited interview time that’s available.

Opening the Interview It’s assumed that you begin the interview by making the applicant feel comfortable with some very brief small talk. This is followed by a short description of the job you want to fill. Three sentences at most, two sentences better. There will be time at the end of the interview to elaborate if you want to go forward. There will also be time to add your selling points. The applicant’s work history is usually a good place to begin. It’s an expected starting point, the person will be ready to talk about it, and it makes for a good icebreaker. You want to find out where the applicant works now, the type of work they are

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doing, and how long they have been employed there. Remember that knowing how to do a job, doesn’t equal willingness to do it, or the ability to fit your organisation! Ask for the same information about the last two jobs before this. For each job ask “How did you decide to leave that position?” Be alert for responses that are vague. For example, answers you can expect to hear are “I felt I needed a greater challenge.”; “I felt that I had learned all there was to learn in that job” and “I just felt that five years was enough and it was time for a change”. Such responses should be followed up with questions such as: •

“How did you decide that you had nothing more to learn?”

“At what point did you discover there was no more challenge in the job?”

“How did you decide at the end of five years…why not four or six years?”

Some High-Quality Questions 1. Can you give me an example of a time when you have gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ on a job? This a natural next question, because you have just been talking about the applicant’s work experience. The question is designed to help you understand what this person defines as ‘going beyond the call of duty’. For some applicants it means working an extra fifteen minutes after quitting time. For others it will mean working a whole weekend to meet a deadline. 2. What do you think you’ll like most about this job? This question shifts the conversation from the applicant’s past history to the current job opportunity.

This question has two purposes. First, it will give you some insight into how much the applicant knows about the job. The applicant who describes enjoying something which is only a minor part of the role is quite different from the applicant whose answer quickly focuses on the core requirements. Second, it gives you insight into what the applicant is looking for. By describing what they anticipate enjoying most, the applicant will begin revealing what psychological rewards they hope to gain from this job. This will allow you to begin assessing whether these expectations are realistic, and whether they match what you are looking for. An applicant applied to a semi-skilled position in an aged care facility. In response to this question she said “Well, I’m a very religious person. I don’t have a lot of friends and I’ve run out of people who I can evangelise to. I think I would really enjoy talking to old people about God, since they are getting ready to die.”

3. Can you describe one important lesson you’ve learned about being successful at work? The most important lessons that we learn in life usually come from making mistakes.

You will be “living with” the people you hire. The applicant wants to sell themselves, and will understandably want to emphasize their positives.

Evaluate the source of the error and the lesson which the person describes learning from it. Consider whether the mistake is something you could live with if it were repeated in your organisation.

Summary You will be “living with” the people you hire. The applicant wants to sell themselves, and will understandably want to emphasize their positives. The well conducted interview is one way of learning about who this person really is. n

Dr Ken Byrne is an expert in evaluating job applicants. He is the Director of Safeselect. email:


National registration for nurses, an opportunity or another burden to bear? (Part 2 – continued from last issue) The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council have included continuing professional development for nurses as a requirement of the ANMC Continuing Competence Framework. The framework has been developed to provide nurses with a nationally consistent process to ensure that they maintain their competence to practice and in preparation for national registration commencing July 2010.(1) The CPD standard of the framework states that: •

Nurses must undertake a minimum of 20 hour (points) of CPD per year

Nurses must document their participation in CPD annually

CPD must be relevant to their area of practice.

CPD currently exists as a requirement for retention of license to practice as a nurse in the ACT, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Continuing professional development is a planned and active process of acquiring knowledge and skills, reflection on and evaluation of the

learning activity. It needs to be applicable to practice, at a minimum maintain competency and ideally increase competency resulting in higher quality of care. The characteristics of CPD as opposed to mandatory education or training is that it is self motivated, self directed and determined by the professional needs of the individual.(2)

CPD needs to be specific to the nursing care of older people

Flexibility. Nurses need to be able to attend to their CPD at the time and place that works for them

Accessibility. This may include allocated time at work for internet access or in their own time at home, local library with internet access etc

Literature reviews and surveys have identified that nurses want to continue their professional development and rate it highly in its contribution to job satisfaction. (3&4) However aged care nurses have been identified as the least likely to pursue CPD. Reasons include lack of access (especially for rural remote nurses) lack of support from their employers and disinterest in life long learning. The perception that aged care nursing is less complex than other areas of practice may also add to the belief that CPD is not necessary for the aged care nurse.(5)

Self paced and retrievable. Nurses need to be able to self pace their learning, reflect on what they have learnt and how it may be applied to their practice and review or refresh their knowledge when needed

Quality. Features of quality CPD are outcome and evidence based, includes a competency assessment and additional resources. Includes an evaluation and encourages feedback as part of its quality control process.

Online CPD is widely used in many professions including the construction industry the medical profession as well as nursing. A 2003 study showed that 76% of professionals surveyed used the internet for continuing professional development.(2) Supporting the CPD needs of nurses has been identified as an effective recruitment and retention strategy in aged care. Nursing homes that offer and promote CPD have higher recruitment success.(4) The components of an effective online learning model of CPD for nurses caring for older people are: •

An organizational commitment to the facilitation of and access to CPD for its nurses

Is located within a learning management system that can provide content, clinical competency assessments and a catalogue or library function so nurses can make choices in response to their learning needs

Nurses want and are required to undertake continuing professional development. Aged care needs to recruit and retain nurses. Online CPD often results in savings when compared to the incidental costs of onsite or offsite ‘face to face’ delivery of continuing professional development. The provision of online CPD is an effective and affordable option that the aged care industry should consider. The next article will explore how organizations may further support their nurses in the transition to national registration and strategies for them and their nurses to meet the other requirements of the ANMC Continuing Competence Framework. n

References 1. ANMC Continuing competence framework and%20Policy/Continuing%20Competencies/ Continuing%20Competence%20Framework%20 -%20Jan%202009%20Final%20Doc%20for%20 web.pdf >

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


National registration for nurses, an opportunity or another burden to bear? (cont’d) 2. A Collaborative Initiative to Deploy Blended Learning Continuing Professional Development in the Construction Industry 3. Recruitment and Retention of Nurses in Residential Aged Care DB14F1BCA257546007BD1B4/$File/recruit.pdf 4. Australian Aged Care Nursing: A Critical Review of Education, Training, Recruitment and Retention in Residential and Community Settings care/4.htm 5. Innovation and Reform – Caring for Older People Caring%20for%20older%20people%20discussion%20paper%2012-2008.pdf 6. Australian Nursing Federation –Australia’s Demographic Challenges Nursing_Federation2.pdf 7. National Health Workforce Taskforce

Deb Shearman Director/Content Manager Moving ON Training Pty Ltd Ph: 02 9999 1993


Resident Satisfaction is OUR BUSINESS! Let us focus on CATERING, so you can focus on CARE


stablished in 1977, Catering Industries Pty Ltd is Australia’s leading, privately owned contract catering company. We are specialists in catering to the aged care industry, where we manage the catering operation for over 60 clients from private, government and charitable organisations covering all levels of care, including Extra Services. We pride ourselves on our ability to meet client expectations regarding: •

Fixed price catering solutions

Nutritious and tasty meal choice – all meals cooked fresh on-site

Dietary requirements, including modified foods

Menus approved by consultant dieticians

OHS and Food Safety Programmes

Takeover, training and development of staff

Full Accreditation support

We have in place industry leading Quality Management Systems and ISO Accreditation to standard AS/NZS 9001 : 2008. All facilities under contract with Catering Industries are supported by our highly experienced and enthusiastic operational management team – who not only are highly experienced in aged care catering standards – but are also trade qualified chefs with a passion and flair for food. Having seasoned professionals manage your catering enables you to concentrate on your core activity – CARING FOR RESIDENTS! Servicing New South Wales, the ACT and Victoria, contact us today to discuss your catering service. JONAS CUSCHIERI NATIONAL MANAGER – BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Phone: 1300 364 092 (Toll Free) Mobile: 0411 555 843 Email:


‘The Supper Club’ - a #1 hit with Aged Care Forget about having to ‘sing for your supper’. TLC Aged Care is providing supper at The Supper Club each month and the singing and entertainment is a wonderful bonus!


ossibly one of the first residential aged care groups to offer an evening activity like this, TLC Aged Care recently launched The Supper Club at The Belmont in Geelong (May 2009), Homewood in Hallam (July 2009), Noble Manor and Noble Gardens in Noble Park (August 2009) and Sunlight in Whittlesea

(September 2009); plans are in place to continue the roll out across all of TLC Aged Care’s homes. While too many aged care residents might have ‘turned in’ early, TLC Aged Care residents, their families, friends and aged care staff are getting together and enjoying supper, refreshments and live music and other performances each month. “TLC Aged Care owners and executives are also invited along,” explains TLC Aged Care CEO Ingrid Williams, “giving everyone the opportunity to put a face to a name, as well as have some fun.” Held between 6 – 8pm on a monthly basis, The Supper Club is proving to be a big hit, with the enjoyable atmosphere lasting well into the weeks ahead. “Then the anticipation of the next Supper Club builds and soon we’re all together again enjoying another session,” said Ingrid. Belmont resident John Wilson thinks The Supper Club is a winner. “There should be more of them,” he said. “We have a singa-long, a drink, even a dance. I really look forward to them. “We hear the announcement over the PA system that The Supper Club is about to get underway so we get ready to enjoy a great night’s entertainment with each other,” he said. “Alistair plays the piano and sings and Ben plays the piano accordion and sings too. He’s a great tenor,” said John. Geelong musical entertainer Ben Costanzo – a staple part of the entertainment program – can’t think of an aged care home that offers evening activities like this. “I’ve provided entertainment and music at a number of homes but it’s usually during the day – a morning melodies or afternoon entertainment offering,” he said. “Getting together in the evenings means that more family, friends and staff can join in too.”

Ben provides keyboard, singing and piano accordion entertainment. “The piano accordion is a great instrument for The Supper Club; many residents relate to the sounds of the accordion so that works well. I can go up to residents with the accordion rather than them having to look from a distance so it’s nice and interactive too. “We’ll play material they’ve grown up with, add in some humour and soon you’re sure to have toes tapping, voices singing and several people up dancing,” he said. Ben’s key musical partner is TLC Aged Care staff member Alistair Henderson. “Alistair works full time at TLC and this is an added interest for him,” said Ben. “We’ve only recently met but we seem to be able to put on a good show for everyone, sharing the singing and harmonies and the keyboards.” And the involvement in the events is spreading beyond residents, family and staff. Family members and children of TLC Aged Care staff are getting involved, serving snacks and drinks, sizzling sausages and adding to the program of performances, ranging from vocal solos to calisthenics. “The Supper Club is a wonderful addition to the programs and services on offer. It’s not unusual to see staff, residents, family and friends all getting up and having a dance,” said CEO Ingrid Williams. “It’s serving so many purposes; residents are enjoying themselves, staff are involved and friends and family have more opportunities to visit and interact. We’re always striving to be the best at what we do, so we’re always on the lookout for innovative and fun activities that enhance the lives of our residents and families,” said Ingrid. The Supper Club’s praise by resident John Wilson is echoed by many; “I’ve paid a lot of money for shows outside of our lovely home and not had as much fun as I do here!” n Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Launch of Seniors Living Domain sees project development simplified for aged care providers Your plan to rebuild or expand... What is the most efficient and cost effective model of care? What are the average build costs in your area?


he Seniors Living Domain, a new tool for seniors living operators was recently launched at the ACAA National Congress giving owners and operators of aged care and retirement living facilities the opportunity to undertake realistic cost assessments early on in the building program. This new service provided jointly developed and supported by architecture firms ThomsonAdsett and HPI through their joint venture company TAHPI puts you in control of your own analysis and assists boards, managers and operators to make informed decisions about whether to build or replace a facility. Rod Young, CEO of Aged Care Association Australia has welcomed the new product to the aged care market. “We at ACAA are pleased to support initiatives that help aged care providers undertake realistic cost assessments to support growth within the industry” said Mr Young. “We have worked closely with ThomsonAdsett for many years and support this new web based software that will hopefully become an important resource tool for aged care providers,” explains Mr Young. The web-based software provides a toolkit for briefing and specifying Aged Care projects and firmly places ThomsonAdsett at the cutting edge of online content and delivery and represents a new dawn for the internationally respected group. “We have designed the Seniors Living Domain to serve as an unrivalled intelligence resource for our clients,” explains David Lane, Director of Care Services, ThomsonAdsett and Director of the newly formed TAHPI. “Seniors Living Domain features a raft of cutting-edge features and functionality which enables us to provide even more comprehensive standards for aged care design as well as in-depth analysis of room layout and room data sheets,” said Mr Lane. The Seniors Living Domain provides subscribers with an outstanding user experience, serving as a single point of

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reference when assembling detailed briefs and schedules without the need for new software and within a safe environment. “For many subscribers, the most important benefit of the Seniors Living Domain will be the level of customisation possible via the new site,” adds Aladin Niazmand Director of HPI and TAHPI.

with more business taking place online, Seniors Living Domain revolutionises the way design, development and capital works programs for senior living developments are created. Have a look at today. n

“Custom-tailored budgets and order schedules for furniture, fittings, fixtures and equipment allow users to focus on their specific information needs, targeting the in-depth information they require faster than ever before,” said Niazmand. The web based software is an important new development tool for the industry and an economically viable option for aged care providers as there are no hosting costs or expensive maintenance issues and all work can be saved directly to the web and richly formatted reports can be printed out. The Seniors Living Domain represents the culmination of 30 years of expertise, experience and skills within ThomsonAdsett architecture (TA) on Aged Care, Health and Retirement Living projects and the systems technology of Health Projects International (HPI) who established the Health Facility Briefing System (HFBS), the basis of the Australian Health Facility Guidelines. The Seniors Living Domain has a lot to offer to businesses that might be thinking of expanding or developing operations. And

For ACAA congress attendees; register online for 30 day trial, then contact Judy Martin on 0437 649 672 to obtain the special 30 day extension.


e3learning and ACAA’s online training partnership Since mid 2006, ACAA and e3Learning have been working together to deliver high quality online training to members. This project has been highly successful and has helped to make e3 a premier supplier of aged care specific online training in Australia. Courses that are now available to the aged care sector include: •

Understanding Dementia (series of 5 courses) - NEW Patient Handling - NEW

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Incontinence (series of 5 courses) Wound Care (series of 3 courses) Falls Prevention Food Safety (2 courses) Emergency Procedures for HealthCare facilities OHS course suite (12 courses) Driver Safety Industrial Relations (6 courses) Infection Control Hand Hygiene Senior First Aid and CPR Basic Life Support Assist with Self Medication Induction courses

All courses have been developed in partnership with subject matter experts and are customisable to suit the culture and specific requirements of every organisation.

Courses are delivered on a simple yet sophisticated Learning Management System that will track every click and enable organisations to report in real time on training progress. Courses include expertly scripted content, professional audio, interactive activities and competency assessment. Courses can be delivered on their own, or in a blended scenario, that enables learners to get the theory online at their own pace and complete the practical in the traditional face to face setting. This model is being used by the Australian Red Cross in delivering Senior First Aid online across Australia. Implementing this training in your organisation will help significantly reduce training costs and increase compliance using proven educational methodology. e3 is also one of Australia’s largest custom course developers and can easily convert existing courses into interactive online packages. If you are new to online training, begin by trying the free ‘Dementia – an introduction’ course available now at n

For further information contact: Adam Dunkley Ph: 08 8221 6422

A Week On The Road


fter a very busy and rewarding few days at the ACAA National Congress in Melbourne, where I caught up with so many familiar faces, I have been on the road in Sunny Queensland conducting implementation sessions for the MyBenefits Employee Benefits Program. With no rest for the wicked (those of you that know me will appreciate the truth of that statement), I set off straight from the airport

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with tour guide for the next 5 days. It became very evident by the time that we had completed Day 1 that this was an individual totally committed to his HR role, working for an organisation that are totally committed to their employees. The degree to which the organisation planned every step of the implementation was detailed to say the least, and was reflected in the way in which employees embraced the Program.

employee was clear. The employees were excited about the potential savings they could make using their MyBenefits Card, and were grateful of the fact that such an initiative had been made available to them. Success!...

From senior management, to regional management, to individual site management, the message of the desire to promote a strategy that would be beneficial to both organisation and

At the end of the week, we received an email froa site manager commending the organisation for such a caring approach to the welfare of its employees. This was reinforced by the fact

The intent of the Program had been realised from both an organisational and employee perspective.....everyone was happy.


Reverse Auction Platform saving you money on energy costs… now and in the future! EnergyAction P/L is an Energy Auction House that trades contracts “on-line” through a reverse auction platform. We invite all energy retailers (AGL, Origin, TRUenergy, Country Energy, etc) to bid against each other over a 10 minute transparent window, viewed by the client, to win the lowest price for your current or future electricity contracts.


e take clients to auction up to 24 months prior to their contract expiration. i.e. future contracts fixed at today’s lower rates.  

Instead of you spending time hunting for the best deal for your energy requirements, we bring the market to you in an efficient and transparent Live On-Line Reverse Auction that drives prices down. You can be confident that energy retailers compete for your business on a level playing field. There are no hidden charges and all processes are accountable and this process is at NO CHARGE. We are paid our 1.5% fee from the winning retailer. In addition, EnergyAction will be with you at all stages providing energy management advice and help over the course of the agreement. We help you manage energy usage, billing inquiries, power factor, greenhouse emissions and more. Following are some comments from Churches of Christ Community Care: “In September 2008 we were in the market to procure a new Energy contract for the Havilah Hostel group and were aware that EnergyAction had offered their services to Aged Care Facilities. I consequently contacted Peter Naylor from EnergyAction

in Melbourne and he advised me that they have been very successful in obtaining the best possible energy rate and consolidating various contract arrangements using the reverse auction platform for other Aged Care facilities, along with a myriad of other local businesses. The auction platform not only revealed the best retailer for Havilah Hostel needs, but also attained an even better result by squeezing the last few percentages points out of the price offerings, revealing a clear winner. The process was transparent and viewed “on-line” at a scheduled time and date. The follow-up reports with the auction results were also easy to understand.  We envisage saving over $38,000 over 4 years with the results from the reverse auction platform. We were also pleased that EnergyAction offered an Energy Monitoring Program which allows them to check our bills regularly for any anomalies or overcharging and organise an onsite visit by their Engineers to provide some insight into our sites’ energy consumption trends and identify areas where the sites may be able to reduce its energy consumption. A comprehensive written report from the Engineers is provided. Overall, EnergyAction controlled the whole process. Whilst our involvement was minimised, the auction platform meant we were kept informed throughout the whole process and received immediate feedback. The best part was that it cost us nothing. EnergyAction charged the winning supplier a small percentage of the contract price and we got a great result.” n For more details on EnergyAction contact: Peter Naylor Ph 03-9832 0855 Fax 03-8677 9633

that her husband’s employer had retrenched 30% of their employees just before Christmas. The appreciation for the recognition of the importance of employee relations was very rewarding, both for the organisation and myself.

can assist in attracting, and ultimately retaining, quality employees. With now more than 11,000 members having enrolled in the EBP, we believe MyBenefits can offer Aged Care organisations an additional avenue to nurture the most important asset in our industry.....our employees.

An Industry Backed Initiative:

From the team at MyBenefits, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas.

The ACAA has implemented and developed the MyBenefits Employee Benefits Program (EBP) as an effective HR strategy to assist in the attraction, retention and reward of employees within the Aged Care industry. Whether your Organisation has 15 or 5,000 employees, the EBP

For full details, please contact me personally.


Brad King National Benefits Manager

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Advance directives, health care decisions and impaired capacity – a heady mix Julie McStay Partner, Hynes Lawyers

When capacity is impaired it becomes difficult to determine how a person might want their health care managed. Advance directives allow a person to record in the present how they wish their health care to be managed should they lose capacity in the future.


egislation in most states in Australia now provide mechanisms by which a person may record in advance how they want their health care managed in the future should they lose capacity. Legislation in Queensland1, the Australian Capital Territory2, the Northern Territory3, Victoria4, South Australia5, and to a more limited extent in New South Wales6, all provide mechanisms by which a person with capacity may record these directions. The extent to which such a direction is recognized and permitted differs from state to state and approved providers should take care to ensure that their policies and procedures (as well as their staff training programs) accurately reflect the law in the state or states in which they operate. An advance directive only comes into effect when the person who has signed it has lost capacity. A person has lost capacity if they have lost their ability to understand the nature and effect of the treatment being offered and the ability to communicate their wishes in respect of that treatment. Directives may specify directions about matters such as: • • • •

particular treatment that the patient wants; particular treatment that the patient does not want; how particular medical conditions are to be managed; and withdrawing and withholding of life sustaining measures.

Despite advance directives having been widely recognised in legislation across Australia, in practice they are not widely used. It is likely that this is due to a combination of factors. The first reason may be that the public at large have not turned their minds to how decisions might be made about their health care if they were to lose capacity in the future. Secondly they may simply be oblivious to the mechanisms available for

them to record how they want their health care managed if that did occur. A third reason may be that it is simply “too hard”. Anyone who has cast their eyes over the Queensland prescribed form for Advance Health Directives (which must be used in order to create a valid advance directive in Queensland) is very likely to be discouraged from completing the document because it is long and complex. This is not an issue that is unique to Queensland. One of the reasons that the forms are so complex is no doubt to try and overcome potential ambiguity in the directions given. The potential to misinterpret the directions given has always been the greatest obstacle for effective advance health directives and in the presence of any uncertainty as to the direction given; a medical practitioner is likely to be reluctant to follow the direction. In some states legislation has attempted to mitigate this possibility by specifically stating that a medical practitioner will have no liability for failing to follow a direction in an advance directive when the medical practitioner has reasonable grounds for believing that the direction is uncertain or inconsistent with good medical practice. This would include a right to disregard a direction in an advance health directive where advances in medical science have changed to the extent that the terms of the direction are considered by the health practitioner to be inappropriate. Some would argue that the effect of such provisions is to defeat the purpose of having an advance directive. Advocates of the right of persons to make decisions about their own health care would argue that a person with capacity, who gives directions about how they want their health care managed in the future should they lose that capacity, should have the same rights as any other person with >

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


sponsors < capacity who gives a direction about their health care. A person with capacity can consent or refuse to consent to the provision of any treatment and a medical practitioner who provides treatment contrary to the directions given by that person commits an assault. This is so regardless of whether the direction is inconsistent with good medical practice. Accordingly, these provisions may be construed as effectively giving a medical practitioner the right to refuse to follow an advance health directive if he/she considers that do so would be contrary to good medical practice, even though this would be no basis to refuse to follow such a direction if it was given by a person with full capacity. For all of these reasons, advance directives about health care do not appear to have gained much favour either with patients or with medical practitioners. However to the extent that they do appear, approved providers and their staff must have a clear understanding of how they work in practice. Approved providers should seek legal advice to ensure policies, procedures and training programs accurately reflect the law with respect to advance health directives in the state in which they operate. n 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld); Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld). Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act 2006 (ACT). Natural Death Act 1988 (NT). Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic). Consent to Medical and Palliative Care Act 1995 (SA). Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW).


Another Great Idea: Its Time Has Come This is a story of hope, of the preservation of

The players are:

dignity, of care, concern and compassion for older

• Kerry Robinson, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Aged Care Early Intervention and Management Unit (ACEIM), Gold Coast Health Service District;

and frail Australians. It is the triumph of common sense between three disparate but inextricably linked health providers. It is also a story of enormous financial consequence for both the acute care sector and the aged care sector.

• Associate Professor David Green, head of the Emergency Departments at the Gold Coast Hospital and Robina Hospital; • Christine Schumacher, Facility Manager of Spiritus ABRI nursing home at Southport on the Gold Coast. The outcome is: a huge reduction (83%) in the numbers of elderly nursing home residents having to go to hospital.

A Kerry Robinson and patient

true nursing home resident story: Mr L was diagnosed with liver cancer some months ago. He remains in the ABRI nursing home. Mr L is happy and so is his family, because he has avoided 6 weeks in a hospital bed (so far) and will almost certainly remain in the nursing home until the end. He is receiving the latest in palliative care, because the aged care nurses have been trained to deliver it by nurses from the ACEIM unit of the Gold Coast Health Service District. His dignity has been preserved, he is in familiar surroundings, being cared for by people he knows and trusts. This is not second best, it is the best care it can be.

Kerry Robinson. Clinical Nurse Consultant, Aged Care Early Intervention and Management Unit. Kerry’s story In 2002, I was the GP Liaison Officer for the Gold Coast Hospital. We used to meet with the local GP’s quite regularly and the more I spoke to them, the more I realised that there was a gap in the delivery of services to nursing homes.

Kerry Robinson, David Green, and patient

When we checked presentations to the Emergency Department (ED) of our hospital, we found 65% of nursing home patients had not been seen by a GP before being sent to hospital. They had been sent to our ED because; either their families insisted they be sent to hospital, or the staff at the home sent them because they couldn’t get a GP to come and see them. We also found that at least half of them stayed less than 24 hours, or didn’t need admission at all.

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It’s very difficult for GP’s to visit ACF residents in a timely manner, life is so hectic here for GP’s, they don’t have time to leave their practices to visit a nursing home patient at short notice, leaving other patients in the lurch in their waiting rooms.

Christine Schumaker, Facility Manager of ABRI nursing home at Southport on the Gold Coast.

There are about 5000 nursing home beds in our region. There are about 500 GP’s, but only 27 of those visit nursing homes, and of the 27 only about 15 are regular visitors to nursing homes.

I am the Facility Manager for one of ABRI’s nursing homes at Southport. It is a 75 bed facility, with both high and low care and a 10 bed dementia area. I’ve got registered and enrolled nurses on 24 hours a day, as well as personal carers. All the carers are qualified to certificate level 3. Most of them have also done extra training in dementia care.

You may have been with your family doctor for 20 years, but when you go into a nursing home your GP could easily say, as many do “Sorry, you will have to find a new GP, I don’t visit nursing homes.” So at one of the most vulnerable times of your life, one of the key health providers will say, “sorry, go get a new GP.” It isn’t impossible to get a GP to make a nursing home visit, but it is almost impossible to get one to visit when you need them. You may have to wait days, so instead the staff sent their residents to hospital. They didn’t really have any alternative. My background is in the Emergency Department and so I used to think “Why do they send their frail elderly here. When the older patients do come into the hospital, they don’t know anybody, their families don’t know anybody they become easily confused and disoriented, they sometimes die in a resuscitation room, they can’t be looked after the way they are in the nursing home. We saw very quickly that many of these older people did not need to be admitted to hospital at all.

Associate Professor David Green, the Director of the Emergency Department of the Gold Coast Hospital and Robina Hospital. David’s story This is one of, if not the fastest growing regions of Australia. The Gold Coast Hospital is a 472 bed teaching hospital, attached to both Griffith University and Bond University. Robina Hospital is a 210 bed hospital currently expanding to a 364 bed hospital by 2011. Our Emergency Department is one of the busiest in the nation. It boasts two centres, the original one at the Gold Coast Hospital sees around 67,000 people annually, the new one at Robina sees 42,000 people and the growth rate of attendances is about 11% annually. There are lots of retirees who come to the Gold Coast for the lifestyle; I call most of them displaced, because they don’t have any family support. To make matters worse, as people get older they often drop out of private health insurance and the cost of health care then falls onto the public system. We also have a lot of elderly people living here, where one partner is ill and is cared for by the other. We see a lot of that. There is also some difficulty accessing nursing home beds here, because of our growing and ageing population. This social isolation leads to sad situations where it’s not unusual for an elderly person living alone, who has suffered a fractured leg, shoulder or hip from a fall, to not be found for several days.

Christine’s story

We specialise in palliative care and wound care, all assisted by the support we get from the Gold Coast Hospital and its ACEIM unit. I’m 65 next year and I’m still passionate about aged care. I may need the services of the people who work for our facility in a few years time, so I want them to be the best they can be!!! My aim was to run a nursing home that I would be happy to put my mother in and we do. The hospitals ACEIM unit has helped to train our staff, so our nurses can now do quite complex care and they love it. They can now do quite complex acute care tasks and they don’t see it as extra work. It’s all about doing what they do anyway, better. They love being able to improve their education and also improve the capacity to provide better care in the nursing home. These days we use our collective team (ACEIM) to assess patients, we try to convince the resident and their relatives, if we think it is appropriate that they are treated here, not in hospital.

Kerry Robinson: When we met with Christine and others from the NIMAC, (Nurses in Management in Aged Care) we asked these senior nurses working in the nursing homes around the Gold Coast, “Why do you insist on sending some of these people to our Emergency Department? They don’t need hospital treatment?” They got really fiery and hit back saying, “we hate sending them to you, but we don’t have any alternative. It’s awful for us, you lose their teeth, you lose their transfer letters, you lose their walking frames and then you send them back with bed sores and MRSI.” (MRSI is golden staph infection!) Both David Green and I thought, “there has to be a better way.” There was and is. That’s where it all began. These senior nurses from the nursing homes are so professional, so committed, so clever, we realised that if we all changed the way we operated; we could improve the lot of frail, older, mostly female Australians who are residents of nursing homes. This is not a case of “we want you lot to do our work, this is a case of what can we do for you.” ‘I think people who work in nursing homes deserve a medal.’ What we found was that facility staff are expert at looking after the elderly, acute care staff are not. In an acute hospital you focus on emergency care, I/V therapy, antibiotic therapy, MRI’s, Cat scans and so forth. If you look at the frail elderly, hospitals are places where you go to die, they don’t know the staff, we don’t know their food likes >

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



Another Great Idea: Its Time Has Come (continued) < and dislikes, they don’t know where the toilet is, they become terrified that they will loose their bed if they stay too long, hospitals are a frightening place for the frail elderly.

the level of care they get in the nursing home, so they are far better off staying there if at all possible.

We have tried to think laterally, looking after patients both in the hospital and in nursing homes. We always remember we are not aged care specialists.

David Green: This early intervention scheme is locally known as ‘Hospital in the Nursing Home.’ When it first started, we already ran quite a complex ‘in home’ care program, for those who could be looked after in their own homes. Things like wound care, DVT and other problems.

We have reduced presentations to the ED by over 83%. It’s remarkable.

This is not, I repeat, not, a burden to our staff, it is work-sharing, knowledge-sharing: nursing homes should embrace this concept wholeheartedly.

I am involved in research with the University of Queensland and the Royal Brisbane Hospital they have a similar model of care to us. Preliminary results suggest that for every 100 nursing home beds, we get 3.5 patients presenting to our ED. Logan Hospital, that does not use this early intervention program, has a presentation rate of 35/100 nursing home beds.

What we realised was that there was a huge potential to provide the same care in nursing homes. There were already trained nurses available to help out and administer the scheme. We only had limited federal funds to do this, so we began a program of train the trainer to up skill the registered and enrolled nurses working in the nursing homes. We supply the disposables, antibiotics, drugs and dressings for a period on the basis that this service would reduce hospital admissions. We also discovered that patients did a lot better if they were treated in their nursing home in familiar surroundings, cared for by people they knew and trusted. Hospitals for people with dementia or who are disoriented are very risky environments. Hospitals can lead to increased confusion, which can lead to falls, stress, infections, and a whole range of things can and do happen.

A lot of the time now, we can formulate a care plan that can be delivered in the nursing home, so the patient might only spend a few hours at the hospital.

The Early Intervention Management Program keeps most of our elderly people, either at home or in their own bed in their own nursing home. Most of the older people we see now from nursing homes require surgery to fix fractures, or surgical procedures.

It is an acknowledged fact that we have the busiest ED in Australia here, so, logically, you understand that we simply cannot provide elderly patients with

‘I think it’s the best thing we have ever done here, it provides a level of dignity of care that these patients just don’t get in acute hospital wards.’

Christine Schumacher: Let me tell you a story. A little while ago I had a resident who fell over and fractured her arm, she went to hospital, she went to X-Ray, she had plaster on and was back here in her own bed, in her own room in less than four hours. She is so happy to be here and not in hospital We administer the painkillers, we do the antibiotics, it’s just so much better for everyone. We also work closely with hospital acute care staff, to help them understand what elderly patients need when they are admitted, because they need a different type of care, a more compassionate care. The hospital now has high pressure mattresses for elderly patients, so they don’t end up with bed sores. This is not, I repeat, not, a burden to our staff, it is work-sharing, knowledgesharing – nursing homes should embrace this concept wholeheartedly. I’m always telling my staff that they provide top flight care and our accreditation results support that. We always pass with flying colours. It’s a credit to the staff. n

Contacts Kerry Robinson Clinical Nurse Consultant, Aged Care Early Intervention and Management Unit (ACEIM), Gold Coast Health Service District; Telephone: 0434473744 Associate Professor David Green Head of the Emergency Department at the Gold Coast Hospital and Robina Hospital. Phone: 07.55198211. Christine Schumacher Facility Manager of ABRI nursing home at Southport on the Gold Coast. Phone: 07.55554888

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |



New reporting drives industry performance improvement By Tricia Quan Principal, Impact PR

In 2001, the first round of accreditation audits of Australia’s aged care industry thrust facilities’ performance and standards into the spotlight for the very first time.


oday, non-compliance penalties are even tougher but the push for better quality and continuous improvement in aged care is no longer just coming from regulators, it’s the industry leading the charge to deliver widespread quality improvements and manage risk through better data collection, according to Moving on Audits Statistician Lahn Straney. “I’ve spent a lot of time talking with our clients over the past year about the quality indicators that are important to them and how they use data to identify problem areas,” he said. “We’re supporting these discussions with regular reviews of scientific evidence on quality indicators and have been revising our indicators accordingly.” “We discovered people didn’t know how to use our system to their best advantage so we’ve made it much easier by introducing flags and colour coding so they can see straight away if there’s a problem in a particular area and action it. The system’s also much more intuitive and easier to navigate now so you don’t need a lot of training.” Since July, Lahn’s been working closely with Baptist Community Services’ new Clinical Governance Manager Vicki Gersbach, to help her refine their customised MOA system to improve clinical quality and safety systems in residential aged care and community care. As Clinical Governance Manager Vicki oversees more than 20 residential facilities and 28 community care sites, running numerous programs. “MOA has been a part of the BCS quality system since 2002,” she said. “When our new Clinical Governance Unit came on line in August 2009, having MOA in place helped me with our quality and continuous improvement focus, and this has helped me to move the Unit forward.”

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“MOA provides me with a system I can work with and gives me what I need – the ability to analyse trends and data - and on the floor, gives clinicians evidence. The new reports will form part of our clinical governance report to the executive, along with other organisational indicators.” “We’ve now developed better ways of reporting and are using the five indicators supported by the evidence that people like Professor Rhonda Nay in Victoria have suggested - weight loss (more than 2-3 kg unexplained), more than nine medications, falls with injury, physical restraint, and pressure areas developed in the service. While MOA has 65 indicators at the moment, these five are the litmus test for clinical performance.” Vicki said work was well underway with Lahn and the Services’ clinicians rolling out the new reports. “MOA data will help our clinicians to review any flags and enable them to create an action plan and fix problems at a local level,” she said. “I will see things from a ‘helicopter’ perspective and be able to identify particular trends across the organisation or see if someone is managing something really well which is conducive to shared learnings.” “BCS is introducing a Risk & Compliance Committee chaired by our CEO June Heinrich and our consolidated MOA results will be monitored and reviewed at this level.” “BCS is committed to monitoring the quality of our services and responding to any trends in a timely and consistent manner.” “Through our new system we’ll see indicators across our services so we can identify potential problems and be proactive in managing them,” she said. “We want to make MOA work for us, as it already provides a certain level of confidence for managers. We’re just taking it to the next level.” “MOA may work for us, but we also have to do some work. There’s no value in just collecting data - we have to use it so that it can value add.” Lahn said that while Baptist Community Services would be the first to benefit from the new reports, they’ll also be included in all MOA packages from 1 January 2010. “At the moment, all these new reports are done manually but by January 1 next year, they’ll be automated and available to all clients by logging in online,” he said. “In the past year, we’ve learnt that all of our clients are expert in delivering care but not as well equipped to interpret data,” he said.

In June - July 2010, MOA will run seminars in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth for clients who want to get more value from their continuous quality improvement package. Lahn said the seminars would be hands-on sessions where participants should bring their own data and would workshop their own situation. “It’s a great opportunity to help people to interpret and get the most value out of their data, share learnings and empower them to add value to their own organisation’s quality improvement.” To register an expression of interest for the seminars now visit or call 1300 760 209. n Contacts Lahn Straney Statistician Moving on Audits Pty Ltd E: T: 1300 760 209


MOA’s Lahn Straney goes over the new reports with BCS’ Vicki Gersbach


Old-timers still having a good old time Young people may not believe it but a survey shows elderly people do have sex. About 40 per cent of men aged 75 to 79 who replied to the survey said they were sexually active, and almost 30 per cent of men aged 80 to 84 had had sex in the past 12 months. ‘’The good news is that sexual activity is enjoyed into advanced ages,’’ said Leon Flicker, professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Western Australia and lead author of the study. ‘’But if you ask young people if they think their grandparents have sex, they turn jaundiced.’’ The Health in Men Study has followed an initial sample of more than 12,000 men aged 65 and older since 1996, but last year, for

Industry Feedback


CAA are embarking on a new and exciting section in this magazine that will allow you, our readers, to share ‘Good News.’ Feedback letters from clients, happy staff emails, it can be anything that is to do with our business, the business of caring for frail and older Australians. Our first letter comes from Philip Ayre, Director of Nursing, Sir James at Dalmeny (NSW):

Hi Phil Not a lot I can say now. I would like to place on record my profound appreciation about the way my mother was cared for during the years she was at Sir James. I was particularly grateful for the sincere concern and love shown by the staff in the last years and months and weeks and days and hours and minutes and seconds of mum’s life. Those people were without exception truly wonderful and I am just really amazed that people of that caring and compassionate nature still exist in our 21st century world. They are people (and I include you in this) whose nature is just truly good - I am at a loss as to how you all can do what you do and for such little financial

the first time, it included questions about sexual activity. It found 10 per cent of men in their 90s were still sexually active and 20 per cent of men aged 85 to 89. Professor Flicker said the proportion having sex was ‘’pretty large’’ considering the sample included widowers, and some men who were unwell or whose spouses were unwell. But while the sample is the biggest of its kind in Australia, it did not include men in residential aged-care facilities, and the frailest men in the community were the least likely to have responded. Professor Flicker said concerns that the men would be reluctant to answer questions on sex proved groundless. ‘’We had a lot of trepidation. But the men were quite open. With older people we often infantilise them and make assumptions. But they’re often happy to discuss these issues and think it’s important to do so,’’ he said. The study found that sex was ‘’no longer important’’ for 40 per cent of the men aged 75 to 79; for half the men aged 80 to 84; for about 65 per cent of those 85 to 89; and 80 per cent of the oldest age group. n

This article first appeared on by Adele Horin (September 5, 2009)

reward in caring for some of the most vulnerable and deserving in our community. Simply saying “we are just doing our job ... “is not an accurate description of what you all do. I am probably having my own seniors moment right now, and cannot recall the names of all the staff I have met at Sir James and who looked after mum - people like Bev and Debbie and Sylvia (mk 1 and 2). to try and name and thank each person to whom my family and I will forever be in debt because of their formal and informal professionalism in meeting mum’s physical and emotional needs would be unfair because I will inadvertently miss someone out. So all I can do is thank you all with the utmost sincerity. Best wishes and warmest regards Michael Christopher (son of resident)

ACAA would like to encourage anyone who works in the industry to submit their positive feedback received from clients and their relatives for publication in future editions of Aged Care Australia. ACAA will be recognising the best client response at the 29th Annual Congress to be held in Adelaide on 14 – 16 November 2010. Submissions can be emailed to


Horizon Care at Links Seaside By Tuyen Tran Clinical Services Director, Links Seaside Aged Care

I started my nursing training at Wollongong University in 1988 and my first subject was Gerontology. It was a culture shock for me when I first arrived in a local aged care facility for my practicum. I felt so sad seeing some of the residents sitting quietly in their chairs for a long period of time and the others were calling out for attention but the carers were too busy to respond. At this time I wondered why the elderly people didn’t live at home with their children just like my grandparents did.


left my home country of Viet Nam in April 1979 when I was 23 years old. It was terrifying to board a fishing boat in the dark, to hide below deck out of sight of the authorities and take a huge risk to go to an unknown destination. I was one of forty people on that boat going to Indonesia. Being in a boat from Viet Nam to Indonesia was a frightening and, also, challenging experience for a person who could not swim at the time. The conditions on board were harsh with cramped space, no exercise and poor nutrition but it was amazing that we survived that part of the journey. We spent five months in refugee camps in Indonesia before making further progress on our journey and arrived in Australia in September 1979. When looking back on my 20 years of nursing in aged care and especially the aged care industry I have noticed so many changes, particularly since 1997, with the demands for better documentation and a change in accountability. Unfortunately the changes in aged care management system did not seem to meet the resident’s wants and needs and I do feel for these elderly people because their relatives can not meet their needs and neither can we. I find working in aged care is fascinating and very challenging. When we try to meet the resident’s needs and to respect their choices; we often do things for them the way we think it would benefit them and not the way they would prefer us to do. In the past 20 years I changed my job three times because I like the new challenge of a new environment. I find wherever I go, my main concerns have always been focused on “are we doing the right things for our elderly and are we doing enough for them?” I felt that if I had the answers I would be able to deliver the care they want. Joining the team at Horizon Care has given me the opportunity to fulfill my passion with aged care. In my present position at Links Seaside Aged Care as Clinical Services Director, I have found I am able to bring my insights into the challenging demands for management of residential aged care in a contemporary way. Links Seaside Aged Care, also known as Horizon Care at Links Seaside, a 113 bed aged care facility located on a golf course and only meters from the beach and a short drive to the CBD of Wollongong. The facility offers various levels of high and low care, extra service and also assistance to residents at Links Seaside Independent Living Units, a luxurious resort living for those over 55. The good thing about Horizon Care is “an aged care facility that does not look like an aged care facility”; a compliment I often heard when I showed prospective residents around. At Horizon Care, we are committed to delivering services based on state-of-the-art science evidence-guided care, thereby enabling its residents to attain the highest possible health status and overall quality of life. To achieve and maintain this level of care we have joined with the University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences in a partnership which will

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assist the management and staff implementing leading evidenceguided care programs. Our professionals will not be delivering care simply because it has always been done this way, but because there is empirical evidence to demonstrate the benefits of best practice care. At Horizon Care I see the opportunity that we, as carers, can make a meaningful contribution to enrichment of residents’ lives in many ways. The person centered care model, which we adapted, was one of the answers that I have been looking for to meet the resident’s needs. However to achieve the concept of “truly person centered” is not an easy task and we still have a long way to go. It is my new challenge. n


Longevity’s March Caring for elderly parents while also helping with grandchildren - the triple-decker sandwich generation. It is a flawless Sydney spring day and Paul Wong, 88, is visiting his mother. Yes, his mother. Tsao Yuet Kiu Wong is reputed to be 112 years old, perhaps the oldest person in Australia. With centenarians and super-centenarians there is often doubt about their age. As with Mrs Wong, who was born in China, then moved to Burma and Taiwan before coming to live with her son in Sydney in 1978, documentation is missing. Mr Wong says growing up he always knew his age, as did his older brother, who died a few years ago. His sister, Chi Sen Wong, 72, says her mother was 40 when she was born, and 42 when their younger brother, now in Hong Kong, was born. ‘’I take more medications than my mother,’’ says Mr Wong. ‘’I’ve got a pain here, a pain there; diabetes, a little bit of high blood pressure. She’s not got any sickness.’’ Whatever Mrs Wong’s exact age, there is no doubt she is very old, though she is mobile, alert and able to converse a little with her children in dialect. Dressed in a red satin Chinese jacket and her favourite cap this morning, she looks more spry than frail. Uncertainty about Mrs Wong’s age is mirrored in the wider debate over centenarians. The exact number in Australia is unclear - 3130 last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says; somewhat less, according to more cautious demographers. But there is no argument that many more Australians than ever before will sail past the current life expectancy to reach extreme old age. Worldwide, there will be more than a million centenarians within 20 years. Within 30 years, there is likely to be 10 times as many centenarians, says John McCormack, of La Trobe University, director of the Australian Centenarian Study. In the Montefiore Home, an aged care facility in Sydney, with 740 residents on three sites, there are 20, many of them Holocaust survivors. Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment was 122 years and five months when she died in August 1997. Christina Cock, the oldest ever Australian, died in 2002, aged 114. Whether we have reached the limits of the life span, or whether biotechnology will extend longevity, the implication of so many people living to such grand ages is hard to grasp. It is as though longevity crept up on us. Most baby boomers are painfully aware of the need to save for retirement even if they underestimate the number of leisure years ahead. But what of the less easily quantifiable implications of the rise of the ‘’old old’’?

What of Mr Wong’s situation? What will it be like to be a son at an advanced age when your own joints are aching? When ageing parents are part of their children’s lives for half a century, will bonds deepen or fray? Women baby boomers were called the sandwich generation squashed between caring for young children and ageing parents. But now some women, hitting 60, have jobs, parents in their mid80s to 90s, grown-up children still at home and grandchildren they regularly mind. They’re the triple-decker sandwich generation. Sociologists have just begun to ponder the implications of inheritances delayed, of being the ‘’kid’’ brother at 90, of fathers never retiring from the family business and of the gift of unexpected years. “It will be the first time in Australia we’ll deal with children who are old and parents who are very old in such large numbers,” said Colette Browning, head of the Healthy Ageing Research Unit at Monash University. Above all is the question of whether the extra years of life will be worth living. Paul Wong and his sister, known as Sam, visit their mother at the Bernard Chan Nursing Home in Burwood at least twice a week. The director of nursing, Rosie Cheung, remembers well the day a member of the local Aged Care Assessment Team rang to notify her of a woman who needed to be admitted to the home. ‘’Can she jump the queue?’’ Ms Cheung was asked. ‘’She’s 109.’’ Mrs Wong lived with her son’s family for more than 25 years. When her daughter-in-law died, she moved to her daughter’s home, where she lived until three years ago. Her children clearly adore her, talk of her kindness, the Buddhist philosophy that guides her life and her capacity for hard work. >

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


editorial < ‘’No matter how old you are, if you have a mother you are always like a kid,’’ said Mr Wong, who swims regularly and plays lawn bowls. ‘’Even now she is always worried about me: ‘Can you cook for yourself? Go eat at your sister’s house,’ she tells me.’’ Sam Wong says, ‘’My brother and I, we’re getting old. But with such an old mother we feel still young.’’ The Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which began in 1992, concludes that many people in their 80s and older live independently in their homes with little or no assistance and that “… the assumption that ageing is associated with poor health and loss of independence needs to be challenged …” The view that “it all goes together when it goes” is untrue, with many elderly able to capitalise on their strengths despite weaknesses in some areas, the study shows. Even Dr McCormack’s work with centenarians has left him impressed by the “small but growing group of remarkable survivors who despite some frailty and adverse health conditions still rate their own lives as worth living”. Half the centenarians in his study lived in the community. Jack Lockett, who reached 111, and Bea Riley, who lived to 112, were both “cognitively intact”. n Source: Extract from article which first appeared on (5 September 2009) ADVERTORIAL

Cairns Private Hospital Orthopaedic Ward – GripSox™ Trial Trial period: 16/03/09 to 12/07/09 Sample group: All patients admitted during the trial period for total joint replacement-this included 30 total hip replacements and 75 total knee replacements-total of 105 patients. Aim of Trial: The aim of the trial was to reduce the incidence of falls in this patient population. All of these patients wear TED stockings post op and anecdotally the staff felt the number of falls was increasing following refurbishment of our rooms and a change to vinyl floor coverings. Results: Total number of falls on Orthopaedics during the trial period was 6. This compared to a total of 20 falls for the corresponding period in 2008-a reduction of 70% (N.B. these figures are total falls for the period-I was unable to separate out stats for just joint replacements) Other observations: The GripSox™ were easy to use and well tolerated by patients. The largest size seemed to work the best. Smaller sizes tended to slip off when patient was up walking. We applied the GripSox™ over the top of the TEDs as soon as the patients were mobile and encouraged the patients to leave them on throughout their stay in hospital. None of the patients who fell during the trial period had GripSox™ in place. Conclusion: The use of GripSox™ significantly reduced the number of falls during the trial period. They were well tolerated by the patients and the staff are keen to continue to use them with our patients as an ongoing measure to reduce our falls risk. Sue Forbes Nurse Unit Manager – Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation Trial Co-ordinator GripSox™ Enquiries: Luke Goodwin Ph. +61 3 9591 0500 E: W:


Influenza Vaccination among Staff in Aged Care Facilities The H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine will be provided free of charge, and front-line healthcare workers such as those working in aged care, will be a priority group in the initial rollout.


he current pandemic influenza vaccination program provides us with an important reminder about the seriousness of influenza. While the pandemic virus has received considerable media attention and has been responsible for most of the influenza cases during the 2009 season, it should be remembered that in Australia, seasonal influenza causes an estimated 2,500 deaths, 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations a year. Furthermore, healthcare workers are much more likely to become infected with influenza than other members of the general population. It has been estimated that up to 25% of healthcare workers may contract influenza in any given season. This potentially puts their patients at risk as they may spread the virus for up to a day before they experience symptoms. Research has shown that up to 76% of residents in an affected aged-care facility may contract influenza during an outbreak. The Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) has been in existence since 1992, and consists of medical and scientific specialists, with a particular interest in influenza, from around Australia and New Zealand. One of the ISG’s central aims is to reduce the public health impact of influenza through increased awareness and vaccination among healthcare professionals. To this end the ISG recently developed a discussion paper entitled “Influenza vaccination among healthcare workers”, which has been distributed widely and has received very positive feedback. The document discusses the benefits of vaccination, as well as the barriers, and makes a number of recommendations to healthcare facilities to improve rates of vaccination among healthcare workers, as part of their duty of care to staff and patients. Given that the elderly are one of the groups most at risk of developing serious complications from influenza, it is important that the message about

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vaccination reaches those working in the aged care sector. Vaccination has long been accepted as best practice in influenza prevention. Australians aged 65 or over have for several years been entitled to free influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program. Recently the Australian Government announced that the program is to be extended in 2010 to also include anyone over the age of 6 months of age who may be at risk of developing serious complications from influenza. While there is currently no clear Australiawide system for ensuring aged care staff are provided with free seasonal influenza vaccine, the current Australian Immunisation Handbook (9th edition) states that influenza vaccination is strongly recommended and should be actively promoted for staff in nursing homes and long term care facilities. The Influenza Specialist Group acknowledges the significant workload of staff at healthcare facilities and how easy it is for influenza vaccination of direct care staff to fall to the bottom of the list. However, influenza vaccination has been shown to reduce the disease’s impact upon healthy working adults, reducing the frequency of upper respiratory illnesses by 25% and nearly halving both GP visits and sick days. More information about the Influenza Specialist Group can be found at the website www.influenzaspecialistgroup. or a copy of the discussion paper “Influenza vaccination among healthcare workers” can be downloaded at http:// content/view/46/78/ n

New Industry Initiative

National Electronic Resident Agreement [eRA] Software The Aged Care Industry Council, in conjunction with Kennedy Strang Legal Group, has jointly launched an exciting new initiative to protect and assist members.


ith the consent and agreement of all State bodies, there will now be a national standard for resident agreements, which will be implemented via an electronic software package [eRA].  This new electronic version of the standard resident agreements will replace the previous manual agreements supported by the Associations. The move to utilise a software application to deliver the new agreements brings a raft of benefits including ongoing automatic online updates for legal templates. The agreements will be amended as government legislation changes and automatically updated to the software via the internet, thus ensuring agreements meet the latest legal requirements at all times. The software package is designed for easy auto calculation / referencing of fees such as basic daily care fees, accommodation charges, bond retention amounts, periodic bond payments and more. The online update feature also extends to the Fees and Schedule as they are released by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. This feature, coupled with the auto calculation of fees, minimises the opportunity for human error and thus provides peace of mind that eRA generated agreements will be using the correct fees and charges.

The simplicity and ease of the software allows the responsibility for generating Agreements to be shared and not restricted to just one or two key staff. The process is quick and easy, only taking a few minutes to complete. After a few minutes of entering basic information, a professional looking agreement with the appropriate fees and charges can be printed off. Users will be pleased with the significant amount of time saved in what can often turn out to be a time consuming process. Several self-customising options are also offered by the software: •

Whilst the body of the various legal templates is locked and cannot be changed, for your security, via the software, users can tailor agreements by adding facility/resident-specific conditions

Certain clauses within the legal templates can be added or deleted by options chosen in the admission process. This self-tailoring option provides flexibility while allowing the integrity of the legal document to be retained

Agreements are tailored to the legal entity and business name of the facility and provides the option for logos to be embedded into the agreement

eRA was designed to be a simple piece of software to assist providers in reducing the administrative burden of this process whilst simultaneously meeting compliance requirements when generating resident agreements. eRA has been in operation for over five years and therefore the software has proven itself to be robust and user friendly. The competitive price of the software, compared to manual paper-based alternatives, is another equally compelling argument as to why association members should change over to this system as soon as possible. As a special introductory offer, this nationally recognised standard package is available at a discounted price to members, if purchased prior to 31 December 2009. Ensure your organisation can now remain compliant easily and effectively, as well as save time when dealing with resident agreements, by contacting e-Tools Software, the collaborative software design partner and sole distributor/trainer for the package. Tel [03] 9571 8611 or email


Peak Council of Australia’s Aged Care Providers

Developed in conjunction with:

Compliance review of aged care Medicare Australia’s compliance and program integrity philosophy is to encourage a culture of voluntary compliance with the programs we administer.


n 2008–09, $7.3 billion was paid in residential aged care payments. Medicare Australia is currently reviewing a small sample of the residential aged care industry. This will help us identify if there are any issues or concerns in relation to the integrity of the aged care program and to determine appropriate approaches to assist the industry to voluntary comply. We will be looking at the claimed residential admission and discharge dates—in some cases, hospital leave dates—and comparing those to the records of the approved provider. We may also check on-line user access of staff. Medicare Australia will have contacted you in late November. If you were selected to participate in the review it is not due to Medicare Australia having any specific concerns in regards to your facility. Medicare Australia plan to have the review completed by January 2010. n


Investment Allowance After several changes and upgrades, the last of which was in the May 2009 Federal Budget, the investment allowance offers the following bonus tax deductions for businesses that invest in capital, depreciating assets: Small Businesses (turnover of less than $2 million) A bonus investment allowance deduction of 50% (up from 30%) for new, tangible depreciating assets or new expenditure on existing eligible assets costing $1,000 or more that small businesses; •

Acquire between 13 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 or start to construct or improve upon between those times; and

Have installed ready for use by 31 December 2010.

Other Business (turnover of $2 million or more) 1. A bonus investment allowance of 30% for new, tangible depreciating assets or new expenditure on existing eligible assets costing $10,000 or more that they: •

Acquire between 13 December 2008 and 30 June 2009 or start to construct or improve upon between those times; and

Have installed ready for use by 30 June 2010.

2. A bonus investment allowance deduction of 10% for new, tangible depreciating assets or new expenditure on existing eligible assets costing $10,000 or more that they: •

Acquire between 1 July 2009 and 31 December 2009 or start to construct or improve between those times; and

Have installed ready for use by 31 December 2010.

What is a Small Business? Determining what is a small business is important as small businesses have a lower expenditure threshold ($1,000 versus $10,000) and can claim a greater deduction (50% as compared to 30% or 10%). A taxpayer is a small business entity for an income year, rather than at a point in time during a year. A taxpayer is a small business entity for the current income year if they carry on a business in that year and: •

They carried on a business during the previous income year and their aggregated turnover for that year was less than $2 million; or It is likely that their aggregated turnover is to be less than $2 million for the current income year.

‘Aggregated turnover’ includes your turnover plus that of:

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Your affiliates (individuals or companies that could reasonably be expected to act in accordance with your directions or wishes); plus

Connected entities (where you control an entity or it controls you, or where you are both controlled by the same third party). Please note that control is deemed at a 40% entitlement to distributions or voting rights.

To qualify as a small business and therefore get the more generous investment allowance benefits for small business, a taxpayer needs to be a small business taxpayer for the income year in which they: •

Undertake new investment in an eligible asset; or

Put that asset to use.

Therefore, provided you are a small business entity at the time that either one of those events occurs, you may be eligible for both the increased rate (50%) and the lower expenditure thresholds ($1,000).

How Much and When? Having made your capital business entity, the investment allowance deduction is 50% provided you invested in that asset between 13 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 and then used it or installed it ready for use before 31 December 2010. On the other hand, if you are not a small business, the tax break is claimed by using either the 10% or 30% rate depending on when you invested in the asset and used it or installed it ready for use. You ‘invest’ in an asset at the ‘investment commitment time’. This time varies depending on what type of investment has been made. Purchased Assets Where you invest in an asset by way of purchase, the ‘investment commitment time’ will be the point in time that: •

You entered into a contract under which you hold the asset or will start to hold the asset at some point in time;

The asset started to be constructed; or

You started to hold the asset in some other way

Self-Constructed Assets Where you invest in an asset by way of constructing it yourself, the ‘investment time’ is the time in which you first incur expenditure in respect of the construction of the asset. Existing Assets Finally, for a new investment in an existing asset, the ‘investment time’ is the point in time that you entered into a contract for that investment or the time that the construction/ improvement commenced.

The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;investment timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is important as it determines the rate at which a claim can be made.

The Year You claim your deduction in the income tax return for the income year in which you first use the asset or have it installed ready for use. So while the rate is determined by the investment time, the year in which you claim your deduction is determined by the installation or first-use date. n

Source: The Australian Taxation Reporter ( September/October 2009


New Investment By: 31 December 2009

30 June 2009

50% in 2008/2009

30 June 2010

50% in 2009/2010

31 December 2010

50% in 2010/2011


New Investment By: 30 June 2009

New Investment By: 31 December 2009

30 June 2009

30% in 2008/2009

30 June 2010

30% in 2009/2010

10% in 2009/2010

31 December 2010

10% in 2010/2011

10% in 2010/2011


National Guide for Aged Care Chart 2009/10

In support of the accreditation standards laid out in the Aged Care Act 1997 Pro-Visual Publishing and Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) promotes education on the use of appropriate documentation in the 2009/10 edition of the National Guide for Aged Care.


he Guide, being sent out free of charge nationally, highlights how documentation processes can be influenced with the introduction of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) and details how clinical information informs the ACFI. The purpose of documentation is to act as a communication tool; to ensure continuity of care; to be a legal record; and to provide information / evidence for funding.

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Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) has been a proud supporter of the Guide and has assisted in its development for the past six years. “The National Guide for Aged Care is a practical health and wellbeing resource Chart for members of the aged care industry,” said Rod Young, CEO ACAA. “The Guide provides managers and employees with up-to-date information to improve both the health and wellbeing of everyone in aged care facilities.” Also featured in this year’s Guide are the topics of slips, trips and falls, dental care as well as correct assessment and treatment of incontinence. The Guide will be distributed to all residential aged care facilities across Australia. Additional copies are available and all Guides are produced and distributed without cost thanks to sponsorship. For further information, or to obtain additional copies of the chart, please call Pro-Visual Publishing on (02) 8272 2611, email or see n

2010 Calendar of Events 22 – 23 February

28 Feb – 2 March

16 – 18 March

National Dementia Congress

19th Annual Tri State Conference & Trade Exhibition

ACQI State Conference & Trade Exhibition

Hilton on the Park, Melbourne Contact: IIR Conferences T: 02 9080 4090 E:

Contact: ACCV Ph: 03 9805 9400 Email: Contact.aspx

T: 07 - 3725 5588 F: 07 – 3715 8166 E:

16 – 18 April

22 – 24 April

20 & 21 May

Ageing with Attitude Expo

The Inaugural International Advance Care Planning Conference

ACAA – NSW Congress

Claremont Showgrounds Organised by True Blue Exhibitions in partnership with Aged Care Association Australia WA T: 08 9387 5979 M: 0417 969 126 E: mareene@trueblue-exhibitions.

Melbourne Contact: Arinex Tel: 03 9417 0888 Fax: 03 9417 0899

Sheraton on the Park, Sydney T: 02 – 9212 6922 E:

17 – 18 June

26 & 27 July

14 – 16 November

ACCV State Congress

ITAC 2010

ACAA 29th Annual Congress

Melbourne T: 03-9805 9400 F: 03-9805 9455 E:

Information Technology in Aged Care 2010 – The eHealth Revolution Contact: ACAA - Jane Murray E: T: 08 9405 7171 Contact: HISA - Maureen Pang E: T: 03 9388 0555 F: 03 9388 2086

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Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

T: 02 6285 2615 E:

product news

FM Innovations


ith much anticipation FM Innovations has just released WSMenterprise version 4.6. This new software release builds on the already robust foundations to create an innovative solution to meet your facilities needs. With FM Innovations new Contract Management module no matter what the area your property is in need of improving FM Innovations has solution to meet your need. FM Innovations® is the only facility management software company to take your facilities and property management objectives, develop measurable key performance indicators around them

Electrolux once again included in Dow Jones Sustainability World Index


lectrolux has once again been included in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSWI). The DJSWI includes the 10% best-in-class economic, environmental and social performers of the world’s 2,500 largest companies. “I am proud Electrolux is ranked among the world’s sustainability leaders for the tenth time. Playing an active role in the climate challenge represents a business opportunity for Electrolux and reflects our commitment to being part of the solution. Our most important contribution towards a more sustainable world is to continue develop and produce energy-efficient appliances,” says Hans Stråberg, Electrolux President and CEO. According to the DJSWI, Electrolux demonstrates outstanding performance in particular in

and customise a building or property management software system that measurably helps you achieve those objectives. FM Innovations® develops sophisticated management software solutions that are easy to use in order to manage the ever-increasing complexity of the FM and property management industry. Determination, commitment to quality and our innovation has put us at the forefront of the FM software industry. If you are a Aged Care Provider, Government Organisation or Not for Profit, FM Innovations have a designed our WSM software solution to suit your current and future needs. FM Innovations® have built into WSM “implied intelligence”, creating a new benchmark when it comes to facility management software. WSM

brand management, environmental management systems, stakeholder engagement and standards for suppliers. The DJSWI was launched in 1999. It follows a best-in-class approach and includes sustainability leaders from each industry on a global and regional level respectively. The evaluation is based on criteria such as climate change strategies, energy consumption, human resources development, knowledge management, stakeholder relations and corporate governance.

The new “green range” from Electrolux Laundry Systems

delivers automation, information flow, and detailed operational statistics with graphs for executive level reporting in a customisable database that is easy to use. Each WSM module has an intuitive interface and user-friendly design that is robust enough as a standalone operation, integrates with each module and/or integrating with your existing systems. At FM Innovations we proudly provide solutions to suit your needs. Contact us now for a FREE demonstration of WSMenterprise 4.6 direct to your desktop now on 03 9600 1646 or

To Outsource or not to Outsource?


ncreasing numbers of Aged Care organisations discover the benefits of outsourcing to improve bottom line performance. Motivations to outsource include: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Confidence that services are interactive and proactive Access to experienced industry knowledge bank Costs/ benefits of outsourcing outweigh costs of doing in house Overheads minimisation Need for accurate, timely financial reporting Difficulty finding Aged Care knowledgeable staff Reduce risk of Payroll blow outs To ensure funding and claims entitlements are received Failing to meet audit requirements Business expansion hampered by inadequate financial data Need for better management & work flow practices As a stop gap measure whilst reassessing administration needs

Just a few reasons why outsourcing is a viable alternative. Whatever your needs AIM Outsourcing Services will tailor a solution for you. Call Alan Bateman at AIM Software Pty Ltd today for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation 1300 651 321.

Aged Care A U S T R A L I A | Summer 2009 |


product news

Jomor Healthcare


omor Healthcare has been a proud supplier to the Australian Healthcare Industry for over 20 years. They are a design and engineering driven organisation with strong commitment to quality and continual improvement. With the recent downturn in the global economy placing increased pressure on Aged care facility operators. Jomor has released its new value for money “Marion” high-low electronic bed. The “Marion” has been engineered to provide the Australian Aged Care market with a durable high quality Australian made product at very competitive price. This was achieved by optimising the design without compromising product quality, durability or functionality. Jomor’s Managing Director, Deon Gilbert says “it’s about working smarter not cheaper” keeping abreast of technology and maintaining standards. Deon is

passionate about investing and supporting Australian manufacture “We want to keep jobs here in Australia”. By refining our designs and processes we now produce a world class product at competitive prices. Reevaluating the way we do things we can now produce a high quality and competitive product here in Australia, Then by supporting the product through its life, we continue to offer our clients great value and excellent service. The “Marion” Hi Low bed is a perfect example of this available from $1375.


recent study done in Perth through Alzheimers WA has shown that Wu Tao Dance which uses a combination of dance, music and relaxation techniques, reduces symptoms of agitation in people with moderate to severe dementia.

Residents (with dementia) from a low care facility in WA, participated in a series of weekly Wu Tao Dance sessions in early 2009 and were monitored to identify changes. The results were impressive with participants showing a significant decrease in agitation symptoms and an increase in relaxation and sense of well-being. Wu Tao Dance Therapy has now been introduced into a number of aged care facilities in WA with both residents and staff enjoying the benefits of its unique combination of dance, music and meditation. As baby boomers age and the senior population swells, more people than ever before are being faced with the impact of aging on the brain. Finding non pharmaceutical methods of treating the symptoms of dementia is fundamental to successful management of dementia care and the health and well-being of the person with the disease. Why is dance a good form of exercise? Recent research has shown that dance is associated with a lower risk of dementia (published New England Journal of Medicine 2005). The mentally challenging

Summer 2009 | Aged Care A U S T R A L I A

Experts in Occupational Hand Hygiene


eb has recently released a new skin care range dedicated to the Aged care sector.

The range consists of a mild foaming hand soap, Alcohol Foam hand sanitiser, moisturising cream and a complete 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash. All products are designed to be used in easy to use dispensers. Deb Australia & New Zealand Tel: (02) 9794 7700

For information on the Marion or any of Jomor’s extensive range visit their Web site at or contact Jomor on 1300 651 235 Email: sales@

Wu Tao Dance Training Course now Available

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aspects of dancing, ie following dance steps, moving and staying in time with the music is believed to be responsible. The study involved a group of men and women over the age of 75. Wu Tao is a dance therapy developed by Australian dancer Michelle Locke. Based on similar principles to Tai Chi, it increases energy flow through the body, stimulates blood flow and reduces stress. Wu Tao is easy and enjoyable to do. Wu Tao is a treatment option that can be easily incorporated into the lives of older people, with benefits that can enhance the lives of all involved. Wu Tao can now be easily integrated into the therapy or activity program of any facility through the Wu Tao Stretch and Relax™ Program. The flowing exercises have been developed to give participants a gentle, energising physical and mental workout in approximately 40 minutes and helps participants to increase body awareness through movement, stimulate blood and energy flow, increase muscle tone, strength and flexibility, reduce stress, depression and anxiety, increase relaxation and improve cognitive ability. The Stretch and Relax On-line Training Course has been especially developed for health professionals working with people who may be experiencing physical challenges, cognitive impairment, dementia and other symptoms associated with aging or disability. The training can be done in your own time and doesn’t require you to take time out of work. As well as improving the health of your clients, Wu Tao will also improve your physical and mental health returning you to a state of inner peace, balance and well-being. Wu Tao is a therapy that improves the health and well-being of people everywhere. Call Michelle 0417 989 397 email info@ for more info. Refer to ad on page 50 of this issue.

Aged Care Australia Summer 2009  

The official journal of Aged Care Association Australia - a professional, national industry association for providers of quality residential...

Aged Care Australia Summer 2009  

The official journal of Aged Care Association Australia - a professional, national industry association for providers of quality residential...