LASA Fusion Summer 2017

Page 1

The voice of aged care Summer 2017 |

Aged care reform At a critical point

• The Carnell/Paterson review recommendations: do they go far enough? • Victorian voluntary assisted dying legislation: how will it impact the aged care sector? • Bumper year for LASA Members.

Wishing all in the age services industry a Merry Christmas


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CONTENTS The voice of aged care Summer 2017 |

OPINION 5 Chair National Update






CEO National Update



0 is the new 40: The changing 7 trends of an ageing Australia

LASA calls for excellence in aged care industry award nominations

14 Consumer directed care rides the wave of the ‘stormy waters’ of age services

QUALITY CARE AND WORKFORCE 17 The Carnell/Paterson Review: What does it mean for complaints?

19 Recommendations on aged care accreditation processes signal potential change

EDITOR Gerard Delaney Manager Corporate Affairs Leading Age Services Australia Ltd T: 02 6230 1676 E:

NATIONAL UPDATE 22 Accumulating unspent home care



upported resident ratios: It’s time S to revisit the conversation


etirement village legislation R overhaul: State governments get ultimatum




Melbourne: Neil Muir (03) 9758 1433

Adelaide: Robert Spowart 0488 390 039


from improved performance, reduced costs and risk

58 LASA offers tailored support services for new entrants into home care sector

61 Essential enterprise agreement tips to start the New Year

63 Outsourcing v rightsourcing: A beneficial alternative approach with LASA business services


package funds: LASA Member survey results

First Floor Andrew Arcade 42 Giles Street Kingston ACT 2604

PO Box 735, Belgrave, VIC 3160

MEMBER BENEFITS 56 LASA Members benefit

Emily Wallis (03) 9758 1436

Administration Tarnia Hiosan (03) 9758 1436


30 Stepping through the Victorian Parliament voluntary assisted dying legislation

LEGAL ISSUES 35 Telehealth and virtual care: Is the law keeping up?

36 Eight top tips to minimise risk during the festive season

HEALTH AND SAFETY 39 Inclusive health care goes beyond cultural and linguistic diversity model

Fusion is the regular publication of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA). Unsolicited contributions are welcome but LASA reserves the right to edit, abridge, alter or reject material. Opinions expressed in Fusion are not necessarily those of LASA and no responsibility is accepted by the Association for statements of fact or opinions expressed in signed contributions. Fusion

NUTRITION 42 Making the kitchen the beating heart of the aged care community


may be copied in whole for distributed amongst an organisation’s staff. No part of Fusion may be reproduced in any other form without written permission from the article’s author.

Why our industry needs an innovation network: The case for innovAGEING

Nutrition an often-overlooked vital element of quality aged care provision

TECHNOLOGY 47 IT in Aged Care Conference challenges industry to navigate the future

Cover photo: Residents at Queensland’s Clifton Community Health Services recently travelled to Nobby State School to bond with students over games, books, computers, and morning tea. Image courtesy Clifton Community Health Services.


I llawarra Retirement Trust latest provider to trial seniors’ wearable technology


LASA Members benefit from free membership of Global Ageing Network

MEMBER STORIES 68 LASA Members lead the way in 2017 HESTA Aged Care Awards

70 Breaking down barriers for people living with dementia: The Lantern Memory Café


intage voices community V choir inspires creative ageing symposium

72 Hall & Prior lead the way with three awards for innovation in better practice

74 Nobby state school students enjoy grandparent visit to Clifton Community Health Services

DESIGN 76 Why ‘social connection’ must be an essential part of any design brief for retirement villages

78 Aged care facility combines technology with a high-end luxury hotel feel

CONFERENCE 81 LASA National Congress draws on Commonwealth Games spirit

TRAINING 85 LASA provides aged care leaders with dynamic new development opportunity

TOURS 86 International examples of consumer directed care provide lessons for Australian professionals


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Dr Graeme Blackman AO FTSE FAICD, LASA Chair

Combined efforts of Members, Affiliates, staff and Board forge a successful year for LASA.


his was an important year for our organisation and on behalf of the Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Board I thank you all for your support as we worked hard to create a new, dynamic national Member-focused organisation that is a strong influential voice in the age services sector.

The new-look Leading Age Services Australia Ltd Board, from left to right: Sean Rooney; Robert Orie; Saranne Cooke; David Panter; Dr Graeme Blackman; Michelle de Ronchi; Nick Loudon; Kerri Rivett.

This has been due—in no small part—to the combined efforts of our committed, passionate and highly skilled staff, and the ongoing support of our Board, Members, Affiliates and other industry partners. Results of the LASA election for two director positions were announced at this year’s LASA annual general meeting held on the Gold Coast on 15 October, with two new directors elected to the LASA Ltd Board via ballot. Congratulations to Nick Louden, Chief Executive Officer of Seasons Aged Care, for his appointment to the LASA

Ltd Board as the Queensland director. Nick has more than 35 years’ clinical and executive management experience in private hospitals, public hospitals, health insurance, retirement living and in-home community care, and was a Board director of LASA Queensland from 2013–16. Nick holds a Master of Health Administration, a Bachelor of Science in nursing and post-graduate qualifications

in trauma management, coronary care, hyperbaric management and midwifery. Congratulations also to David Panter, Chief Executive Officer of ECH Inc, for his appointment to the LASA Ltd Board as the South Australia/Northern Territory director. David has worked within health and social care services for almost 40 years in the United Kingdom and

Continued page 7




OPINION Continued from page 5

Australia, over half of which has been at chief executive level. Since 2015, he has transformed ECH from a ‘traditional’ aged care provider into one that has moved away from residential care to focus entirely on independent living and enabling people to have choice. David holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in experimental psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology. We are looking forward to a successful 2017–18 representing the interests of our Members and supporting them with innovative services that enable them to provide affordable, accessible, quality care and services for older Australians. This year’s LASA National Congress was a big success. More than 1,100 participants, 110 speakers and presenters and 140 trade exhibitors and sponsors came together on the Gold Coast for the largest age services event in Asia/Pacific. Feedback on the event has been an emphatic ‘best congress ever’. The breadth and depth of the program was outstanding, and along with the trade show and the networking opportunities, it was a thought-provoking and very special few days for the industry.

I congratulate and thank our LASA Congress 2017 Organising Committee of Cynthia Payne (Chair), Rikki Anderson, Gavin Hudson, Paul Johnson and Veronica Jamison for their leadership in carefully shaping this event to target the needs of the industry in this time of transition. Our National Events Manager Susie Tillotson and her team of Alexis Hartigan, Telicia Curcuruto, Angela Davidson and Ellie-Rae Griffiths, along with our Manager Sponsorship and Events Megan Leddin, did an outstanding job of delivering a complex program. On behalf of LASA, our Members, Affiliates, congress sponsors and exhibitors and our industry, a huge thank you to all who supported and contributed to congress 2017. Please mark 28–31 October 2018 in your calendars for next year’s LASA congress in Adelaide. The staff and Board of LASA wish you all the best for the holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. We’d like to thank you for your support of LASA in 2017 and we look forward to working with you, and for you, in 2018. ■

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Industry’s pragmatic and proactive collaborative approach now more important than ever.

Sean Rooney Chief Executive Officer Leading Age Services Australia


he aged care reform process is now at a critical point to secure the sector’s future in this country. The Australian Government is currently considering a number of significant inputs that will further drive aged care reform, with links to the budget process. These inputs include the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 (the Tune report), the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes 2017 (the Carnell/Paterson report), the Aged Care Single Quality Framework, the Resource Utilisation and Classification Study, and the forthcoming work of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce. In this context, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) will soon be making representations to the government for its 2018–19 Budget, as well as formally responding to the Tune and Carnell/ Paterson reports. LASA’s leadership seeks to ensure a proactive and pragmatic approach to driving sector reform, performance and sustainability. This approach must be collaborative across the industry and bi-partisan within the parliament. This is too important not to get right. We must seize this opportunity to build on the achievements of the reforms to date, while addressing identified and emerging issues for consumers, providers and governments. Getting this right, and doing it as quickly as possible, will ensure a ‘fit for purpose’ aged care system able to meet the needs of our growing number of older Australians for decades to come. We already have the Aged Care Sector Committee’s Aged Care Roadmap but we also need a wider national conversation on ageing in Australia – a conversation that will explore and express the needs and aspirations of older Australians, and how to ensure that the aged care system is capable of providing accessible, affordable, quality care and support for them. LASA CEO Sean Rooney tells LASA National Congress 2017 delegates of the Continued page 10

need to work together as an industry.



LASA Chair Dr Graeme Blackman, LASA CEO Sean Rooney and Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt emphasise the importance of collaboration across industry and government.

Continued from page 9

Although our aged care system compares well with most other countries, there is more work to do with regards to ensuring better access to services. This includes supporting consumers to better understand the aged care system and further assist them in making informed choices across available services and providers. A world-class system must be adequately funded and policy settings put in place to allow a consumer-directed care approach to operate freely in the market with appropriate safety nets to cater for special needs groups. There is much work to be done to ensure a sustainable aged care sector that represents a fair, just and caring society that values and supports older Australians. To achieve this, our


whole community will need to be involved. A wholesale shift in attitudes is required to develop an ‘age friendly society’, in addition to a high performing ‘aged care system’. I take this opportunity to commend the providers of age services in Australia, the overwhelming majority of whom are delivering world class care underpinned by a highly professional and dedicated workforce. I also commend the industry for its commitment to engaging with the ongoing reform process and seeking continuous improvement. Together with government, and with support from the wider community, the industry is determined to ensure that accessible, affordable, quality care and services are available to all older Australians. ■

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70 IS THE NEW 40: THE CHANGING TRENDS OF AN AGEING AUSTRALIA Multifaceted approach needed to sustainably cater for consumers’ diverse needs and choices.


e are at a significant point in our development as a nation, with a rapidly growing number of older Australians.

There will be challenges, but we have many positives, too:

The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Aged Care

• t he opportunity to ensure our elders receive the respect they deserve, through a safe, secure quality of life • a community opportunity, that recognises the continuing contribution they can make • t he opportunity to support older Australians, through generational aged care reform. The notion of ‘extended middle-age’ is more than just a concept. As I said in my recent National Press Club address: ‘70 is the new 40’.

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I meet people who continue to be active community members, not just socially but economically – by choosing to stay in the workforce, to work part time or volunteer. There’s no doubt that longer home-based living and increasingly active senior years are growing trends – and that older people will need the right support, services and infrastructure to sustain themselves. By the middle of this century, the number of people aged 65 years and up will double, with over 100,000 of us reaching 100 or more. Ensuring that the older Australians, who built this nation, receive the aged care they deserve requires a multifaceted approach. The work of organisations like LASA, along with care and health professionals, will be crucial. The Turnbull government is equally committed to a bigpicture approach, with a cross-government ageing taskforce working within the Prime Minister’s department.

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When I travel around this nation, I meet more and more older people who are ageing in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes, just as you and I and almost all Australians want to do.

Our reforms will continue to be people-focused, aiming to provide an affordable, flexible and sustainable aged care system for all Australians.


The measure of success will be largely reflected in the empowerment of seniors, to maintain and grow their active contribution to our communities. The Legislated Review of Aged Care, the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes, and several detailed reports on aged care funding reform, will help us steer the next round of reform in the right direction. Whatever the changes ahead, maintaining safety and quality will be non-negotiable. By the end of the year, the previous Australian Aged Care Quality Agency process of notifying residential aged care providers before re-accreditation inspections will go, replaced by unannounced audits. This is designed to increase scrutiny over the minority of providers who have failed to furnish consistent, quality care. While we are considering all 10 of the recent quality review recommendations, I remain equally committed to working with the aged care sector to create a single set of quality standards that focuses on the best outcomes for the consumer. David Tune’s detailed legislative review examined aged care changes since 2012, asking some critical questions, including how we will fund quality care into the future. We also look forward to the wide-ranging consultation of the newly formed taskforce, led by Professor John Pollaers, that is due to produce a comprehensive aged care workforce strategy by mid-2018.

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At present, the aged care sector employs around 366,000 people but this is projected to grow to almost one million by 2050. So this is also about jobs of the future. It’s time to realise that aged care is a career sector of choice, and a profession for life. Though our ageing society is inevitable, how we manage it is not. There will always be capacity to improve, but I know from international experience that our overall commitment to caring and innovation is highly respected by many of our overseas peers. From all of this, our greatest opportunity will be in the legacy we leave for our seniors this century: how we acknowledge and value them, how we create opportunities for them to continue giving to, and sharing in, our communities. ■

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System immaturity undermines seniors’ confidence in provider choice options.


he federal government should be used to stormy weather in its politically sensitive aged care portfolio.

That portfolio has always been bigger, more open to political point scoring, and of greater national importance than its designated, junior ministerial role. Retirement villages have been outed for gouging families, and the difficulty of regulating safety and quality in nursing homes has recently raised its hydra-head yet again. Into this turbulence comes consumer directed care (CDC) which, like reform anywhere, is at highest risk of failing in its early phases. From February this year, CDC extended into home care services, but without the higher risk option of paying cash to consumers as is done in Germany. This major reform was like shifting from a ‘command’ to a ‘market’ economy and many people find it hard to know what to buy or how to buy it.

CDC. However, in an online survey, National Seniors Australia found that more than half of respondents were satisfied with it. But then, in interviews of people calling our financial information desk, we found that people who were under stress while finding services did have problems with My Aged Care. It is obviously easier to use for information rather than—under severe emotional and financial stress—to get a partner or parent into care. The issues experienced in Australia in putting consumer choice into aged care mirror what’s happened elsewhere during the start-up phase of CDC. In Japan more than 10 years ago, the country’s long-term care insurance system had significant failure in regional areas. It takes people time to become used to having choice and they need to be given that time for CDC to succeed.

We do have a blossoming of new providers with different platforms but questions remain about cost effectiveness, quality, and getting the new services into the market.

With overwhelming support for consumer choice, we need to reform CDC to avoid market failure. It’s also high time to recognise that the government can’t do it all and give it credit where it’s due for what is a bold initiative.

There can be little doubt about the broad public support for CDC. The National Seniors Australia survey of 4,267 members found 98 per cent of members aged 50+ believed choice of home care services was extremely or very important regardless of their age. Those living on the aged pension were most likely to say it was extremely important.

Service providers have reported to us that improvements usually occur within six months of their messages, so the system is responsive to comment and criticism. It is crucial that we work together as service providers, experts and consumers and get our messages through to government to give them the chance to make the changes necessary for reform.

However, despite almost universal support for it, one-fifth of respondents had no confidence in being able to choose a provider to suit their needs, and another third were unsure. The responses were a real ‘curate’s egg’, which means there’s more to be done in CDC.

The remaining challenge is to get innovation in the types of services offered and plan well for a future introduction of CDC into residential care.

National Seniors Australia member interviews and local forums revealed problems with the new system, including lack of choice, high administration fees, and insufficient care packages. Confidence was particularly low among residents of regional communities, where the number of providers is low or non-existent. Could we then have a future situation when an incoming government hears the negative comments, finds that it’s an expensive experiment, and shuts it down? To add to this there are reports of ‘endless horror stories’ about the My Aged Care website – the main source of information for


Let’s not throw the bouncing baby out with the bath water. ■ —Professor John McCallum is National Seniors Australia Research Director National Seniors Australia’s research report Consumer Directed Care in Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions is available at Be Heard: Snapshots of members’ views is available at The second section of this report is based on a qualitative survey of National Seniors Australia members’ experience of My Aged Care.

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Rae Lamb Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

Care providers have an opportunity to proactively analyse and positively change procedures ahead of any post-review mandates.


y now many of you will have had a chance to consider Kate Carnell’s and Professor Ron Paterson’s report following their review of aged care regulatory processes.

No doubt you will, like me and my team, be waiting with great interest to see what the government decides in response to the recommendations. We are working with the Department of Health and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency to support this process by providing whatever information and advice is needed. We are pleased by the way the report recognises the importance of aged care complaints and our role. As I’ve said many times, aged care complaints protect and improve the lives of older Australians. They shine light on opportunities to improve care and can alert us to serious issues that need to be fixed urgently. It is also great to see that the Carnell/Paterson review picks up on key themes and messages that we have been promoting through our work. In particular, it calls for more awareness about consumer rights and more information and transparency around complaints handling.

Promoting consumer rights The report highlights that people receiving aged care and their families may be unaware that they have rights or not understand what these involve. We need to raise awareness of the charters of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities. One of the first things we do when considering a service provider’s responsibilities is to look at the relevant charter. If we feel that someone’s rights have been overlooked, we will refer the service back to the charter and ask them to consider it in responding to the complaint. Likewise, when people ask us whether a particular issue might form a valid complaint, we may refer them to the charter to help them feel confident to raise their concerns.

All rights are important, but the one we tell people about most often is the right to make a complaint and take action to resolve disputes. The report notes that even though some consumers may be aware of this right, they are often too afraid to exercise it. We let people know they can raise confidential or anonymous complaints and they can seek support from aged care advocacy services. We are also developing education resources that encourage people to complain when necessary, and support them to do so. Recently we have been asking people who contact us whether they have tried to resolve their concerns with the service provider. It appears from the results that services may be missing opportunities to successfully resolve concerns before matters are escalated to us. The results suggest most people who come to us have tried to resolve their complaint with the service first. They come to us because they are dissatisfied with the response. Others say they haven’t been to the service because they lack confidence it will address their concerns, or they need some information or support from us before they approach the service. One of our newest resources, ‘The Complaints Commissioner’s Top 10 Tips’, provides consumers with practical tips on how to get a positive outcome when raising a complaint with their service provider. There is more to do. We will continue to work hard in coming months to raise awareness of the charters and support consumers to exercise their right to complain and expect an appropriate response. This is something you can do too. When someone enters your care, provide them with a copy of the relevant charter and take the time to talk them through it. Let them know that if they have concerns, they have the right to raise them. Reassure them that it’s ok to complain and refer them to an advocate if they need help in doing so. Continued page 18


QUALITY CARE AND WORKFORCE Continued from page 17

Greater transparency about complaints handling Another key message from the review is the need for greater transparency about aged care complaints. In particular, the reviewers are calling for more information to be made public about how a complaint has been handled. You may be aware of my challenge to the industry earlier this year, calling on service providers to talk more openly about complaints and what is done to resolve them. I wrote about it in the spring edition of Fusion. This challenge is still on the table.


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Legislative change will be needed if the decision is made to increase my power to share complaints information, but service providers can act now. You have the ability to openly discuss the complaints you receive – to talk about the number, the issues and the actions taken to resolve them, while still respecting the privacy of those involved. You can do this in various ways including pre-agreement conversations, in your promotional and information materials, on your websites and in regular communications. This is important. If consumers can see that services openly reveal information about the complaints they get and what they do about them, they will trust that their own concerns will be taken seriously and won’t be ignored. It will help people to understand that complaints are a normal part of providing services and doing business. The review has also recognised the importance of transparency when care is not as it should be. Specifically, the report’s authors recommend that the health industry’s Australian Open Disclosure Framework be adapted for aged care. A key element of this is proactively telling people when something has gone wrong in their care. This must include an apology or expression of regret using the words ‘I am sorry’ or ‘we are sorry’. I often talk about the power of an apology. It’s something we encourage at every opportunity. By saying ‘I’m sorry’, service providers can reduce the anger and distress a consumer may be feeling and restore a positive relationship. A good apology, made freely and at the right time, is an incredibly powerful tool in resolving complaints quickly. Draft Standard 6 of the proposed Single Aged Care Quality Framework already includes a requirement for providers to demonstrate open disclosure – including acknowledging and apologising when failings are identified. Again, I encourage you to think about what you can do now, rather than waiting on decisions on the recommendations in the review report. From what we see, greater awareness of people’s rights in aged care, better information, and greater transparency around complaints, are what people want and there are things you can do now to deliver it. ■




Carnell/Paterson review calls for major overhaul to strengthen aged care system and build on good regulatory practice.


he October 2017 report stemming from the review of national aged care quality regulatory processes has a pedigree that dates back to then-South Australian Chief Psychiatrist Aaron Groves’ 2016 investigation of quality of care issues at South Australia’s Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service.

4. The Aged Care Commission will implement a star-rated system for public reporting of provider performance.

The service—which has since closed—was a state government-run facility with full accreditation from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA).

7. Aged care standards will limit the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care.

Off the back of the Groves’ report which revealed systemic abuse and patient neglect, the federal government appointed public administrator Kate Carnell AO and international healthcare quality expert Professor Ron Paterson ONZM to review the overarching regulatory processes AACQA administers and to determine why and how Oakden was cleared for accreditation. The independent reviewers’ subsequent report—Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes 2017 (Carnell/Paterson Review report)—offers 10 recommendations, some of which have been influenced by the Australian Law Reform Commission report Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response. The Carnell/Paterson Review report is available on the Department of Health website at The 10 recommendations the reviewers list for the government consideration are: 1. Establish an independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to centralise accreditation, compliance and complaints handling. 2. The Aged Care Commission will develop and manage a centralised database for real-time information sharing. 3. All residential aged care services in receipt of Commonwealth funding must participate in the National Quality Indicators Program.

5. The Aged Care Commission will support consumers and their representatives to exercise their rights. 6. Enact a serious incident response scheme (SIRS) for aged care.

8. Ongoing accreditation, with unannounced visits, to assure safety and quality of residential aged care. 9. Ongoing accreditation, with unannounced visits, to assure safety and quality of residential aged care. 10. Enhance complaints handling. It is clear that if implemented, the recommendations would constitute a major change to the aged care sector’s system of quality accreditation. So far, the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt has foreshadowed the implementation of recommendation eight: all future accreditation visits to residential aged care will be unannounced, except the initial accreditation visit. However AACQA has always had the option of conducting an unannounced visit if it had a concern about a facility.

LASA’s initial observations about the Carnell/Paterson Review report Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) is concerned that the recommendations of Carnell/Paterson Report do not clearly identify the agencies responsible for the failures in care at Oakden. A key problem for the Oakden facility was not with the accreditation principles and processes. Rather, AACQA failed to apply these principles and processes properly. LASA is of the view that as part of the government’s response to the report AACQA should be held accountable for its performance. The South Australian Government as the operator of the facility should also be held accountable for the failures at Oakden. Continued page 20


QUALITY CARE AND WORKFORCE Continued from page 19

LASA believes the Carnell/Paterson Review report tars the whole residential age care industry with the Oakden brush, despite the incidents occurring at a state-run mental health facility. LASA also notes that, while at this stage these are recommendations only, any recommendations and associated changes must be: • considered in the context of the ongoing reform agenda • consistent with the underpinning principles of the reform agenda and acknowledge the Aged Care Sector Committee’s ‘roadmap’ and the NACA ‘blueprint’ • considered alongside existing work underway with regards to the Single Quality Framework, quality indicators, and consumer reporting initiatives • be rigorously assessed with regards to intent, cost, logistics and regulatory impact for providers/consumers/ governments.

As a sector, providers want to ensure that catastrophic breaches of quality standards, such as those at a facility operated by government, must never happen again. LASA’s commitment to ensuring this outcome is emphatic. LASA is looking to an accreditation system that assures the community of the safety, wellbeing and quality of life for people living in residential aged care. LASA is determined to have regulation that functions effectively to achieve those ends. It is not yet clear how or to what extent the government will engage with the sector on the findings and recommendations of the Carnell/Paterson Review report. However, the Minister did indicate that more detailed responses will link to other review activities underway such as the government’s response to the recommendations in the Tune report. LASA’s submission to the government on the Carnell/Paterson recommendations will strongly represent the sector’s views and will be informed by feedback received from LASA Members. LASA’s response will seek to ensure an efficient and effective system of quality accreditation. ■

Dominique Egan, Partner


John Petts, Partner

Katharine Philp, Partner







Data implications warrant further probing of consumer motivations as funds stagnate and national access queues grow.


n 15 September 2017, the federal government released the Home Care Packages Program Data Report ( Home-care-packages-program-data-report-2017). This report quantified—for the first time—the full extent of demand for home care packages across Australia.

levels was also collated as a proportion of all 3,290 packages reported (see Figure 1).

The figures come off the back of home care providers’ longstanding concerns over lengthy wait times for consumers wishing to access high level home care packages.


At 30 June 2017 there were more than 53,000 people waiting for a home care package and more than 35,000 more on a lower package than they have been approved to receive. This compares with around 90,000 home care packages currently funded in the system, where demand for home care packages is twice that of supply. In October Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) surveyed home care provider Members on topics including accumulation of unspent funds in home care packages of the consumers that home care providers service. The data reveals a telling picture of unspent package funds sitting stagnant while the extent of the national queue to access packages remains a significant concern for all aged care stakeholders. The 34 home care package providers who responded reported servicing 3,290 consumers with a package surplus as at 31 August 2017. The number of home care packages for which unspent funds were reported for packages were: • Level one = 22 • Level two = 2105 • Level three = 283 • Level four = 880. Ranges for which unspent funds were reported are as follows: • $0–500 • $501–2000 • $2001–5000 • $5001–10,000 • more than 10,000. The number of consumers with unspent funds in each of these ranges was collated for each package level as a proportion of packages at the same level. The number of consumers with unspent funds in each of these ranges across all package


Figure 1: Accumulated unspent funds for each package level (and all package levels

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Across all home care package levels, Lvl 1 Lvl 2 Lvl 3 Lvl 4 0-500 501-2000 2001-5000 5001-10000 the vast majority of packages (62 per cent) had unspent funds totalling $5,000 or less.

Total 10000+

The remainder (38 per cent) had unspent funds exceeding this amount. Crude estimates indicate that the combined amount of unspent funds for these 3,290 home care packages balances at 31 August 2017 could be in the range of $11–19 million. Extrapolated to a national level, it is suggested that unspent funds in the system could be in the range of $200–350 million. Such a substantiative amount of funding could provide an incredible source of relief for consumers and carers on the national queue seeking government assistance to access inhome care. Importantly, this home care package sample represents just under five per cent of all home care packages currently being provided across Australia. It provides a glimpse of the extent of unspent home care package funds balances currently in play and further investigation of accumulated unspent home care package funds appears warranted. Reasons for the accumulation of unspent home care package funds are diverse and may include: consumers not needing services at the level their package is funded; consumers preferring to access a reduced level of service relative to package funds with intent to bank funds for later use; and/or a reluctance to take on additional services in the face of changerelated anxiety or readiness to make use of additional services. Regardless the implications for this emerging home care data point concerning unspent home care package funds in a fiscally tight policy environment requires further consideration. More detail about the LASA Home Care Provider Survey Report can be accessed at ■ —Troy Speirs is LASA Principal Advisor, Home Care



LASA invites Member comments on whether the current system puts providers at a disadvantage.


o, you are an approved provider who has spent years fundraising in your local community, are lobbying the banks for a loan, or have applied for an Aged Care Approval Round grant (or any combination of the above), and you are ready to ‘significantly refurbish your facility’. Let’s not make light of any of these exercises, they take time, cost money and you often have to jump through legislative hoops in order to get to the other side. Then you start the works which may involve having less occupancy for a period of time, restructuring rosters, less income etc. But the horizon looks better because your significantly-refurbished facility allows you to project optimum

future budgets, provides a lovely modern living environment for your residents in their last years, and the label ‘significantly refurbished’ allows you to receive the higher accommodation supplement (currently $55.44 per resident, per day). However, what happens if after all that effort, outlay, and debt, you fall below the supported resident ratio? Unfortunately, this can be just one resident. It doesn’t matter how many times you review your waiting list (or you may not have one), your only option is a resident who contributes to his or her care.

Continued page 24


NATIONAL UPDATE Continued from page 23

This is a great outcome – exactly what the government wants. However, the fact is that you need to maintain occupancy to support your roster. Under this scenario your local community is then compromised because that one resident takes you under the supported resident ratio. Every supported resident in your facility is then compromised by a 25 per cent reduction in accommodation supplement per resident, per day. That $55.54 per resident, per day becomes $41.58 – a big drop from your budget. Your financial sustainability is likely compromised and perhaps you are unable to deliver all that you have budgeted for.

What is the supported resident ratio? Supported resident ratios were introduced in October 1997. The Department of Health defines them in this way: All aged care services, whether or not they are certified, are required to meet the supported resident ratio—formerly known as the concessional resident ratio—which applies to their region. Sanctions may be applied to those services that do not meet the required ratio. Exceptions to the requirement are homes that provide only extra service or the distinct part of a home that provides extra service.

that a fully supported resident is as valuable as any other, and that the penalty of losing 25 per cent in accommodation supplement is an unfair penalty. The report also argues for the end to regional ratios. Informed by this industry consultation, ACFA is of the view that there is not a strong case for the continuation of the regional ratios. The regional ratios are being exceeded by an average of around 20 to 30 percentage points in the great majority of cases. It is unlikely the ratios are significantly affecting provider behaviour. Instead the clear financial incentive of the separate 40 per cent ratio seems to be more effective in influencing provider behaviour and supported residents appear to be able to gain the services they need. ACFA considers the regional ratio is unnecessary regulation and could be repealed with minimal, if any, impact on access to care for supported residents. Current policy settings also mean that the average agreed Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) and the accommodation supplement payment for supported residents ($54 for residents in newly built and significantly refurbished homes and $35 in non-refurbished or newly built homes), are reasonably aligned, thereby not acting as a disincentive to choose supported residents. (ACFA Jan 2017)

The Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) provides the following additional definition:

The key here is ensuring that there is always a ‘safety net’ for supported residents and the aged care industry is happy to support that.

Supported residents are care recipients who have been determined by means testing to be eligible to receive government assistance with their accommodation costs through the payment of concessional resident supplement or accommodation supplement.

If you have been disadvantaged by the current system and agree that it’s time to start the conversation from a provider perspective, please email me with your thoughts at sharonm@ so that Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) can advocate on your behalf. ■

In January this year, ACFA released its report on access to care for supported residents. The report—which can be found on the health department’s website—finds

—Sharyn McIlwain is LASA Principal Advisor – Residential Aged Care



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STATE GOVERNMENTS GET ULTIMATUM Regulation reform governing resident and operator relationships puts nationally-consistent approach one step closer.


etirement village reform has been high on the federal government’s agenda this year. Federal Consumer Affairs Minister Michael McCormack outlined in a recent Fairfax article that he has given states until the first half of next year (2018) to create plans to overhaul legislation covering villages. The minister raised four areas of concern as: fairer contract terms; structured exit fees; simplified contracts; and consensus on dispute resolution. Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) representations to-date have covered these issues, including the need for simpler and nationally-consistent approaches across state and territory regulation. Our Members, across several of our state-based retirement living advisory groups have clearly identified that legislation needs to change to provide the vehicle for consistency of language and regulation in contracts between residents and operators.

New South Wales The Greiner inquiry set up by the New South Wales Government conducted a number of community consultations and peak body briefings in the state, closing on 8 November 2017. LASA has represented retirement village Members’ views throughout this process, attending the final briefing with Catherine Greiner on 26 October 2017. The inquiry will hand down recommendations to government by 15 December 2017 and it is likely to be made public in early 2018. LASA will review the recommendations and respond accordingly on behalf of Members. The inquiry focused on five key terms of reference: costs, fees and charges; safety and security of built environment; dispute resolution mechanisms; funding arrangements for maintenance and other works; and marketing. A code of conduct is also on the agenda in New South Wales and is aligned to behaviours associated with both dispute resolution and marketing. Resident groups raised concerns around marketing, in particular that the glossy brochures and pre-sale rhetoric by sales staff did not match the aftersales reality.


Queensland The Queensland Parliament passed the Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Act 2017 (the Act) on 25 October 2017 and it received royal assent on 10 November 2017. Most of the amendments will not commence until a future date (to be proclaimed). However, the following amendments to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 commenced on 10 November 2017 (the date of assent): • t he introduction of an 18-month buy-back period, with a limited exception for operator financial hardship • new enforceable behavioural standards for operators, village staff and residents. Two other substantive changes for Queensland operators will become law on a date to be proclaimed. The first is the replacement of the public information document with an approved form of residence contract, a village comparison document, prospective costs document and condition reports. Within each of these documents/forms there are requirements to which operators must adhere. These include providing a clear and transparent estimate of costs to a prospective resident about the costs of entering, living in and leaving the village, personalised for them. The second is that an operator must provide all relevant documents prescribed by the legislation at least 21 days prior to entering into a residence contract. There are conditions where this can be waived. The 14-day cooling off period will also continue to apply. There are also new requirements for operators regarding reinstatement, refurbishment, redevelopment, closures, mergers and acquisitions. There will be a 12-month review of the amendments and LASA will address issues and make submissions on behalf of Members.

South Australia South Australia has led the way on retirement village reforms in many respects. The reforms of other states closely mirror those already enacted in South Australia with the passing of the state’s Retirement Villages Act 2016, which comes into effect on 1 January 2018. These are positive, but small steps towards consistency across the country. There are six key reforms.


• T he introduction of a disclosure statement. This will need to be provided to residents along with financial statements from the most recent meeting of residents, minutes from the last two general meetings, the residence contract, by-laws, code of conduct and a policy on how the village/unit will be remarketed. All of this is to be done at least 10 business days before the resident enters into the contract. • A ‘buy-back’ safety net for residents where the operator must pay out the exit entitlement if the unit is not sold in 18 months. • Residents can issue a termination notice while remaining in the unit. This means the operator has to work closely and communicate with the resident in-situ about how refurbishment (if any), and inspections will progress and the obligations upon the operator with regard to sales and marketing of the unit. • New requirements for the operation of the resident committee and meetings, including meetings to be convened by the committee, voting procedures and minuting requirements. • Mandatory dispute resolution policies, surplus and deficit policies and a re-marketing policy.

• I n addition to a condition report required before moving in, a vacated premises report must be completed by the operator not more than 10 business days after a resident ceases to reside in the unit. South Australia has requirements to which operators must adhere should a resident from their village enter residential aged care. If certain requirements are met, the operator must, within 30 days after receiving an application properly made under this section, commence making payments to the aged care facility for the daily accommodation payment (DAP) applicable to the resident’s care at the aged care facility [Retirement Villages Act 2016 – Clause 30].

Western Australia In Western Australia retirement village laws have been updated, throughout 2014–16, to address some of the issues raised in a comprehensive review of retirement village legislation. The retirement village laws include: • Retirement Villages Act 1992 • Retirement Villages Regulations 1992 (RV Regulations) • Fair Trading (Retirement Villages Code) Regulations 2015 containing the Code of Fair Practice for Retirement Villages 2015 (RV Code)

Continued page 28

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NATIONAL UPDATE Continued from page 27

• F air Trading (Retirement Villages Code) Amendment Regulations 2015. Substantive amendments and operators should now have adopted changes such as giving prospective residents a comprehensive disclosure document at least 10 working days before they sign a residence contract. The disclosure document has to contain answers responding to a series of questions about the village, including: • p remium or other entry costs which will be payable to move into the village • e stimates of the amount which may be payable to the resident when they move out (including estimates of exit and other fees payable if the resident was to exit after 1, 2, 5 or 10 years occupation) • an explanation of daily, weekly or monthly operating costs that will be charged • amenities and/or services available, and if fees and charges apply, what is the basis for determining those charges • how any budget surpluses, reserve funds and resident consultation are to be managed in the village. A prospective resident who has not moved in may cancel the contract within seven working days or within 17 working days after they receive the disclosure document where it was not provided within the 10 working day time period. There were reforms to the Fair Trading (Retirement Villages Code) Regulations 2015, including provisions increasing the consistency and transparency of financial reporting in relation to village operating and reserve funds, a more thorough refurbishment process to increase transparency and accountability for the amount residents are charged prior to and during any refurbishment of the premises. The state administrative tribunal’s existing jurisdiction has been expanded to deal with refurbishment disputes. Residents now have the capacity to confer the functions of a residents’ committee on an incorporated association, and vote by secret ballot at residents’ meetings. Provisions have also been made to ensure costs are shared between the parties to a dispute to which the resolution process in the Code applies or that is referred to mediation by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.

Victoria Victoria has also responded to the retirement living call for reform. From 30 July 2017, the Retirement Villages (Contractual


Arrangements) Regulations 2017 (New Regulations) took effect. The New Regulations repeal and replace the Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2006 (Old Regulations). A requirement in Victoria, similar to South Australia, is a new aged care rule where operators may have to advance up to 85 per cent of a resident’s refundable ingoing contribution as a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) or DAP should their resident enter into residential aged care: [see ‘Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2017’ Regulation 7 – Payment of certain aged care costs]. Under this new regulation, residence contracts entered into before and after the new regulations came into effect are differentiated in terms of the operator’s payment obligations: • for existing contracts, operators may have to advance up to 85 per cent of a resident’s refundable ingoing contribution as a RAD or DAP • for new contracts, village owners may have to advance up to 85 per cent of a resident’s refundable ingoing contribution by way of DAP only. If the operator and resident cannot agree on the estimated refundable ingoing contribution for payment of a RAD, an independent valuation must be obtained with the costs of obtaining such valuation to be shared equally between the parties, and residents retain the same rights with respect to the resale process (if the six-month rule does not apply) as existed under the old regulations. LASA Members needing assistance with retirement living and senior’s housing issues can contact Paul Murphy on: 1300 111 636 or at ■ —Paul Murphy is LASA Principal Advisor, Retirement Living and Seniors Housing



THE CASE FOR INNOVAGEING Stepping away from conventional beliefs and practices can lead to hidden opportunities.


f you really want to find the next innovative breakthrough, then you should be looking where no-one else is looking.

Airtasker Co-Founder Tim Fung’s keynote address at Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA’s) National Congress last October presented an excellent illustration of this point. Implicit in his presentation—and to Airtasker’s success—was the company’s ability to see untapped supply in the workforce, and partner that with unaddressed demand from businesses, where most people saw nothing at all. Who would have thought that you could build a multimillion dollar business with more than 1.7 million users simply by connecting people wanting to be ‘their own boss’ with organisations needing expertise for discrete tasks? It’s all the more intriguing when you consider that we already have employment and recruitment agencies acting as the primary conduit between the supply of and demand for skills. The same can be said for the Airbnbs and Ubers of the world. These are successful organisations that were able to transcend conventional beliefs to find hidden opportunity. The Airtasker example is important for discussion primarily because it illustrates that stepping away from convention works equally well in Australia. PayPal and Pantir Co-Founder Peter Thiel has noted four social trends that prevent organisations from innovative insights:

• incrementalism – where we think that the right way to do things is to proceed with a one-small-step-at-a-time mentality • risk aversion – the fear of ending up lonely and wrong to our peers as a result of having a unique idea • complacency – the thinking of not rocking the boat because we’re a beneficiary of the status quo • flatness – the belief that if there is something truly new to be discovered, someone else would have done so already. In the age services context, ongoing reforms, marketisation, and rapidly changing demographics are presenting an increasingly complex set of challenges and opportunities and disrupting our industry. Along with this, older Australians and their families want easy-to-navigate personalised services in care settings where they feel listened to and respected. At this important juncture in our industry, any new initiative responding to the above-mentioned market starts under unique circumstances, and all organisations can only start once. In other words, failure is less an option as most would think or allow.

Fahrenheit 212 Co-Founder Mark Payne has noted that: The practical and psychological implications of accepting that innovation ideas fail for random reasons are profound. There’s a model for it. It’s called a lottery. The only way to up your odds of success, is to buy more tickets. For us, the moral equivalent would be to just pump out more and more ideas and hope a few more stick. Approaching innovation by pumping out mountains of ideas is implicitly predicated on a tacit belief in randomness. In hindsight, it was perhaps fitting that LASA CEO Sean Rooney, announced LASA’s establishment of Australia’s first national innovation network for the age services industry—innovAGEING— on the same day as the Airtasker keynote address. There are no hard and fast solutions to the challenges occurring in our industry, and there is no one-stop technological Band-Aid per se. In this regard, innovAGEING’s primary mandate is to facilitate, connect and curate for the age services industry, initiatives and ideas that not only add value, but also allow members to capture value for their respective organisations and the communities they serve. When the future is unclear, and the present landscape is fastchanging, to innovate is the most direct action an organisation can take to exercise definite mastery on its commercial future. This cannot be a strategic initiative predicated on chance or luck. Instead, it must be a conscious cause-and-effect exercise. If you believe that there is no finite endpoint to technological progress, and peoples’ wants and needs are ever-changing, then you would share with us the conclusion that there are still an infinite number of opportunities for our industry to pursue. And that is an open invitation to collaborate, share and solve problems together, which is why our industry needs an innovation network like innovAGEING. The network is open to all providers of care and support in the age services industry, organisations that supply products and services into the industry, relevant university centres and researchers, age services consumer groups, interested public sector agencies, and investors. If you are interested in becoming part of our innovAGEING network, please contact LASA Principal Advisor for Innovation Merlin Kong at ■ —LASA Principal Advisor for Innovation, Merlin Kong





Aged care providers, staff and clinicians will need to consider fundamental tenets. “Euthanasia is a complex issue and like the broader community there are varying opinions within the sector. Ultimately it will be up to services and health professionals to decide to what extent they will be involved in a request for voluntary assisted dying from a person in their care”.1


ore than 70 per cent of Australians broadly supports the idea of voluntary euthanasia, but attempts at making it law have been fraught.

Since the Northern Territory law was overturned by the federal government in 1997, there have been more than 40 unsuccessful attempts to legislate around the country, including 15 failed attempts to legalise assisted dying in South Australia. However, this year the issue has re-entered the public arena. In November, the New South Wales Parliament considered a private member’s bill introduced by National Party Member of the Legislative Council Trevor Khan, who was a member of the Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying. The NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was developed over two years by the working group in consultation with key stakeholders. But on Thursday 16 November 2017 it failed to pass in the New South Wales Upper House by one vote – 19 votes in favour, 20 opposed.

This article steps through the detail of the Victorian legislation and highlights the fundamental tenets that aged care providers, staff and clinicians will need to reflect on and consider. A number of changes were made to the legislation as it passed through both houses of parliament with perhaps the key change made by the Victorian Upper House which halved the timeframe of the eligibility criteria from 12 months-to-live to 6 months’ expectation of the person to live.

Victorian voluntary assisted dying legislation in a nutshell The Victorian voluntary assisted dying (VDA) legislation provides for, and regulates, access to voluntary assisted dying. To access voluntary assisted dying, a person must be: • over 18 years • be an Australian citizen • reside in Victoria

On 29 November, after three months of prolonged and emotional debate, the Victorian Parliament legislated to allow voluntary assisted euthanasia in Victoria. The legislation focuses on giving patients suffering intolerable pain the right to ‘... more choice and control about their last days and hours and greater protection over decisions that shorten their lives ...’2

• possess decision making capacity

In the wake of the Victorian parliamentary debate, the Australian Greens announced they are keen to introduce national voluntary euthanasia laws into the federal parliament. Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the Greens wanted to overturn federal laws that prevented the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory for legislating for assisted dying. The ACT Government has called for a select committee to be set up to investigate how Victoria’s assisted dying legislation could apply in the ACT.

The legislation sets criteria for those not eligible to access voluntary assisted dying, as follows:


• b e diagnosed with illness, condition or disease that is (a) incurable, (b) advanced and progressive that will cause death, (c) expected to cause death within weeks, or months (not exceeding 12 months), (d) causing suffering which cannot be relieved, and person considers tolerable.

• a person with a diagnosis of mental illness under the Mental Health Act 2014, or • a person with a disability within the meaning prescribed by the Disability Act 2006. Clear definitions are provided in the legislation on the ‘decision making capacity’ of the person requesting VDA – inclusive of those who are unable to communicate non-verbally.


The legislation sets out the following process for accessing voluntary assisted dying. • A person seeking access for voluntary assisted dying makes an initial request to a medical practitioner, who has completed the required competency-based training in VDA. • The person is assessed as eligible by the consulting medical practitioner and second by the coordinating medical practitioner. • If a person, believes that their request is valid and meets the strict eligible criteria and is NOT supported by a medical practitioner and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board; the person is able to seek a review of an unfavourable decision through the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). • The initial request is made in writing (signed and witnessed by two others). Witnesses cannot be (i) beneficiary of the will or benefit financially from the death of the person, (ii) owner of health facility, have operational responsibility of health facility of which person may reside, (iii) involved in the direct professional care of the person, (iv) witnesses cannot be more than one family member. • The person appoints a contact person (responsible for affairs, witness to the event, and managing processes

after death inclusive of return of unused medications). The contact person cannot be the witness on the request form. • The request is sent to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Secretary and lodged. • The person makes a final request to the coordinating medical practitioner. This can be done at least nine days after the initial request or earlier if the person’s death is likely to occur before the expiry of nine days. • The final request is sent to Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Secretary and lodged. • I f the person is able to self-administer the medication, the coordinating medical practitioner certifies the request and applies to the secretary for a voluntary assisted dying permit (self-administration permit, permit to obtain, posses, store and use sufficient dose to cause death). • I f the person is incapable of self-administering and wishes the medical practitioner to do so, the coordinating medical practitioner certifies the request and may issue at request of the person, through application to the secretary. A practitioner administration permit (if the person is incapable of self-administration, has decision-making capacity and person has requested access to voluntary assisted dying permit) must be granted and carried out in the presence of a witness.

Continued page 32

Pam Bridges


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NATIONAL UPDATE Continued from page 31

• The coordinating medical practitioner writes a prescription.

Regulation Agency. It will also be required to consult and engage with the Victorian community, relevant groups or organisations, government departments and agencies, and registered health practitioners who provide voluntary assisted dying services, in relation to voluntary assisted dying.

• A pharmacist dispenses the required substances. Even though the person has both an initial and final request in place; if the person decides not to access voluntary assisted dying, they may revoke at any time. The final request expires within one month.

A new board The Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board is to be established under the legislation and will be responsible for monitoring voluntary assisted dying activity. The board will consist of a chairperson, and possibly a deputy chairperson, both of whom are appointed by the minister. It will have a range of important functions. These include: monitoring matters related to voluntary assisted dying; reviewing the exercise of any function or power under the Act; and promoting compliance with the requirements of the Act including through the provision of information on voluntary assisted dying to registered health practitioners and members of the community. The board will have responsibility for referring any issues relevant to the chief commissioner of police, the registrar, the secretary, the state coroner or the Australian Health Practitioner

The board will collect, use and disclose information provided in accordance with the Act, provide advice to the minister and secretary in relation to the operation of the Act and provide reports to each house of the parliament on the operation of the Act and any recommendations for the improvement of voluntary assisted dying.

Clinicians and options for conscientious objectors Registered general practitioners who wish to participate in voluntary assisted dying will need to undertake and complete approved assessment training. Other registered health practitioners will not be required to assist in voluntary assisted dying with the legislation making provision for conscientious objectors. Registered health practitioners, registered with Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (APHRA) are under no obligation to supply, prescribe, administer, be present or witness the event.

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The legislation does not prevent a registered health practitioner or paramedic from providing medical treatment for the purpose of the person’s comfort. The legislation ensures a registered health practitioner or paramedic is not liable in not administering life-saving treatment or life sustaining medical treatment after the person has self-administered a voluntary assisted dying substance. Legislative consideration is given to those who operate services, of which a person may be engaged, to be conscientious objectors of VDA; while continuing to provide holistic person-centred care.

Palliative care and VDA The legislation applauds the contribution that a palliative care approach makes to the journey of a person in life limiting illness; emphasising choices for quality of life, emotional and bereavement support of the person and their loved ones, both on an immediate and ongoing basis. This assists in ensuring that everyone is ‘equipped with the knowledge and skills to best support the person with a life limiting illness and their carers’.3

Other legislative changes A range of other legislation will be impacted by the voluntary assisted dying legislation, including: the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (to include the disease, illness or medical condition as the grounds for voluntary assisted dying); the Coroners Act 2008 (to make voluntary assisted dying not a reportable death), the Drugs – Poisons and Controlled Substance Act 1981 (so that it does not apply to the management of the administration of any voluntary assisted dying substance subject to self-administration permit in an aged care service).

staff exercising their right not to assist or care for the client/resident. Changes associated with drug licence holders under the Drugs – Poisons and Controlled Substance Act 1981 in aged care facilities will need to be taken account of as will how to ensure the safe storage of voluntary assisted dying medications. LASA will also continue to advocate for adequate palliative care funding for both the residential and home care sectors. We strongly support the removal of current restrictions on the duration and availability of palliative care to residents who have pre-existing high health care needs and live in aged care facilities. LASA believes that enabling residential aged care facilities to provide end-of-life care can in part be achieved by aged care assessments referring to specialist palliative care services if the assessment indicates that the resident is in the last 12 months of life. A defined financial palliation supplement would enable residential care facilities to purchase more and better end-of-life services and expertise for its residents. LASA is also here to assist Members with practical information for those who do and do not decide to participate in the assisted dying provisions. You can contact LASA via email or 1300 111 636. ■ —Nigel McGothian is LASA Member Advocate

References 1. J Fischer, Palliative care must be prioritised after historic euthanasia vote, Palliative Care Australia media release, 17 November 2017. 2. L.Fitzpatrick, Nurses union calls on Victorian Parliament to vote for voluntary assisted dying law, Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) media release, Thursday 19 October 2017. 3. J. Fischer, op. cit.

LASA Members – a time to reflect Aged care providers will have 18 months to prepare for the implementation of the legislation. Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) will advocate to the Victorian State Government that all aged care providers are adequately resourced for, and informed on, the practical issues arising from the legislation. LASA will consult with Members in Victoria on what the legislation will mean for each service in order to be an inclusive voice for the sector. Some of the issues that LASA Members will need to canvass when considering providing access to VAD services include the inclusion of the provisions in the legislation in their policy and procedure regarding end of life pathways. It will also be important for aged care providers to devise ways to support the resident/client of the service to make this choice. Under the legislation, aged care providers their staff and clinicians will be able to exercise their rights as conscientious objectors or assenters and provision will need to be made for




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Digital innovations impacting health care bring a new element to providers’ legal obligations.


lthough technology has been rapidly advancing, the take up of telehealth services in rural and remote Australia has not been as great as expected. Some health practitioners and insurers have expressed concerns that the risks of telehealth limit its application. One implication being that the law is lagging behind. This is unfortunate considering the potential of telehealth (and digital health generally) particularly in a geographically-remote country like Australia. It is true that there are risks related to privacy, continuity of care, supervision, confidentiality and technological limitations. However, the law is flexible and applies to the digital world. Legal issues which should be the focus of the board or management committee of any organisation implementing digital health initiatives and holding health information are: 1. How to maintain the privacy of health information online?

• creates a data breach response plan that includes procedures for containing the breach, evaluating risks, notifying relevant affected individuals and preventing future breaches. In considering what health information an organisation holds it is important to understand that the health information may not be physically held, but that an organisation may effectively have ownership through a third-party contractor. For instance, in October 2016 the Australian Red Cross Blood Service voluntarily notified the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) of a data breach which involved health information retained at the backend of a website run by a third-party contractor. It was an employee of the contractor who accidentally saved personal information relating to 550,000 people to part of the publicly-accessible web server that caused the data breach.

2. How to ensure the cyber security of information systems?

Breach of privacy

3. What to do if there is a breach of privacy of health information online?

From 22 February 2018 the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 will establish a Notifiable Data Breaches scheme in Australia. All private sector organisations that hold health information and that suspects an eligible data breach has occurred, must notify both:

Privacy and cyber security Cyber security attacks are increasing. Many experts claim that it is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ a data breach will occur.

• individuals likely to be at risk of serious harm, and • the OAIC.

Privacy and cyber security obligations in Australia are scattered through various pieces of legislation. Most relevant is the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) which requires private sector organisations in Australia holding health information to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles with regard to the collection, use, disclosure, security and access of personal information.

An ‘eligible data breach’ occurs where:

To ensure an organisation complies with its information security obligations it is important that it:

These new legal obligations are in addition to the mandatory data breach notification requirements under the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth) about which all registered healthcare providers (including aged care facilities) should be aware.

• identifies and understands what information is actually held • p uts effective risk management procedures in place to protect the integrity of the information held i.e. password protection, employee training and use of mobile devices • identifies areas of risk and takes steps to mitigate them • r egularly reviews and updates security measures, including those relating to third-party providers i.e. online record databases and IT teams

• i nformation is lost or there is unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, personal information, and • loss, access or disclosure would be likely to result in serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates.

The significant transformation in the provision of health care due to digital innovation and telehealth will continue and the law will have to keep up. ■ —Karen Keogh is a partner at TressCox Lawyers.




DURING THE FESTIVE EVENTS SEASON Put practical measures in place to ensure workplace complaints don’t sour end-of-year celebrations.


his time of year often brings an increase in work functions with Christmas and end-of-year celebrations. To avoid a surge of workplace complaints after these events, we are keen to share with aged care providers some strategies and tips to minimise your risk of exposure to claims being made against the facility, and individuals.

Risky business Employees behaving badly at work-related events have the potential to negatively impact the employee’s employment, but also other employees. Depending on the nature of the bad behaviour an employee has been subjected to, they could make a sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, defamation, work health and safety or workers’ compensation claim. The fall out of an employee’s bad behaviour also exposes the facility to increased risk of being held vicariously liable for the actions of the badly-behaved employee and failure to discharge its duty of care to ensure the health and safety of employees while they are at a work-related event. Added to the mix is the risk that the employee’s bad behaviour will have a negative impact on the facility’s brand and reputation, or relationship with suppliers. As such, it is imperative that employers implement strategies to minimise the risk of exposure of employees behaving badly at work functions. Here are eight top tips to help: 1. Have policies in place Educate your employees on the content of workplace and out-of-hours conduct policy as well as other workplace policies addressing sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, drugs and alcohol.

4. Send a ‘good behaviour’ reminder email about expected standards of conduct Remind employees that workplace policies continue to apply during the work function. Ask employees to be judicious about what they post to social media, avoiding photographs and comments that could humiliate or embarrass a colleague, generate adverse publicity for the facility or bring the facility into disrepute. 5. Practice responsible service of alcohol Keenan v Leighton Boral Amey NSW Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 3156 (Keenan) is a stark reminder of the need for employers to take adequate precautions to control the service of alcohol at functions and events. At the party there was unlimited service of alcohol, and the employer failed to place anyone with managerial authority in charge of supervising the conduct of the function. Mr Keenan became intoxicated and behaved badly both at the function and after it was finished. The Fair Work Commission found that the manner in which alcohol was served at the party was considered to be an exacerbating factor. 6. Establish clear start and finish times and notify staff when the function has ended The Keenan case also confirmed the importance of an employer establishing clear start and finish times of the function as a means of limiting an employer’s liability. Boral did just this, and the Fair Work Commission found in those circumstances that the function room and the duration of the event was deemed to be work, but any period of time afterwards when employees were attending an unofficial after party, fell outside the scope of work. 7. Designate a ‘responsible manager’

2. Undertake due diligence on the venue

8. Be aware of and/or arrange staff travel arrangements

Make sure the venue is not a work health and safety hazard, particularly if employees are consuming alcohol. Knowing whether the venue has closed circuit television (CCTV) is also helpful … in case you need it for an investigation after the function. 3. Be careful with the theme

Employers can take disciplinary action against an employee behaving badly at a work function on the proviso that there is sufficient nexus to the workplace. Further, a court will not expect an employer to be perfect however they do expect the employer to have taken reasonable precautions to prevent and stop any bad behaviour from occurring. ■

Before you set a theme, ensure that it is appropriate, is not likely to cause offense or be exclusionary.

—Vanessa James-McPhee is a senior associate at TressCox Lawyers


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Bupa Australia

Corporate cover to suit your needs

Nothing is more important to us than providing our members with quality corporate health insurance. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Leading Aged Services Group Australia, so you can access a range of health and wellness services as well as great corporate discounts to help you live a longer, healthier, happier life.

Our Bupa consultants are here to help, if you would like to find out more, please complete the form below and email it to your Bupa representative. Your company reference number is 2111491 First name:

As a Bupa member, you can look forward to: Last name:

Access to Bupa Plus, an exclusive range of discounts, health tools and information to help you get more from your membership. Visit We will cover the cost of your kids on most dental, physio, chiro, podiatry consultations, and selected optical packages at Members First providers, up to yearly limits.**

Phone number: Email:

I'd like to enquire about cover for: Myself

Myself and my partner

My family If you are already a Bupa member, please provide your member number: Member number:

To find out more about joining your company's health plan

134 135 and quote ID 2111491 corporate user: agedcare password: health

Visit your local Bupa centre

**For most items covering dental, physio, chiro, podiatry consultations and selected optical packages. Available on our family packages, Ultimate Health Cover, Silver, Gold & Platinum Extras when taken with hospital cover on a family membership. Fund and policy rules and waiting periods apply. Child dependants only. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments. Set benefits apply at other recognised providers. #For most items at our Members First extras providers covering dental, physio, chiro, podiatry consultations and selected optical. Fund and policy rules, waiting periods and yearly limits apply. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments. Set benefits apply at other providers. Available on selected packaged covers and selected standalone extras covers. ^Only for new customers on new hospital and or extras cover policies issued by Bupa HI Pty Ltd ABN 81 000 057 590, paying by direct debit or payroll deduction (if available) before . Six weeks free after initial payment. Not with other offers. Cover does not need be held for the full 12 months for the discount to apply. Bupa HI Pty Ltd ABN 81 000 057 590 (8VZX-9SN6).




New resources help raise awareness and ensure sustainable practice in workplaces.


ike service professionals in all industries, aged care workers increasingly have to move beyond the ‘onesize-fits-all’ approach and learn to respond appropriately to the ethnic, social, environmental and economic backgrounds of customers. Yet research in the area of culturally competent healthcare has predominantly focused on understanding unique cultural and linguistic differences among older people. Bolton Clarke (an amalgamation of the Royal District Nursing Service and RSL Care) has instead taken this a step further. The aged care provider has initiated the Bolton Clarke Research Institute’s Senior Research Fellow Dr Rajna Ogrin and Research Fellow Dr Claudia Meyer; Promoting inclusive health care World Health Organization Director of Health Sector Development Dr Vivian Lin; former director of Bolton Clarke – Implementing a framework to Res¬earch Institute Professor Colette Browning and Chair of the Department of Health’s Aged Care Sector support diversity in aged care Committee Diversity sub-group, Sam Edmonds. project which focuses on diversity more broadly. Cultural and linguistic The unique workshop gave staff the skills to identify diversity diversity are just two characteristics, characteristics in older people that may impact their ability but not the only characteristics to consider. to access appropriate healthcare and to seek solutions As part of the project, the Bolton Clarke Research Institute in through a strengths-based approach. By doing so, the aged collaboration with Bolton Clarke Learning and Organisational care provider aimed to improve workers’ knowledge, skills Development designed, developed and delivered a diversity and attitudes around diversity and to increase the capacity training workshop for community aged care workers. of the workforce to support older people’s participation in Funded by the Department of Social Services (and later their own health care. the Department of Health) the program was based on the The workshop promoted the premise that diversity is World Health Organization standards for healthcare equity viewed from a person-centred perspective, acknowledging combined with Bolton Clarke’s own proprietary diversity what is unique and important to the consumer. Workshop conceptual model. participants developed an action plan to create change Continued page 40


HEALTH AND SAFETY Continued from page 39

around diversity in their workplace. The research team then evaluated the plan three months after the workshop. This evaluation formed a critical aspect of the training in order to determine if there had been a transfer of knowledge to practice. Using these findings, Bolton Clarke then delivered 26 workshops throughout Australia. These attracted more than 310 participants.

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Bolton Clarke’s diversity team is now managing the program and incorporating the training into a business-wide accredited program. In addition, the findings from the study are being used to inform Bolton Clarke’s contribution to the development of the Australian Government’s Aged Care Diversity Framework. Workshop participants and end-users have also provided feedback that has formed the basis of resources focused on enhancing sustainability in practice. Intended to be used together as a complete suite, available resources include: • A mobile application (app) designed for use by frontline workers as a reminder of the principles of the diversity training while ‘on the road’. Frontline workers and older people co-designed the app in conjunction with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Biomedical Engineering Department. • Whiteboard animations were developed to provide a short and concise reminder of the key principles of the workshop. Three animations were developed: o reducing bias and prejudice o effective communication o equity versus equality The animations are available to view • The Promoting Inclusive Healthcare website was developed as a primary resource of information related to many diversity characteristics, designed to be used ‘back in the office’ when more in-depth information is required. See The website is organised according to: o lived experience (including, but not limited to, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, living with a disability, and trauma and abuse) oh ealth and wellbeing (including, but not limited to, mental health, nutrition, addictions, and social wellbeing)

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NoosaCare puts soul back into menu design to give older people joy through their palate.


hese days we are so busy in our everyday life we forget to eat well and pay the price in the sense of energy levels, well-being and general health.

At one point NoosaCare experienced a similar culinary shortcoming. In 2010 we were serving up food via contractors. Sure it was quick and easy however, there was simply no heart and soul to the essence of the food. Sandra Gilbert, our Group Care Manager and Dementia Living Coach tells the story of when she was sitting in a residents’ meeting preparing to cringe her way through a series of reprimands. She had heard it all before and it wasn’t long before she heard the same complaints again: “the food has no flavour”, “the vegetables are cold and grey”, “the meat is too tough and the vegetables too cold”. These complaints plus a chance meeting with Australian cook and food author Maggie Beer at an aged care conference in Tasmania gave NoosaCare the impetus to take back its kitchen and reinstate it as the beating heart of the NoosaCare community. During Tasmanian conference Maggie Beer called on the sector to inject soul into menu design, to put pleasure back into food service and to give older people joy through their palate. Sandra took Maggie’s address to heart and over the past seven years NoosaCare has worked tirelessly to achieve an everevolving balance of nutritional, appetising and appealing meals for our amazing residents. Some of the initiatives we have taken since Sandra’s memorable scolding in her residents’ meetings are that we no longer contract out and instead keep our food sourcing local and seasonal. Fruit and vegetables no longer have a two-hour journey from Brisbane but are sourced from our local growers and farmers. The produce is fresh and ready to eat it straight off the delivery truck. We have also created a herb garden run completely by our residents during horticulture therapy sessions with Cath


Residents at NoosaCare take pride in attending to the facility’s herb garden during horticulture session.


Manuel, and to top it off a few dandy chickens that provide fresh eggs and friendly interaction every day.

while still being served and presented as it normally would be on the plate.

Most recently we decided to turn the tables on the traditional methods of ‘puréed food’. While some people require food of modified texture it shouldn’t come at the price of their dignity by resembling baby food which is hardly dignified for adults to enjoy.

Through hard work, research and our unwillingness to accept mediocrity, we are helping our residents improve their lives, and helping them to remember memories and retain their dignity through food.

Enter Jamie Oakley, (not to be confused with Jamie Oliver), a Pommy, tattooed chef, fresh from his successful restaurant in the United Kingdom. Jamie had no experience in aged care, but he knew there must be a way to do it better. Together with his incredible kitchen team Jamie decided the first step was to change the name of this modified food to ‘smooth food’. Inspired by chefs like Heston Blumenthal, Jamie and the team started experimenting with the menu to put it in a form that all residents can enjoy without comprising the visual appeal or flavour. The process involves each component of the dish being modified separately in order to differentiate between flavours

Things You Can Find on palliAGED

It doesn’t stop there. We are convinced that our approach to ‘smooth foods’ will become standard throughout the aged care industry, improving lives for the better. At the end of the day the secret to soul in a kitchen is not just about what you buy and put into it but being flexible and adjustable to suit individual needs, while still ensuring an adequate supply of nutrients from regular food intake. Go natural, go fresh, grow your own herb garden, get residents involved and talk about their own gardening and cooking experience. Be creative and bring life into the kitchen and at the end of the day let’s focus on bringing joy to the dinner plates of our precious elders the way that Maggie Beer inspired us to do. ■

the Evidence Centre you can find summaries of the evidence for key topics.

• In

• The

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• Pages

For the Community means everyone can be informed.

the information in your pocket. Download the palliAGEDgp and palliAGEDnurse apps.

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News Centre keeps you up to date. Sign up to palliAGED news, follow us on twitter @palliAGED, and order resources.

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palliAGED makes it easy to find and use palliative care evidence and practice resources in aged care. palliAGED is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. palliAGED is managed by CareSearch, Flinders University






Improving culture and standards around nourishing the aged must become a critical part of improved regulatory and accreditation practices.


utrition is often overlooked as an important factor in providing aged care services, yet it is an essential part of general quality of care—one of the themes identified in the recently published Review of national aged care quality regulatory processes. Despite clear scientific consensus that nutrition is crucial to maintain older adults’ health and independence, a number of basic food-related rights that the broader population takes for granted, are often not yet the ‘norm’ in the Australian aged care sector. When the people we care for are undernourished they are at much greater risk of illness, injury, and premature death. Falls are more likely due to their reduced strength and physical function, their wounds will take longer to heal and are more susceptible to illness, and their immune systems are compromised. Food also plays an important role in residents’ satisfaction with both their care and quality of life. Food and mealtimes are often one of the only normalities of life available to people living in residential care. Factors such as being able to enjoy a calm and homely dining space, having adequate time for meals, receiving visually appealing food and retaining dignity through eating have been proven to improve nutrition intake in residential care. The recent aged care quality review outlines the need for sector-wide regulatory reform to address the general quality of care, and inconsistency in identifying quality failings within the aged care sector. Echoing the key sentiments of the review, here are four key changes I believe we must advocate for to improve the culture and standard of nutrition care:

At the sector level 1. Adopt clearer accreditation standards Existing nutrition and hydration standards are vague and process-centred, focusing on the availability of food, drink and nutrition care rather than their implementation, uptake or


patient nutrition outcomes. We have significant inconsistencies in assessment, undermining the standards’ basic existence. To drive sector-wide improvement we must first update our basic regulatory processes to ensure they enable consistent assessment, are outcome-focused, and reflect known best practice in nutrition care. The adoption of national menu planning standards for aged care will be an important part of this task. 2. Introduce a sliding scale of assessment, and transparent outcomes There is currently no external motivator for facilities to improve the quality of care provided once accreditation has been secured. This results in a stagnant industry, where quality is not always the number one priority. Introducing a sliding scale of assessment (for example, using ‘working towards’, ‘meeting’ or ‘exceeding’ ratings) would provide facilities with incentive to not just meet the minimum required standards, but seek and maintain the highest expected quality of care. Making assessment outcomes publicly available via a national online register would further motivate these changes, driving a competitive culture that strives for excellence and continual self-improvement.

At the service level 3. Embed dietitians in core care teams Accredited Practicing Dietitians (APDs) are university-qualified health professionals who can provide thorough nutrition assessments, and work with the care team to develop tailored nutrition plans for patients based on their individual needs. Unfortunately, access to (and utilisation of) APDs remains incredibly variable (and in many cases sub-optimal) within the aged care sector. Embedding APDs into core care teams is an essential, logical and relatively simple step that is likely to lead to significant improvements in nutrition care, and patient health outcomes across the board.


4. Invest in nutrition training Building the capacity of the aged care workforce through improved (mandatory) nutrition training will ensure staff are equipped and confident in providing best practice nutrition care, and therefore reduce the burden of nutritionrelated illness. For care staff this could improve the timely identification of possible nutrition issues, and effective care planning. For food service staff, this could ensure they have the skills and knowledge to offer appropriately nutritious meals and snacks.

Sector-wide regulatory change: is it possible? As always, the big question on everyone’s lips is ‘Can we do it?’ Well of course we can, and it’s been done before. Locally, the early childhood education sector in Victoria has undergone significant regulatory change over recent years, addressing similar issues. Wide-spread concern about children’s nutrition intake in out-of-home care led to the review and update of national quality framework in 2012, and associated assessment procedures. As part of this, a sliding scale of assessment with five ratings ranging from ‘significant improvement required’ to ‘excellent’ was introduced, and ratings published online via the Australian children’s education and care quality authority.

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At the global level, many Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries have introduced indicators to their assessment processes that focus on achieving quality of life outcomes for patients, in addition to the more process-focused quality of care standards. Tellingly, these indicators tend to have a greater focus on nutrition, thus recognising the important link between good nutrition and quality of life/health outcomes for patients. England and Ontario, Canada, are two such examples of these countries, referenced in the review (p.64). In summary, we need sector-wide reform to nurture a culture that values food as an important part of the care process, and encourages excellence in nutrition care. The most logical method is for this to occur is as part of a more general reform of the regulatory processes in Australia.

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The end result would be a world-class aged care system that offers reliable quality, opportunities for continual improvement and transparency for both staff and users. Isn’t that what you’d want for your mum or dad? ■ —Zoe Taylor is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Senior Project Officer at Nutrition Australia Victoria Division. Nutrition Australia is a national, not-for profit organisation and peak body for nutrition in Australia. It offers a range of nutrition services and resources to support good nutrition in aged care including training workshops, menu

(03) 9543 4052

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN AGED CARE CONFERENCE CHALLENGES INDUSTRY TO NAVIGATE THE FUTURE Award winners give snapshot into the future with innovations ranging from driverless cars to virtual reality training.


he Information and Technology in Aged Care (ITAC) 2017 Conference ‘Navigating the Future’ brought an impressive number of prestigious local and international industry speakers to the Gold Coast in November.

Territory. The ‘Pod Zero’ vehicles will also be trialled at one of IRT’s communities in Brisbane.

Presenters challenged the industry to embrace new and innovative technologies across their age services. They delivered sessions including: researching the future; navigating the MyHealthRecord integration; the future of assistive technologies; navigating the future workforce; the internet of things in the future; and consumer choice and future technology.

The Konnekt Videophone won this category with its one-touch videophone technology that aims to keep aged care residents connected with loved ones wherever they are. It is designed to assist families concerned that aged care residents will experience isolation and who want to be able to see that their relative is happy and being well looked-after.

The annual Information Technology Industry Aged Care Awards were part of the conference, and celebrated organisations using IT-based solutions that embraced and demonstrated a focus on consumer choice and quality.

Best solution that provides ongoing consumer independence

Best consumer friendly product or system deployment

Konnekt is also able be used within facilities to connect residents, for example in games rooms and shared areas where lifestyle activities managers can run regular group activities to entertain residents, connect them to their families and to each other. It can link residents across sites or between two rooms in the one building and allow facility staff to attend faster to

Winner of this category was the New South Wales-based Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) Group. In a partnership with United Kingdom-based company Richmond Design and Marketing (RDM) Group, they are running a pilot to assess the uses of driverless car technology in Australian aged care communities to improve the independence and quality of life of older Australians. Cars are being programmed to safely navigate private roads within IRT communities where residents can book a car at a particular time and location to take them to appointments as well as social engagements by using an app on their iPad. The technology was showcased at the ITAC conference. The IRT Group’s pilot program includes training for residents and employees and has already been deployed at IRT’s Kangara Waters aged care community in the Australian Capital

The Konnekt team receive award for ‘Best consumer friendly product or system deployment’. Continued page 48


TECHNOLOGY Continued from page 47

ITAC conference participants.

nurse-button calls by calling residents on their videophones. This can be used to prioritise room visits when multiple residents call at the same time.

Best aged care software development and/ or deployment Alzheimer’s Australia (now Dementia Australia) won this category with their virtual reality for aged care education. The Virtual Dementia Experience™ is an immersive, interactive virtual reality simulation designed to help people caring for those with dementia to experience the world of a person living with dementia. It simulates the thoughts, fears and challenges they experience using sensory simulation including light, sound, colour and visual content. Created in collaboration with Melbourne game developers Opaque Multimedia, the simulation was designed with input from carers, people with dementia and Alzheimer’s Australia educators.

Best workforce efficiency or quality improvement solution Sandwai took out this category with their Home and Community Care Software. Sandwai’s scheduling software system has been specifically designed from the ground up for the home and community care industry using web and mobile technologies. The software equips providers to manage care plans in one place. It allows providers to also drill down to workforce planning and offers functionality across areas that include: allowing schedule changes to care workers’ visits to the most suitable and closest care worker; managing care worker attributes, availability, skills and qualifications and client preferences; and managing timesheets, alerts, leave, availability and attendance. The software can also integrate with a service’s existing software components.


Best application of business intelligence to leverage value from big data National Communications Infrastructure Services (NCIS) Group won this category award for its Anglicare – Business Intelligence IT Infrastructure. NCIS worked with Anglicare to assist the organisation to digitally transform using a sustainable communications solution. The services built for two of Anglicare’s facilities—The Ponds and Donald Coburn Centre— were individually tailored. With the new infrastructure solution, all of Anglicare’s communication and security needs were consolidated into one simple, seamless system.

ITAC Hall of Fame Glenn Bunney, Chief Executive Officer of Sundale Aged Care—a Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Member— was appointed to the hall of fame for his service to the industry. Glenn is currently the chair of the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council and has previously served on LASA’s Queensland board. ■

Glenn Bunney, recipient of the ITAC Hall of Fame Award.

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raditional medic-alert devices are being pushed further into the background with the announcement that another wearable device for the elderly is being piloted in Australia by the Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) and New Zealand software company Jupl. While the ageing space hasn’t necessarily been on software and technology developers’ radars in the past, Jupl has joined forces with Spark NZ, Samsung and Cisco Japer to integrate a Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch into the company’s health and safety platform. The Gear S3 is the first smartwatch with an embedded SIM, meaning it is essentially a mobile phone, but doesn’t require any other device or phone for transmitting information. The idea is to allow providers to connect with residents should an emergency arise. The smartwatch sends the wearer’s location as well as critical health data to the provider and/or family members by using the Jupl app and Cisco’s Jasper cloud service. Chief Executive, IRT Care, Jason Malone said IRT would trial the device as part of its continuing efforts to deliver the best quality healthcare possible. “This pilot program is the next step in delivering improved aged healthcare, by providing our residents with the latest technologies that will allow them to enjoy a better quality of life,” he said. It will mark the first time the Jupl solution has been deployed in Australia, although the device and software has been available in New Zealand for some time. It is also being trialled in the United States and South America. According to Jupl co-founder and CEO Alan Brannigan, international cooperation has been a key factor in the success of the project to date. “Such a collaboration between several international partners involved thousands of hours of work, pushing the boundaries of innovation in the way technology is

IRT Care CEO Jason Malone is confident the organisation’s trial of wearable technology foreshadows the next step in healthcare delivery.

traditionally utilised and developed. This has provided us with a fully scalable global distribution model and is gamechanging technology.” Alan said the integrated device, software and web portal would offer services such as critical reminders, and location tracking as well as connection to third-parties such as family, friends, care managers or employers if the wearer is in distress. Trials with early stage dementia patients in New Zealand had also indicated positive results. ■





ictoria/Tasmania’s Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) team has been very active working with LASA Members across southern Australia to ensure they get the best value possible from their LASA memberships.

While the industry continues to reform, it is vital that our Members are kept up to date with what is happening and that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to get ahead in the ever-evolving world of aged care. The Victoria/Tasmania team and a number of our Affiliates hit the road in a big way during September. Well over 4,000kms were clocked up traveling across the state delivering Member forums in Warragul, Stawell, Melbourne, Warrnambool, Echuca and Wangaratta. These forums were delivered with support of Prime Super and topics covered included current issues impacting residential aged care, the proposed introduction in Victoria of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, and some very helpful sessions on partnering, workforce planning and electronic communications and rostering. It was also great to have LASA Affiliates StuartBrown, Emprevo and People and Culture Solutions traveling with the LASA team, especially to all of the rural locations where the tyranny distance can often prevent our Members from accessing such vital support services. The future direction of aged care is clearly playing on the minds of a number of our Members. LASA CEO, Sean Rooney spoke on this topic at the recent annual general meeting of Shepparton Villages. Victoria/Tasmania State Manager Veronica Jamison talked about the many challenges facing the industry when she was the guest speaker at the recent annual general meetings of Ararat Retirement Village, Nagambie Healthcare and Edgarley Homes in Casterton. Both Sean and Veronica were very honored to speak at these important Member meetings and enjoyed seeing first-hand the great work these Members are doing to support their communities. Over the past few months we have continued to connect with Members, visiting many organisations including Nazareth Care, Benetas, Care Connect, Australian Unity, Mecwacare, Lyndoch Living, and Arlington Aged Care. We met with our bush nursing Members in Bairnsdale and also held another successful bush nursing dinner and forum


Nagambie Health Care CEO Bronwyn Beadle attended the annual general meeting at which LASA Victoria/Tasmania State Manager Veronica Jamison spoke on industry challenges.

for the bush nursing centres and hospitals at the Novotel in St Kilda, where the Victorian Shadow Minister for Health Hon Mary Wooldridge MP, was guest speaker along with Lawyer Ari Morris from Warlow’s Legal, and representatives from Safer Care Victoria who spoke about clinical governance from a clinical, legal and quality perspective. Planning is also underway in earnest for the tri-state conference being held from 4–6 February, 2018 in Albury. The event is being overseen by Members of the Victorian Member Advisory Committee, who have provided valuable input into the development of the program. The theme (and indeed for all of our state conferences in 2018), is ‘Disrupt, Innovate and Thrive’. With disruption now occurring in many industries, including Aged Care, providers need solutions to be able thrive and innovate. Save the date now for what promises to be a great industry event. With the festive season upon us, the team in the Melbourne office would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Members and Affiliates for their support throughout 2017. We trust that each and every one of you remains safe over the holiday period if you are travelling. ■ —Victoria Jamison is LASA State Manager, Victoria/Tasmania





he current phase of transformation within the age services industry brings with it opportunities for learning, discussion, innovation and re-design, to name but a few.

However, we must also be conscious of celebrating our success as an industry that is passionate, caring and community-focused. Australia’s age services industry is not what the media has portrayed and our team has been fortunate to witness and participate alongside our inspiring Queensland Members in many opportunities that reflect their professionalism, dedication and integrity. Throughout the age care reforms co-design has been a key principle and federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has been true to this and engaged in conversations with numerous age service providers. One such conversation occurred in Townsville at The Good Shepherd Home in early October. Following a visit through the recently developed expansion of The Good Shepherd Home’s facility, Minister Wyatt shared lunch with representatives of rural and regional age services to candidly discuss a number of their concerns. Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) was fortunate to have the opportunity to nominate Members to attend this roundtable and it was wonderful that a number of our local members were able to attend on the day. Participants had the chance to raise concerns about the timeliness of aged care assessment team (ACAT) assessments, cost-ofservice provision in regional and remote areas, workforce planning and the heightened difficulty based on their locality and the accompanying competition with other higher-paying industries. Participants also discussed impacts of changes to visas with overseas staffing and the philosophical and practical difference that regional, rural and remote providers experience because of their integral community role and position. They highlighted that their ongoing sustainability and viability is extremely significant. To ensure that organisations can successfully transform with the changes to both consumer expectations, government policy and legislation, LASA’s Queensland office, with the assistance of Stuart Lower, a partner at Mullins Lawyers, convened a Membersonly briefing to assist our Queensland Retirement Living Members

to understand the legislative changes relating to the state’s Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Act 2017, which has recently received royal ascent.

Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt held a

Stuart took participants roundtable discussion with rural age care representatives at The Good Shepherd Home in Townsville. through a detailed discussion of the changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999, highlighting the increased regulation, changes to current documentation and the subsequent increase in approved forms that will be required, mandatory buy backs, and many additional areas of concern. The session was highly interactive and provided participants with the opportunity to discuss the practical implications of what will be occurring as a result of such legislative changes. LASA recorded this session for all Members who were unable to participate on the day. We are extremely appreciative of Stuart Lowe and Mullins Lawyers for supporting us in navigating the legislation changes. Finally, throughout all of the business ‘disruption’ we must always remember to celebrate our successes. I had the absolute delight to be asked to be the expert judge for the Queensland Community Achievement Awards – Employer Excellence in Aged Care, proudly sponsored by Prime Super. Congratulations to all nominations and to the four finalists, NoosaCare, Kaloma Aged Care, Berlasco Court and RangeCare. Unfortunately, as we know there can only be one winner and I would like to congratulate Kaloma Home for the Aged at Goondiwindi for being recognised as the winner of this award. The activities that the Queensland office has been involved in over recent months reflect nothing less than the immeasurable commitment of our truly professional Member organisations which are learning, adapting and celebrating what they do. Thank you for the opportunity to walk with you throughout this journey of transformation. ■ —Kerri Lanchester is LASA State Manager, Queensland


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From left: National Australia Bank Gemma Spence Senior HealthCare Manager; LASA State Manager SA-NT and Chair for the Primary Health Network (PHN) Older person and Aged Care Advisory Group, Rosetta Rosa; Chief Executive Officer Catalyst, Jenny Hughes; and NECS Lorna Porter at the Adelaide Primary Health Network Christmas dinner.





n 2018 Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) will recognise and honour some of the most passionate and professional individuals working in aged care through its inaugural LASA Excellence in Age Services Awards.

Nominations are now open and LASA Chief Executive Officer Sean Rooney said the awards would promote and recognise excellence across the diverse and dynamic fields of endeavour in the age services industry. “The awards celebrate the passion and achievements of organisations, teams and individuals in the service of older Australians,” Mr Rooney said. The awards will be judged at a state level across a number of categories, with the winners from each state progressing as finalists to the national awards. The national awards will be announced at the LASA National Congress in October next year. Mr Rooney said the industry has countless professionals, staff, volunteers and organisations who typically don’t look for praise or recognition. “However, it is the dedication and professionalism of these individuals and organisations that make up the backbone of our industry,” he said. The awards aim to celebrate and showcase the significant contributions being made to improving the quality of life of older Australians as well as promote community involvement in age services.

an outstanding contribution to care and services development or provision of high level support to the aged by demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence. Team This award recognises a team—working within the age services sector—that has created an environment that encourages workplace diversity, positive workplace culture and increased staff well-being through development of a service or process or has used innovation and initiative to improve the lives of older people and improve the age services experience. Individual This award honours an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the age services sector, has used innovation and initiative to improve the lives of older people, and has delivered high quality care to the aged.

NOMINATION DEADLINES (These dates are indicative only and may be subject to alteration.) All Victoria and South Australia nominations must be received by 5pm Friday, 12 January, 2018 All Queensland nominations must be received by 5pm Friday, 16 February, 2018. All New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia nominations must be received by 5pm Friday, 11 May, 2018. ■

The 2018 Excellence in Age Services Awards are proudly sponsored by HESTA. To nominate or for more information please visit: excellence-age-services-awards/.

AWARD CATEGORIES Organisation This award recognises an age services provider that has made




FROM IMPROVED PERFORMANCE, REDUCED COSTS AND RISK Discounted supplier solutions provide the right service at the right time at a great rate.


eading Age Services Australia (LASA) has entered into strategic alliances with a number of organisations to offer discounted supplier solutions which will help LASA Members provide quality care to older Australians.

Exclusive to LASA Members, the benefits include reduced costs, reduced risk and improved performance and sustainability. Discounted supplier solutions currently available to Members are:

Cited Cited provides national police checks and background checks so that organisations have confidence workers are checked and cleared. You can find out more at: au/aged-care-compliance.

CVCheck CVCheck is an industry leader in screening services dedicated to providing the verified information that supports people in building trust and growing honest relationships.


CVCheck is a trusted LASA partner, committed to giving you confidence in your hiring decisions and reducing your onboarding risks. With more than 13 years of experience in screening and verification, CVCheck provides a smarter approach to the hiring process. You can find out more at:

Wyndarra Wyndarra is a leading practitioner in governance, risk and business assurance services. If your organisation wants to improve, streamline and simplify governance processes and reporting, contact Wyndarra. You can find out more at:

SME Finance Group SME Finance Group supports businesses by providing a range of market-leading solutions including asset and vehicle finance, property finance and business cash flow lending products. SME Finance Group’s fleet and vehicle purchasing business saves its customers thousands of dollars on motor vehicle purchases and fleet management. You can find out more at:


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The experienced team at People and Culture Solutions provide timely, responsive and affordable workforce solutions. People and Culture Solutions adds value to its clients’ businesses through strategic and practical solutions with the ‘know how’ to support organisations in getting the best value out of their people. You can find out more at:

Hartmann is a global business focusing on healthcare and hygiene products since 1818. LASA Members are able to access discounted prices on an extensive product catalogue encompassing wound management and incontinence management. The Hartmann catalogue is available to LASA Members through the PurchasePlus portal.

Emcorp Group Emcorp Group, a global provider, has been assisting the aged health care industry for more than 15 years. Emcorp Group supplies a range of emergency, safety and security risk management, training programs and technology solutions. Importantly, Emcorp Group’s service also offers a crisis response option so the organisation is there to assist at any site when needed. Emcorp’s range of services includes fire and emergency management and training, corporate and site (emergency, crisis, recover) program development, security and safety solutions, corporate and site response assistance, food safety and hygiene programs, business intelligence (HealthBI) technology, crisis App development and more. You can find out more at:

SACS Consulting SACS Consulting provides fully automated online psychometric assessments. SACS psychometric assessments are strongly evidence-based and allow you to mitigate risk exposure such as making a bad hire while maximising culture fit and assessing future potential. They are also a powerful foundation for staff development. Psychometric testing is vital to select the right staff in an industry where improved continuity of care for residents is crucial. You can find out more at:

Pinnacle Rehab Pinnacle Rehab is a company that specialises in injury management, return to work and workers’ compensation scheme management. Services available to LASA Members include: • early access to services to prevent claims becoming unnecessarily costly, or irreconcilable • a balanced approach to managing claims, taking into consideration the scarcity of human resources in the aged care sector, while seeking to reduce wage supplements being paid by the insurer, and reducing insurance premiums for the member • a ssist members improve staff selection for roles, and undertake other injury prevention strategies You can find out more about current and new LASA’s discounted supplier solutions on our website at: If your business is interested in partnering with LASA to become one of our discounted suppliers, you can contact LASA’s Business Manager John Spring at: or LASA’s General Manager Business Services, Brendan Moore at ■

Discounted Supplier Solutions LASA has entered into strategic alliances to offer discounted supplier solutions for members.

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FOR NEW ENTRANTS INTO HOME CARE SECTOR Business operations, accreditation and compliance support to be a boon for providers.


ignificant reforms have swept through the home care sector in 2017, resulting in a rapid increase in the number of providers seeking to provide care services. To assist new providers into the market, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) is offering Members its new tailored Home Care Sustainability Service to assist them with accreditation, legislative compliance and business operations support. The Department of Health has reported that the number of approved home care providers has increased by nearly 50 per cent during the 12-month period to 30 June 2017,


jumping to 735 approved providers nationally. This signals a more competitive operational environment where quality care and responsiveness to consumer preferences is critical. KPMG has also completed its own analysis of the changing home care market [see home/insights/2017/10/home-care-market-competition. html] noting new entrants now make up over a third of all providers in key locations across the country. A majority of these new providers are delivering other types of home care, retirement living or residential care services,


70 per cent are for profit businesses, 40 per cent are also targeting the disability sector, and a handful are labour hire agencies that have expanded into direct service provision. With this dramatic shift in the market, most new providers will only have a very small footprint with few or no home care packages and will also face the challenges of establishing themselves against credible brands. Further home care reforms are also on the horizon that will significantly impact upon all home care providers with the next phase of reform due to begin in July 2020. The Department of Health released its discussion paper: Future reform – an integrated care at home program to support older Australians [ future-care-at-home-reform] earlier this year. This paper proposes the integration of a block-funded Commonwealth Home Care Support Programme and individually funded Home Care Package Programme services. This integration will signal the emergence of extended open market dynamics for home care service providers who have the potential to position themselves to offer their clients continuous care, starting from providing entry level care all the way through to complex in-home care. For new providers, a LASA membership offers access to a range of support services that can establish them as a new entrant to the market. Support and advice are available to ensure service offerings and business operations are appropriately established for quality accreditation and legislative compliance. This is particularly important for new approved providers approaching their initial accreditation review in 2018 – one year into their home care package operations.

In addition, new providers can engage the LASA consulting team to access the experience and expertise of experienced LASA staff who are well positioned to work with Members to address their key business targets for the provision of quality aged care services. LASA’s consulting team will assist in ensuring that policies, procedures and systems are well placed to ensure legislative compliance while providing tools to assist Member businesses to grow. To ensure the authenticity of each Member’s operating model, the LASA consulting service is presented in a manner sensitive to Members’ particular business structures and visions. LASA acknowledges there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting our Members and we work closely with Members, carefully considering ongoing feedback as we work to build industry capability and sustainability by delivering services valued by Members. The CareSide is a specialist provider of home care services to live-in clients with neurological conditions. In this complex field, LASA has provided us with outstanding consulting advice. LASA is an expert in both the strategic and operational complexities of home care. They have guided us successfully in achieving home care accreditation, which helps us serve more clients more effectively. When we need guidance on solving a challenging policy or procedural issue, LASA always has the answer. The CareSide highly recommends engaging LASA’s Consulting Services. – Gareth Mahon Chief Executive Officer, The CareSide Contact LASA to discuss our Home Care Sustainability Service and how we can tailor this to your specific business needs. You can contact us at or 1300 111 636. ■


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LASA employment relations team outlines steps to end the current year well and establish appropriate processes for 2018.


o end the year and help our Members start 2018 on the right foot, Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA’s) employment relations team has put together a list of essential employment relations tips.

Know your awards/enterprise agreement Employers need to know which industrial instrument(s) cover their business and to also have a comprehensive understanding of the terms and conditions contained in those industrial instruments. In aged care, the applicable industrial instruments will usually be a modern award(s) or an enterprise agreement (EA), but sometimes older industrial instruments such as Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) may still be in operation for some staff. The four primary awards in aged care are: 1. The Aged Care Award 2010 2. The Nurses Award 2010 3. The Social, Community Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADSI Award), and 4. The Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010. Various awards and EAs can contain many differences, e.g. different classifications, hours of work, penalty rates, allowances, overtime provisions and minimum rates of pay, to name but a few. Moreover, some awards and EAs have specific requirements that must be met when an employee commences in employment. Failure to comply with a provision of an industrial instrument can result not only in an underpayment claim but it can also expose the employer (and the responsible individuals) to the risk of prosecution for breach of the industrial instrument. Maximum penalties under the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) for breaching an industrial instrument can be up to $63,000 for a company and up to $12,600 for an individual. Determining which awards apply can appear straight forward however this is not always the case. Such circumstances may include where: • more than one award operates • there has been a transfer of business between employers, or • some employees are still covered by older style industrial instruments such as collective/certified agreements or AWAs.

Members are encouraged to ring LASA’s employment relations team if they have any questions about which industrial instrument(s) apply to their business.

Diarising important employment dates LASA urges Members to diarise key employment dates, including: 1) When the minimum employment period ends New employees are not eligible for unfair dismissal protection until they finish a minimum employment period of six months (or 12 months for employers with less than 15 employees), so it is important that employers know when the period will finish. Members should also be aware that dismissal during this period will only prevent unfair dismissal claims. It will not prevent other types of claims such as discrimination or general protections claims. Members are encouraged to contact LASA’s employment relations team for advice before deciding to terminate an employee, even if the employee is still within the minimum employment period. 2) Dates when wages must increase under an award or EA Some minimum rates of pay in key age care awards (and enterprise agreements) automatically increase based on the length of service in a particular role. For example, under the Aged Care Award 2010 an ‘Aged Care Employee – Level 1’ can only remain at that level and rate of pay for a maximum of three months. 3) Yearly increase(s) in minimum rates of pay Each year the national wage case is decided by the Fair Work Commission. This decision determines increases to the national minimum wage and to minimum rates of pay in modern awards. The increased rates of pay generally take effect from the beginning of the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July of that year. Members are urged to check the new increased rates of pay each year prior to the increases taking effect. Members should do this even where an EA is in place. Under the Fair Work Act the minimum rates of pay in an EA cannot be less than the corresponding minimum rates of pay in the modern award. LASA’s employment relations team offers a consultancy service whereby current rates of pay in an EA can be compared against the applicable modern award. Continued page 62


MEMBER BENEFITS Continued from page 61

4) Renewal dates for professional registration and other checks Some professional employees (e.g. nurses) must periodically renew their registration to continue to practice their profession. Similarly, employees working in aged care must periodically renew their national criminal record checks.

There are also a number of employment conditions that are important to specify in writing, e.g. commencement date, whether the employee is to be full-time, part-time or casual, the applicable award or EA, the rate of pay or salary, the ordinary hours of work, the required notice of termination etc.

Finally, employees who are required to drive a motor vehicle in the course of their employment are required to periodically renew their drivers licence and where it is the employee’s own vehicle they must also periodically renew the registration and insurance of the vehicle. So in our view, it is prudent for Members to ensure that employees who drive for work keep their driving/motor vehicle requirements up to date.

Moreover, under some awards and EAs certain conditions of employment must be stipulated or agreed to in writing. For example, in the case of part-time employees the Aged Care Award 2010 requires that the employer and employee agree in writing on “a regular pattern of work including the number of hours to be worked each week, the days of the week the employee will work and the starting and finishing times each day”.

Written contracts of employment

LASA also encourages Members to periodically review all contracts of employment and to issue appropriate updated contracts of employment from time to time.

LASA urges Members to ensure that all new employees are provided with a written contract of employment and to ensure that the contract is duly signed by the employee and returned to the employer before the employee starts work. In LASA’s experience, new employees are most likely to sign a written contract of employment before they commence in employment. Indeed, an offer of employment can be made subject to the prospective employee signing and returning a contract of employment.

Members are encouraged to contact LASA if they have any questions on contracts of employment. For further guidance on these matter or any employment relations issues Members should contact LASA’s employment relations team at or at 02 9212 6922. ■

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A BENEFICIAL ALTERNATIVE APPROACH WITH LASA BUSINESS SERVICES Engaging the right external assistance can save organisations money, maximise cash flow and minimise risk.


n today’s environment we often hear of organisations outsourcing the non-core processes that their in-house team has been performing. These are typically routine activities that may require specialised talent but don’t need to be completed internally. However, is outsourcing the right option, or should organisations be considering rightsourcing?

The term ‘rightsourcing’ emerged in the early 2000s as a portfolio management strategy. The Blurgroup provides a very succinct definition: Rightsourcing goes beyond outsourcing, ensuring that every core business function—including in-house and Continued page 64

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MEMBER BENEFITS Continued from page 63

supply chain—is delivering maximum value to your organisation, based on cost, quality, and expediency. Rightsourcing is finding the right team to do the job better, faster, and at the right price. Rightsourcing can be the answer when you ask the hard questions about your organisational structure and business management model. For example, am I minimising my risk? The days of having long-term employees completing tasks such as payroll, resident claims and billing and financial services are fraught with risk in this ever-changing environment of enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs), award interpretations, litigation, and cash flow management. Management and boards should continually be asking whether they have the most efficient model of implementation for each and every job function. Is there anything your staff are currently doing that could be done externally to achieve a better outcome for the organisation? This outcome could be related to decreased risk or costs, or increased revenue/cash flow. Rightsourcing also opens up your organisation to an improved knowledge base due to working with a range of experts who bring new insights and experience to the matter at hand. A fresh, broader perspective can influence further improvements and value creation. There is also the issue of changing technology and the need to upgrade your software to enable continuous productivity improvements and legislative compliance. Between June and October 2017, the LASA membership advisory team successfully reclaimed $666,950 from government for Members. If claims and billings are managed by a competent supplier, then claims are more likely to be paid when they are due rather than months later. LASA has an experienced team that processes resident claims and billings for a number of Member organisations, ensuring that no monies are left unclaimed. The team processes the claim through Medicare and then reconciles

the claim back to the statement each month to ensure that all monies claimed are paid. The LASA team also manages, and keeps up to date, records of bonds and refundable accommodation deposits. Keeping abreast of the myriad of nuances in EBAs is very challenging and requires considerable knowledge of industrial relations. For many small providers, this would require employing someone with the knowledge of EBAs and the modern award just to ensure that their employees are paid correctly and leave balances are calculated accurately. For the small provider this can come at considerable extra cost that can be avoided by rightsourcing the activity. It also offers a level of comfort in risk minimisation. The LASA payroll bureau is a rightsourcing supplier with a team of people who have a combined experience of more than 30 years. The team currently prepares payroll for in excess of 40 facilities around the country. Aside from having considerable experience with awards and EBAs the team has instant access to the LASA Employment Relations team to resolve any queries that may arise in the payroll preparation process. For small providers rightsourcing of specific business processes can be a cost saving and revenue/cash flowmaximising exercise, along with a risk minimisation process. With a fluid, evolving strategic landscape characterised by financial constraints, boards and management should continually review their business functions and the processes that underpin them to ascertain whether insourcing or outsourcing creates greater value for the organisation. If you are interested in the rightsourcing options LASA has to offer, you can contact LASA’s Business Manager John Spring at or LASA’s General Manager Business Services, Brendan Moore at Brendan. ■



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eading Age Services Australia (LASA) formalised a partnership with the international aged care leadership community, the Global Ageing Network (GAN) [] in October 2017. The partnership provides all LASA Members with access to the resources, networks and support available from this international network. Each month, LASA Members will receive the GAN’s newsletter which provides access to the latest in global ageing news and trends. LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the partnership was significant and would ensure LASA Members directly benefited from the shared knowledge, professional development, educational resources and leadership opportunities the GAN provides. “Our partnership with the Global Ageing Network provides all LASA Members with access to the resources, networks and support of the Global Ageing Network. And this is provided to LASA members at no additional cost to their membership,” Mr Rooney said. The GAN—currently chaired by Marcus Riley, CEO of Brisbane aged care provider BallyCara—has highlighted the opportunities for LASA Members through this new arrangement. “A key focus for the network is, as the name suggests, to connect people and organisations who share aligned values and priorities,” Mr Riley said. “This creates excellent opportunities for all types of organisations whether it’s for shared learning and exchange of information, business expansion or partnerships, or simply informal linkages that connect people.” Mr Riley said the GAN played a role in an increasing number of countries to foster innovation and support the work of organisations to increase access, quality and choice for their communities.


The GAN brings together experts from around the world and leads education initiatives. It focuses on paving the way to improve best practices in aged care so that older people everywhere can live healthier, stronger, more independent lives. Mr Rooney said that in an era when the world’s population is collectively ageing, it is vital to embrace the opportunities and learnings that will emerge from beyond the narrow confines of borders and countries. “We all know the unprecedented demand we are experiencing in Australia with meeting the needs of our rapidly ageing population, forecast to triple in the coming decades. “Similarly, by 2050 the world’s ageing population will be larger than the younger population for the first time in history, reaching two billion people over the age of 60.” Mr Rooney said the GAN is an international organisation of service providers, businesses, scholars and others committed to addressing the challenges and opportunities of global ageing. “This network provides the mechanism for collaboration and partnership for our industry worldwide. “Inclusively, we share the common interest to ensure older people all over the world have access to the highest quality of care and services. “The Global Ageing Network represents the interests of more than 26,000 age services organisations across more than 50 countries, caring and serving millions of people every day,” he said. ■



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inners play vital role workforce development, and creating positive experiences for clients.

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) congratulates the LASA Members that took out HESTA 2017 aged care awards in Adelaide on 23 November. The awards recognise outstanding leadership, dedication and service in the aged care sector. HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said this year’s winners created innovative services and programs that rise to the challenge of providing high-quality care to the growing number of people in Australia’s communities. She said the three winners demonstrated the vital role aged care professionals and organisations play in creating positive experiences for their clients and in supporting growth and recruitment in the sector.

HESTA Award winners Jo Boylan, Gordon Manuel and Sally Morris.

Individual Distinction

“Through their work they are supporting innovation and growth in the sector – ensuring that the highest standards of care are delivered and that their clients continue to participate in fulfilling and engaging life experiences. Through the awards we are proud to be able to recognise their outstanding work.”

Gordon Manuel from the Mark Moran Group was awarded for his outstanding work in creating innovative aged care dining and culinary experiences for residents. Passionate about creating nutritious and tasty meals, Gordon has developed numerous culinary and dining experiences to support residents in celebrating and enjoying their lives.

The winners were selected from 12 national finalists and were recognised for their exceptional contribution to improving the quality of life for older Australians across three categories —Team Innovation, Outstanding Organisation and Individual Distinction.

Gordon’s meals are nutritionally and visually flavoursome despite the fact that they have been modified due to dietary requirements. Gordon’s innovative approach to aged care dining also promotes dignity, equality and fun, as residents are encouraged to continue to enjoy food and share meals with one another.

The winner of each category won a share in the $30,000 prize pool, courtesy of awards sponsor ME Bank.

Team Innovation Crest Northern Territory won the Team Innovation category for its Aged Care Indigenous Induction Program (ACIIP). Crest Northern Territory was recognised for its outstanding work in developing culturally-appropriate induction resources that support the recruitment and retention of Indigenous aged care employees across the Northern Territory. The Crest team developed the ACIIP to provide a suite of educational resources for employers to train and induct new employees from Indigenous backgrounds. Resources forming part of the ACIIP include the ‘Buddy Guide’ which provides employers with tools like videos, case studies and questions designed to help new staff become work-ready.


Outstanding Organisation Southern Cross Care Parkside in South Australia took out the Outstanding Organisation Award. Southern Cross Care was awarded for partnering with local Adelaide arts festivals to deliver an entertaining, engaging and practical arts program for residents and their families. Through a collaborative partnership with the South Australian Living Art Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Southern Cross Care brings arts activities into its aged care homes – capitalising on the benefits that creative expression, sense of achievement and art can have on the elderly. The arts program includes events where residents engage with performers and artists, participate in art lessons and create their own art works. ■





Great things are done by a series of small things brought together – Van Gogh.


emory cafés provide innovative community support for people living with dementia, offering community engagement in times of change.

The Lantern Memory Café in Michelton in Brisbane’s north-west is an example of this. From a shared value base and professional relationship between Centacare and Churches of Christ, a passionate desire to create a dementia-friendly community emerged.


Driven by a desire to break down barriers to create a more inclusive, understanding and supportive environment for people living with dementia—and with flow on effects for wider society—this café on the Churches of Christ campus in Mitchelton was the first of its kind to be created in Brisbane. The initiative has engaged people with dementia and advocates from the outset. Having opened in November last year, 12 months on the café is proving a hit.


The space is designed to be open and engaging in a dementia-friendly way. People living with dementia meet there bi-monthly. Centacare and Churches of Christ have a reference group of clients who inform and direct this project, such as by suggesting speakers or information they wish to be covered. On the back of the success of the Lantern Memory Café, Centacare is now approaching a number of shopping centres to raise awareness of dementia, opening up the 24-hour flexible care cottage to hold activities focused to meet people’s needs with differing types of younger onset dementia. They are also supporting volunteering opportunities for people through Meals on Wheels and establishing five other cafés located near other Centacare sites in South East Queensland For further information contact Centacare on 1300 236 822 or visit ■



entacare Brisbane’s Vintage Voices Community Choir has been enhancing the wellbeing of older people through music, song and performance since 2010.

The Lantern Memory Café in Michelton in Brisbane’s north-west is an example of this. Formed by Centacare employee Rosemary Poulgrain as a creative outlet for older people, the choir performs at a range of events including the recent Creative Ageing Symposium held in Brisbane from 25–26 October 2017. This significant international event brought together expert researchers and practitioners to explore how engaging with the arts can maintain and improve older people’s health and wellbeing, as well as those living with conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease Dr Debra Shearer-Dirié has been the choir’s choral conductor since 2010. Debra is the musical director of the Brisbane Concert Choir and leads the performers together with the musical skills of accompanist John Woods. Through their performances the choir demonstrates what can be accomplished with opportunity and practice. Vintage Voices provides a platform for older people to showcase their talents through an enjoyable and stimulating experience.

In addition, the choir also provides opportunities for social inclusion, embracing diversity, empowerment, growth and skill development in a safe, caring and supportive environment. For further information about the choir, contact Centacare on 1300 236 822 or visit ■




Physical, emotional and medical initiatives singled out as leading the way in standards of care.


ach year, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency recognises innovations in care with the Commonwealth Better Practice Awards. This year Hall & Prior received three awards for innovative programs and initiatives that improve the health and wellbeing of those we care for.

“These programs were created with their guidance and support, as part of our mission to continually improve our standards of care.”

This year’s Better Practice Award winners were announced at the Sydney Better Practice Conference Event held on 17 and 18 August. The theme for 2017 was Rethinking Aged Care: Discover, Connect, Create. Guests were encouraged to explore the requirements for high quality aged care services, as well as discover new ways of doing things.

Hall & Prior’s New South Wales Exercise and Mobility Coordinator Laura Majewski developed the resisting agerelated muscle decline initiative in 2015. Laura worked with the directors of nursing and lifestyle officers at each of the five homes to implement the program. This program is active through five Hall & Prior homes in New South Wales, and has been built up since inception to deliver real and very positive results in resident strength and mobility range which fosters confidence in completing everyday tasks for those residents who enjoy the program.

Five of our New South Wales homes were recognised for creating a program to resist age-related muscle decline. Staff members from Aubrey Downer, Caroline Chisholm, Fairfield, Glenwood and Vaucluse were part of the program that utilises exercise band training to improve care recipient mobility and strength. This is the result of a combined effort by our New South Wales Exercise and Mobility Coordinator Laura Majewski and the directors of nursing of these homes: Anne Curnow, Sarah Riach, Sophie Woodward, Joy Bigelow and Aubrey Downer’s manager, Margaret Wolf. They were supported by the lifestyle officers at these homes and our New South Wales resource team partners. The team at Tuohy Aged Care Home, led by Residential Care Manager Jayne Cummings, Clinical Nurse Manager Mina Pindolia and Administration Officer Fiona Clarkson were recognised for implementing the My Life, My Wishes program. This ensures all care recipients have their funeral wishes and life history documented while they are in our care. At Freshwater Bay and Mosman Park aged care homes, Director of Nursing Devi Subramaniam and Resource Team Medication and Lifestyle Coordinator Kath Whisson successfully reduced the use of the medication Risperidone in people with dementia, while maintaining their quality of life and wellbeing. Hall & Prior Chief Executive Officer Graeme Prior congratulated all those involved in creating and implementing these programs. “For three of our programs to be acknowledged with these awards is an excellent example of the dedication to care that is shown in all of our 25 homes,” he said.


Resisting age-related muscle decline

Hall & Prior initiated this enablement program in response to the recognition that rehabilitating muscles in the elderly could give better quality of life and enjoyment to aged care residents. Simple things that the average Australian takes for granted like ‘lifting a cuppa tea’ can be challenging for the elderly, but with the program, our residents can reinvigorate muscle to be able to complete this task independently. The concept for the program was based on research from educational based workshops, national data and programs, as well as resistance band training techniques for general rehabilitation. The program was then tailored to the Hall & Prior residents’ care needs and general demographic to resist and rehabilitate muscle decline in the elderly. The program resulted in our care recipients gaining an increased range of motion in their joints and improvement in their day-to-day wellbeing. This is a great example of our staff taking the initiative and developing person-centred programs with the well being of our care recipients in mind. Laura Majewski said it was an honour to be recognised for a better practice award. “The development of this program started years ago in response to research-based papers that highlighted the ‘Theraband’ as an effective resistance training device for muscle rehabilitation,” she said.


“Many people have chosen to have their ashes scattered in our memorial garden, because they said that Tuohy was the only place that felt like home to them in their last years or months.”

Hall & Prior New South Wales and Western Australian teams at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Awards.

“Vaucluse Aged Care Home in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, Caroline Chisholm Aged Care Home in Lane Cove and Glenwood Aged Care Home in Greenwich were the three original Hall & Prior homes to start the program and this has since been rolled out to five which now includes Fairfield Aged Care Home in Western Sydney and Aubrey Downer Aged Care Home in Point Clare. Over the next year, the program will be implemented at the remaining New South Wales Hall & Prior residential aged care homes.” Key stakeholders in this program are the lifestyle and wellbeing staff members at each home, who run specially designed resistance exercise sessions with groups of residents each week. General Manager Kris Healy said there are many people involved in the success and roll out of a program like this, so this award is also a great recognition of the culture of teamwork and collaboration we have among our staff in the Hall & Prior network of aged care homes.

My Life, My Wishes At Hall & Prior, we have the honour of caring for people in what may be the last years of their lives. This is not a task we take lightly, and we are committed to providing a holistic style of care that looks after not only our care recipients’ physical and clinical needs, but their emotional wellbeing as well. Residential Care Manager Jayne Cummings and the team at Tuohy Aged Care Home implemented the My Life, My Wishes program following the death of a long-term care recipient who had become a part of Tuohy’s extended family. The objective of the program was to ensure that Tuohy documents all care recipients’ funeral wishes, particularly in cases where they are not in contact with their family. As part of the home’s admissions process, Jayne and her team record details about a care recipient’s life, such as hobbies, favourite memories and accomplishments. Should they pass away, details about their preferred style of funeral are also recorded, such as the type of service, their choices of particular prayers or songs, and where they would like to be laid to rest. The team works to ensure details are also recorded for current residents. Their files are then marked with a My Life My Wishes sticker, to notify staff that their requests have been recorded. Jayne said the process gets people to consider what they would like to happen to them should they pass, and helps ensure their requests are honoured. ‘”Tuohy is like a family, and we get a lot of people who don’t have any family or have lost contact with them, so it’s important that we’re able to get their wishes recorded,” she said.

This program is especially important as we specialise in caring for vulnerable and marginalised people, many of whom have experienced displacement, financial hardship, substance abuse and, in some cases, homelessness throughout their lives. All these issues can lead to estrangement from families and friends. This was a heart-felt effort on the part of our staff to ensure our care extended beyond addressing the clinical needs of those they care for, and demonstrates the family-like atmosphere that many residential aged care homes strive for.

Reducing Risperidone use in dementia At two Hall & Prior homes, both located in Mosman Park, in Perth’s west, Director of Nursing Devi Subramaniam and her team successfully lowered the instances of use of the psychotropic drug Risperidone. The program enabled staff to maintain therapeutic outcomes for our care recipients including quality of life, and physical and psychosocial functioning. This medication was approved for use in the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia, where non-pharmacological interventions have failed. In response to updated clinical indications around the use of the drug in people with dementia, the teams implemented changes to their clinical practice program and the culture within the home. This situation presented the teams with a challenge, but it was also seen as an opportunity to implement improved standards of clinical practice. Devi and her team worked with an external general practitioner to identify care recipients who required their medication to change, therefore making them appropriate for the program. The homes implemented a comprehensive training program for carers that focused on upskilling staff in non-pharmacological interventions for behavioural disturbances. This included education around the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, and increased availability of allied health support to assist care recipients through the change. They also collaborated with care recipients and their families to implement a revitalised activities and therapy program, with a stronger focus on emotional support and wellbeing. This included activities like arts and crafts, aromatherapy, music and dance and fun group activities. Hall & Prior has always been committed to providing excellent dementia care, and this program is an extension of those efforts. This is an excellent result and one that will be applicable for other organisations around the country. Hall & Prior is now the proud recipient of 11 Commonwealth better practice awards for innovations in care recipient care in the past six years. ■






ommunity involvement is a given with Clifton Community Health Services, as the Queensland town of Clifton actually owns the service.

With almost 70 years operating as a communityowned-and-run health service, local ties are strong. Clifton Community Health Services residents love interactions with children and over the last few years the services’ diversional therapists have been strengthening ties with youth-based organisations such as schools and the Clifton scouts. On several occasions over the years Nobby State School students have visited Clifton to spend time with residents. On the most recent occasion, a group of residents travelled to Nobby with the assistance of volunteers to participate in a grandparents-style day. Residents and students interacted and bonded over games, books, computers and conversation, and had a sumptuous


morning tea. The intergenerational exchanges were a joy to watch. Clifton is working towards making these visits a more regular part of activity programming. â–




MUST BE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF ANY DESIGN BRIEF FOR RETIREMENT VILLAGES Aligning seniors’ living with the fabric of our urban settings is fundamental to an improved quality of life for everyone, says a design expert.

Goodwin’s Monash Green Retirement Village.


one are the days when ‘villages for senior citizens’ were deliberately located miles from anywhere, where land was cheap and the ‘problem’ of housing the elderly was dealt with by pushing them to the physical margins. It was often an architecture of loneliness ... one of separating ‘senior citizens’ from the world.


As Pat Jelland notes in her excellent book Old Age in Australia, in the 1970s a vocal doctor and champion of older people—Dr A.J. Foster—opposed the level of ‘segregation and institutionalisation’ of elderly people, which he said obliged them to ‘exist in a mental vacuum without challenge or inspiration’ and which increased the rate of their mental decline.


Instead, Foster believed older people should be encouraged to remain in their communities as long as possible to prevent withdrawal and isolation. Fast-forward to today, and retirement villages are less isolated, but their location is still often influenced by land value and their design dictated by technical requirements. At AMC Architecture, our designs for retirement villages are led by the need to embed those villages in the social fabric of their larger setting. This can be seen in our work with Goodwin Aged Care Services Ltd (Goodwin) at its Monash Green Retirement Village. Winner of the Best Retirement Living Development at the 2015 Property Council’s Innovation and Excellence Award, the 150 independent living units in the village are predominantly low-rise and the setting features a number of simple, effective design initiatives. Community facilities include a clubhouse, mini golf course, bowling green, cafe and hairdresser. By proposing the damning of a dividing floodway we have created a focal lake that now features an extensive pedestrian path network and themed gardens that are popular meeting areas for village residents and the local community. The philosophy is to give people a place that provides them the energy to live not only within their village setting, but within the Canberra community more broadly. This is not about creating ‘elderly-only’ zones. Rather, we aim for people to be proud of where they live and for their families and friends to feel comfortable visiting, ensuring there are social spaces for people to interact between and across the generations. This philosophy is also applied at The Central, also by Goodwin and located in the heart of the new northern suburb of Crace’s urban precinct. Crace has everything at its doorstep including a new shopping centre, dining options, public transport, medical centre and easy access to parklands. The design of The Central again attempts to embed the village in the social fabric of its larger setting. The communal design of the suburb is mirrored in The Central’s urban village with connections to the surrounding community, access to a lifestyle club, café, community gardens and an optional weekly social program ranging from exercise classes to luncheons at local venues and tours of the latest National Gallery of Australia blockbusters. This connectedness in the centre of Crace and in the heart of the community will have long-term benefits for residents health and wellbeing.

Such has been the success of this approach, that we are now bringing that same philosophy to another Goodwin project at the established inner Canberra suburb of Farrer in the Woden Valley. Goodwin’s existing Farrer village was built in 1977 and housed a 64-bedroom specialist aged care facility which was the first purpose-designed facility of its kind in Canberra. As part of its long-held commitment to always provide the highest quality living environment for seniors, Goodwin has again engaged AMC Architecture to redevelop its Farrer village. The redevelopment will create rare new housing options for downsizers in an older suburb and an area of Canberra that has among the highest percentage of aged people per capita. Following extensive consultation with Goodwin, Goodwin residents and interested people from the local community, our design will be one that sits comfortably in the broader context of the suburb, and which avoids an ‘institutional’ character. The focus is on providing ample tailored outdoor areas, community gardens, children’s playground, social gathering areas including a clubhouse and men’s shed, and health and wellness spaces. It will also include a new live-in care facility that provides allied health services, and a dedicated memory support wing that will be specifically designed as an enabling environment. Architectural design for an ageing population does not mean creating specific and isolated facilities or ‘retrofitting’ by tacking ‘new’ onto ‘old’ designs. The approach should be about integrating quality and inclusive design into the urban fabric that will continue to break down social barriers and stigmas relating to seniors’ living. —Alastair MacCallum is a founding director of AMC Architecture.

Goowdin’s ‘The Central’ in Canberra’s northern suburbs.




WITH A HIGH-END LUXURY HOTEL FEEL Innovative site approach to modular bathroom installation cuts construction time by seven weeks.


s a family-owned company with a strong emphasis on community, Richard Crookes Constructions (RCC) understands the importance of designing and building aged care developments that contribute to social infrastructure and feel like home for residents. “Our collaborative, partnered approach to innovative aged care projects is evident in our delivery of the $50m Baulkham Hills SummitCare residential care home,” RCC General Manager for Aged Care and Retirement Living, Rod Burger said. “This new development will not only be a home to over 186 older Australians and their families but also a great hub for the Hill community.”

RCC partnered with the SummitCare team to take aged care and retirement living to the next level with a facility that combines technology with a homely, high-end hotel feel. Chada Interior Design, known for their high-end hospitality interiors, leveraged their experience to create a home for residents that resembles a luxury hotel with bespoke custom rugs, joinery and room finishes and fixtures. When combined with Boffa Robertson Group’s stylish architecture, RCC had the dual challenge of delivering on the high quality design intent, while maximising the value for SummitCare throughout the process.

The $50m Baulkham Hills SummitCare retirement aged care facility offers 236 beds.



The facility’s interiors have been designed by a company known for its high-end hotel interiors.

RCC used the early contractor involvement period to design a new structural system that allowed for the 186 bathrooms’ modular design, and worked through site opportunities in an effort to hand $1.5m back to SummitCare. The use of modular bathrooms guaranteed a consistent high level of quality and minimised traffic and people on site. It is estimated this innovative solution gave approximately seven weeks back to the delivery program. RCC also produced a prototype for SummitCare at any early stage, allowing the organisation to inspect the quality and make design changes before implementing them across the development. This attention to stakeholder relationships was the hallmark of the entire development. The construction site was adjacent to 20 individual residences as well as a service station which meant communication, traffic and environmental control was always high on RCC’s agenda. The project’s success was also attributed to the collaborative and productive relationships forged between all those involved. SummitCare Director and owner Peter Wohl said that the development ‘brings to life’ everything residents and families could wish for in a home. “It was the local community of Baulkham Hills who told us what they wanted in this new home during our extensive

consultation and the end result is stunning, looking more like an upmarket hotel than a traditional residential aged care home,” he said. “To RCC, it has been an absolute pleasure and an outstanding result. You have been a delight to work with and I couldn’t recommend you more highly.” SummitCare Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Payne said the opening of the Baulkham Hills facility was a ‘landmark’ event, marking a significant change in aged care with a r ange of design features reflecting SummitCare’s ‘personcentred’ approach. The project was delivered on time, in 18 months and the facility is one of the largest and most technologically advanced residential aged care facilities in New South Wales. RCC’s Rod Burger said the team’s focus on providing a facility that creates a home for future residents in a sustainable environment today and into the future has been a wide-ranging success. “At RCC we pride ourselves a collaborative, client-first approach, so it’s great to see our team acknowledged for the quality of their delivery as well as their attitude to working with the client team and stakeholders on the Baulkham Hills project, he said. ■







t was fitting that Australia’s largest age services event was held on the Gold Coast, home of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Futurist Gihan Perea challenged delegates to think outside the box.

This year’s congress theme, ‘Ahead of the Game: Age Services – Strong, Bold, Brave’ drew on the Commonwealth Games spirit. ‘Ahead of the Game’ was about accessing new ideas, business strategies and care models as they are developing. As our population ages, we must accelerate innovation in age services to ensure older Australians retain their independence and have choice and control over the age services they need and deserve. Government engagement and policy was also an important focus. At this year’s congress, more than 110 presenters shared their expertise and insights with an audience of more than 1,000 people. We heard from industry leaders who shared insights into how they are responding to the changing care, support and service needs of older Australians. Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA’s) Congress was also the first opportunity to hear from political and thought leaders about the implications of the recently completed aged care legislated review. LASA also launched the innovAGEING network, Discount Supplier Solutions, state conferences and our partnership with the Global Ageing Network, as well as showcasing our existing products and services to Members. Continued page 82 The aged care reform panel raised critical industry issues.

Congress delegates enjoyed insightful and thoughtful keynote addresses.

Continued from page 81

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt delivered an address and then joined a question and answer discussion with Shadow Assistant Minister for Ageing Senator Helen Polley on the future of Australia’s aged care sector. David Tune AO PSM discussed aged care reform in his first public engagement since completing his review of the Living Longer, Living Better reforms. The congress boasted an impressive list of other keynote speakers, among them were: • futurist Gihan Perera who helped us understand how we can become fit for a future that includes digital disruption, global reach and changing workplaces • biomedical engineer Dr Jordan Nguyen who shared his mission of improving lives by re-imagining and re-defining the boundaries between human and technological evolution • innovative entrepreneur Tim Fung, co-founder of Airtasker, who unpacked the business opportunities to be found in the solutions to everyday business problems. The program was outstanding, and along with the trade show and the networking opportunities, it was a thought-provoking and very special few days for the industry. ■ Make sure you mark 28–31 October 2018 in your calendar for next year’s LASA National Congress in Adelaide.

Many delegates took up the challenge to ‘bring their team and go for gold’ at the gala dinner, in keeping with the conference’s overall theme: ‘Ahead of the game’.



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uccessful age services organisations recognise that training and education are just as vital for existing staff as they are for new recruits.

Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA’s) Leadership Professional Development Program is an outstanding opportunity to assist your team to enhance skills and knowledge, while providing a platform to work towards a Diploma of Leadership and Management. First offered in Queensland in 2017, the program will be rolled out around Australia in 2018 in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne from February to April. The program offers participants the opportunity to join others in industry-tailored sessions covering topics and issues common to all sectors of Australia’s aged care environment. The program comprises two-and-a-half days comprising plenary sessions each morning and interactive stream specific panels, workshops, and facilitated discussions each afternoon. Expert speakers and facilitators have been confirmed from government, human resources, legal and compliance advisors, key LASA experts, consultants and providers from the aged care sector. Afternoon sessions provide an optional extra session which focusses on the process of recognition of prior learning (RPL) into the Diploma of Leadership and Management (BSB51915).

LASA’s Manager Accredited Training, Lynda Robertson, will facilitate these short sessions to assist participants to gain an understanding of the recognition process, analyse participants’ skills, determine the evidence that will be required, and negotiate time frames to prepare and submit an RPL folio. The program is run by the LASA Aged Care Training Institute, a registered training organisation that aims to become the first choice for accredited aged care, leadership and management courses in the age services industry. The institute provides training exclusively for the age services industry with many of the training and assessment resources developed by LASA and customised for the industry. We deliver high quality, industry specific vocational education courses across Australia. By enrolling in a LASA qualification, you can be assured that your staff will be both competent and confident in their skills, and further committed to their role in caring for older Australians. For more information about the Leadership Professional Development Program please call Lynda Robertson on 1300 111 636 or email: Discounts of 10 per cent are available on the program when booking three or more participants. ■

State dates Brisbane QLD

Perth WA

Adelaide SA

Sydney NSW

Melbourne VIC

7–9 February 2018

14–16 February 2018

7–9 March 2018

21–23 March 2018

18–20 April 2018

Special offer for participants


Non Member

2½ day Professional Development Program registration

$ 950

$ 1,045

Option to gain the Diploma of Leadership and Management through an RPL process for an additional cost

$ 1,340

$ 1,600

(this is well under half the usual cost)




Studying and Advancing Global Eldercare tour of UK in 2018 offers executives a chance to explore global trends.


ince the federal government’s mandatory introduction of consumer directed care (CDC), the aged care and retirement living sectors have witnessed unprecedented change.

By allocating funding directly to the consumer and giving more choice and control in the type of care received, the CDC policy

reform is designed to both improve quality of life and enable people to stay living in their own homes for longer. Director and International Program Manager of Studying and Advancing Global Eldercare (SAGE) Judy Martin said that while residents were once assigned to a facility based on the

WHO ARE WE? Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) is a national program that helps Australians to make the best choices for their life and health care. WHAT IS ADVANCE CARE PLANNING? Advance care planning is a process of thinking about and documenting your values and preferences when it comes to making healthcare decisions. HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT ADVANCE CARE PLANNING? ACPA has developed education and training programs to help you build a better understanding of advance care planning in various settings. Our free online courses for health professionals and care workers cover a range of topics: n An introduction to advance care planning n Strategies to start the conversation n Understanding the legal aspects n Implementation at the organisational level n Advance care planning in primary care settings n Advance care planning for people living with dementia.

Find education and training resources and events in your area at The ACPA national advance care planning advisory service is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (AEST) to answer your questions and provide advice and support. Call 1300 208 582 or email

Advance Care Planning Australia is supported by funding from the Australian Government.



availability of care, potential residents now have greater power to choose where they live. “The CDC will also give consumers more control over who comes to their home to help them shower or clean their house,” she said.


“Many consumers, particularly those receiving community care, will want to be sure they are getting the best value for their money; quite simply, if they don’t feel they are getting the service they want and it’s not meeting their needs, they will look elsewhere.”


Judy said these changes in the sector are forcing providers to rethink the way they provide services for aged care and retirement living, and she feels providers can learn from what’s happening overseas. “While the changes are relatively new to Australia, the concept of CDC isn’t unique. Through SAGE program leadership, we’ve witnessed similar policies implemented in other countries around the world for some years, and one thing we’ve noticed is residential and community aged care providers commitment to be increasingly competitive, maintaining relevance in the market,” she said. “Professionals in Australia can learn from what providers have done other countries. More importantly, they can find out the challenges they faced and the lessons learned; they can then adapt ideas and adopt practices here to enhance their services taking those learnings and not make the same mistakes.” In the United Kingdom (UK), the concept of care focusing around the needs of the person rather than the needs of the service has been around for several years. Referred to as person-centred care, the UK’s Care Act 2014 has put personalisation on a legal footing. The UK’s Social Care Institute of Excellence explains: ‘it defines rights to choice, personalised care plans and personal budgets. It also requires local authorities to ensure that a range of high-quality services are available in their area. The principles of personalised care are now central to social care law and policy’.* One of the regulations laid out by the UK’s independent regulator The Quality Care Commission, states: ‘Providers must work in partnership with the person, make any reasonable adjustments and provide support to help them understand and make informed decisions about their care and treatment options, including the extent to which they may wish to manage these options themselves’. As a result, Judy said UK providers have had to implement many new initiatives from the traditional care model, as they embrace these changes. “For instance, many care homes have improved their program of therapy and activities, also placing an emphasis on the meals programs. Some examples that are now common place are use of fresh ingredients, and employment of trained chefs.


STUDYING AND INTEGRATING WITH UNITED KINGDOM AGED CARE SYSTEM – WHAT LESSONS CAN WE LEARN The study tour is designed to give SAGE delegates insight into the Seniors Living systems of United Kingdom. During the study tour participants will visit the most significant public and private organisations from a regional and national perspective. The visits to Seniors Living retirement villages and eldercare facilities will highlight not only successful commercial models in the field, but will give an overview of the current UK system of eldercare and include dementia care re-design.

JOIN YOUR COLLEAGUES FROM ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH: This tour will include attendance at the inaugural Commonwealth Elders’ forum which will align with CHOGM and the Queens actual birthday week and is a great opportunity to be involved in Aged Care across the Commonwealth

TOUR DATES: 7-15 APRIL 2018 MAIN SAGE PROGRAM 16-18 APRIL 2018 Commonwealth Elders’ Forum

“I had an absolute experience of a lifetime and would recommend a SAGE trip to anyone that will listen.” “Fabulous tour. Well prepared and conducted.” “Very professional, well organised and extremely enjoyable.” “As always, Judy our Program Manager was highly professional”

– comments from recent SAGE delegates

“There are some excellent practices going on in the UK based from learnings over the last few years while implementing person-centred care across all models. This is the reason SAGE is returning to the UK next year,” she said. “Australian professionals working in care provision and senior living need to stay ahead of future industry trends such as CDC, and our SAGE international tours are a way in which they can do this.” She said the SAGE study tour in the UK in April 2018 would offer tour inclusion of attendance at the inaugural CommonAge Elders’ Forum in Reading. This forum also forms part of the UK leadership conference by National Care Forum and will have a wealth of international speakers and opportunities for networking. The forum is timed to align with the Commonwealth Summit (CHOGM). “The Maltese Prime Minster, as current Chair of CHOGM has agreed to open the forum and an invitation to our Australian Minister Honourable Ken Wyatt has also been extended,” Judy said. “The minister has been following with interest the plans for the UK SAGE tour including the planning for the CommonAge Elders forum. “By looking outwards and learning from professionals around the world, not only is it good for service providers and executive staff professional development, but more importantly, it provides better outcomes for the people we care for,” Judy said. To find out more about the SAGE study tour to the UK, and SAGE’s 2018 program, visit ■ *



WHAT’S NEW Avanticare With the recent announcement around funding reforms. There has been a negative perception for some time now amongst the wider community about the Aged Care industry, and this really needs to change in order for our politicians and decision makers to start redirecting resources toward more positive ageing approaches for the sector. Aged Care providers too often feel that options for more innovative service delivery are limited due to funding restrictions and regulatory constraints. I believe that there has never been a better time to be in Aged Care with the many new reforms shaking things up and with an emergence of pioneers that want to create change and make a difference. I am personally so inspired by the frequent stories of innovation and exciting new models that organisations and individuals are developing, researching and delivering within this sector both internationally and in Australia, and I passionately believe that there needs to be a platform to share these ideas and successes. For too long now our elderly have been considered a burden on society to be institutionalised in clinical (hospital style) homes when they are no longer able to care for themselves, and more recently they are also being treated as a commodity for revenue generating due to the over-prescriptive and outdated Aged Care Funding Model. I dream of a society in which our seniors are cherished for their years of contribution and invaluable experience and able to live out their final years still integrating within the community, interacting with younger generations and children, contributing to society with their pearls of wisdom and generally ageing in a more positive manner. With this as my motivation, AvantiCare are taking on this mission to create a movement of like-minded individuals who will collaborate and share their innovations and research to demonstrate that “there is a better way” and “it is possible”.

Industry embraces archiving help A smart space-saving solution to storing documents is helping clean up the aged care industry’s archiving problems. The patented storage system made in Australia by Archive Management received an overwhelming response following the Queensland company’s debut attendance at LASA 2017. “Our system can store double the paperwork using the same space when compared with traditional boxes on shelves, so it’s a compelling solution,” says Archive Management Director Duncan Macmillan. He says the positive reception bolsters the company’s strategy to actively increase its footprint in the aged care sector in 2018. “There’s been a natural demand for our services in aged care for years, and now, following the successful roll-out of our growth plan in education, we’re turning our focus on expanding in this space,” he says. Mr Macmillan says Archive Management’s core offering, an efficient system of super-strong stackable front-opening boxes, is a natural fit for the industry. “The sector faces paper storage problems like anyone else - there’s a requirement to keep important records at hand and access them easily when they’re needed, but space is at a premium,” he says.


Avanticare have developed a platform to deliver an online conference across Australia The format of the conference will be a full day with a number of short 30 minute presentations, so that we can include ample content with a punchy approach that will keep delegates engaged. Our MC is Talitha Cummins ex Sunrise journalist and now MC/Media training specialist. We are using people from all over the sector to deliver on cutting edge studies and practical/holistic approaches to the overall aged care space. Montessori and dementia, intergenerational care, virtual therapy to give you a sense of our approach. We already have commitment from some amazing aged care leaders and researchers such as Cynthia Payne (CEO Summit Care), Professor Anneke Fitzgerald (Griffith University), Lucy O’Flaherty (Glenview CEO), Merlin Kong (Principal Advisor of Innovageing LASA), Anne Kelly (MASSA), Joyce Simard (Namaste Care), Ilsa Hampton (Meaningful Ageing), Stevie Rose (Meditation Revolution) and many more.

He says another strong drawcard has been the installation and document migration services provided. “So many businesses don’t have the time or inclination to tidy up and properly catalogue their mounting archives - it’s a headache we can take away.”


Live your life and forget your age… The BallyCara Wellness Program emphasises the importance of health, wellness and happiness as these key components play a significant role as we age. We aim to provide a better understanding of the changing relationship between health and ageing as we believe this is crucial in creating a future that takes full advantage of the research findings and recommendations that are available today.

success factors of the Wellness Program. Many of our members have never used a traditional gym equipment before but love using HUR gym, especially with the ongoing support of our BallyCara team”.

BallyCara opened a contemporary Wellness Centre in 2013, creating an exercise clinic, along with a co-located Café and swimming pool. BallyCara continues to witness the benefits of the HUR gym equipment as part of a membership based Wellness Program, providing safe, personalised strength-based exercise programs for seniors. With over 200 active Wellness members and recently commencing delivering a STRC program, the HUR gym equipment is well utilised under the supervision of a team of qualified Exercise Physiologists. Paul Johnson, BallyCara’s Chief Opportunity Officer said: “The senior friendly design of the HUR equipment along with the ability for individualised programming and monitoring have been key

Improving skincare improves resident wellbeing at Ozcare

And the difference TENA Skincare has made to residents and staff? “We have found that clients’ skin is in a far better condition and less prone to damage and skin tears. The facility staff have also given excellent feedback on the products and the improvement in their clients’ overall skin appearance.” TENA is a name better known for continence products and is also the continence management provider for Ozcare. Continence and skincare are closely linked and in patients suffering from incontinence, the repeated wetting and drying of the skin can make the affected area more susceptible to damage. In an independent study1 at the University Hospitals Birmingham 87 percent of nurses surveyed found there was a skin-protecting effect with TENA Wash Cream. It also found the number of patients suffering from incontinence associated moisture lesions was reduced by over 70 percent through regular usage of TENA Wash Cream. Maintaining skin integrity is a challenge for all healthcare professionals working with older people. Ramsay and the team at Ozcare understand how much impact skin issues can have on residents’ wellbeing. Which is why high quality skincare is a priority.

As well as being the Head of Aged Care at Ozcare, responsible for 1,400 residents in 11 residential aged care facilities, Lanna Ramsay also cares for her 89-year-old father.

1. P.A Begg et al. Non-rinser skin cleansers: the way forward in preventing incontinence-related moisture lesions? Journal of Wound Care, May 2016; 25(5).

“My father has always had very sensitive skin and is prone to easy bruising. As he is quite active, he often gives himself small skin tears, and sometimes big. I have had him using TENA Wash Cream and Skin Lotion for about three years. Over that time, there has been a significant improvement in his skin and a decreased number of small skin tears,” explained Ramsay. In fact, Ramsay knew when her father wasn’t using TENA everyday as the tears started to occur again. Ozcare provide Residential Aged Care, Retirement Village, Community Nursing & Care, and Community Support Services to over 15,000 people across Queensland. Ramsay’s experience with TENA transferred to her work. “We trialled the TENA Skincare product at one facility and then mandated the use of the range about 24 months ago,” she explained. “At Ozcare, we use the TENA Barrier Cream, Shampoo and Shower, Skin Lotion, Wash Cream, Soft Wipes and Wet Wipes.”



MEET THE LATEST IN AGED CARE FLOOR CLEANING TECHNOLOGY Duplex Healthcare has launched its latest 3-in-1 floor scrubber into the Australian aged care market. Director of Duplex Healthcare, Murray McDonald, says the newly released Duplex Lithium is catered towards small to medium aged care facilities where traditional mops and vacuums may be used. “For aged care facilities, something more substantial than a mop and bucket is critical due to hygiene and cross contamination issues. The Duplex Lithium will get deep within the pores of a floor surface and lift out dirt and bacteria, rather than move it around,” Mr McDonald said. “This machine is designed to combine the flexibility of a floor mop with the mechanics of a commercial floor scrubber. It’s cordless, battery operated and will wash, scrub and dry all types of floors in a single pass. “Nowadays, aged care facilities are moving towards chemical-free cleaning and this new product requires no chemicals and minimal water use. “The Duplex Lithium is the latest generation in our Duplex Floor Scrubber range, which has been in the healthcare market for over 25 years. We saw a gap in the market for a more compact and battery operated version and we believe the Duplex Lithium will fulfil this need.”

For more information, visit P: 1800 622 770 E:

TOILET SEAT RESTORES DIGNITY AND SELF ESTEEM Available through The BIDET SHOP® is a special toilet seat that allows those that may suffer an issue with toileting a welcome solution. The Coway BA08 healthcare bidet toilet seat just replaces the existing toilet seat and usually installs in minutes. The Operation is so simple. With just the push of a button this bidet will provide a stream of warm water to clean thoroughly then warm air gently helps dry. Many studies have shown the Coway bidet seat reduces UTIs and other infections as well as being of great assistance for those suffering from dementia and their carers. The Coway bidet allows a person to toilet themselves thus relieving family members or carers from having to assist with this task, thus restoring dignity and self-esteem. The Coway health care bidet is approved by a majority of funding schemes.

Call one of the ot support staff at The BIDET SHOP® for more information how your client can benefit 1300 367 293


OSCAR 3CP is now SoupedUp Solutions We are excited to announce our energised re-brand, SoupedUp Solutions. Our new name and colours more closely represent our software and us as a company. SoupedUp – ‘to enhance or increase in appeal, power, performance’ It defines what we do, and what we help care facilities to achieve with their service offerings to their residents. Our team understands how important food is to everyone. We believe every meal is an opportunity to enrich a life, make someone’s day, and above all – nourish the soul. SoupedUp Catering software tackles the challenges of aged care catering headon by empowering aged care providers to create a better experience for their residents, and to boost their health and happiness. Plan, manage and deliver amazing catering services with over 1200 recipes, over 50 operational reports, and real-time meal selection; use our menus, or your own. We have many exciting changes coming to SoupedUp Catering, and new products in development, so be sure to sign up to our newsletter for all the updates.

For more information on SoupedUp Catering visit or call (03) 9543 4052.

Port Douglas



South Pacific Laundry specialises in the provision of quality linen and supplies for the aged care industry.

Armidale Coffs Harbour



SPL provides:






Warrnambool Geelong


South Pacific Laundry (SPL) has been a provider of commercial laundry and linen services to the hospitality industry in Melbourne for the last 20 years. Currently, the South Pacific Group is establishing a strong network of modern laundry across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia with plans for several more facilities up the East Coast of Australia in 2017. The relocation of our Sydney operations to a new larger facility in Bankstown together with the relocation of our Brunswick plant to Broadmeadows will establish South Pacific Laundry as the single largest privately owned laundry in Australia and in the Southern Hemisphere.

Contact Robert Teoh National PR & Marketing P: (03) 9388 5300 M: 0421 716 888 Coverage Australia wide

Pricing Information Contact supplier direct Delivery Free daily delivery within 25km city metropolitan areas Minimum Order Contact supplier direct

• A 365 day service to all its clientele with a 24 hour turnaround. • A leading edge technology in RFID to assist housekeeping and managerial staff in time reduction and efficiency. • Dedicated account managers and experienced support staff who are available 7 days a week. • A dedicated software design package and centralised billing system enables seamless transactions, paperless and customised reports. • Delivery rationalisation systems, providing and streamlining efficient delivery routes which will reduce the company’s carbon footprint. • Building of partnerships and sharing benefits with the customers from savings made through its constant laundry process innovations and group purchasing power of linen products. • Dry cleaning, Uniform cleaning services, Housekeeping services, Dust mat hire and Cleaning services. • Provision and supplying of Corporate uniforms/work wears and customised hotel room Amenities.

Full Contact Information South Pacific Laundry 9-23 King William St Broadmeadows VIC 3047 P: (03) 9388 5300 F: (03) 9387 2399

*Melbourne, Albury only