Hello Leaders - Summer - Autumn 2024

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SummerAutumn 2024 The Pioneer’s Journey: How Dr Caroline Lee made tech accessible for the care industry Technology • Finance • Governance • Staffing + more COVID-19 outbreaks rise and vaccination rates plummet amongst elderly in aged care by Gigi Roo Apr–Jun 2023 Technology • Finance • Governance • Workforce + more

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4 Attracting a younger generation of staff with new-age mediums

Human Resources

6 The wonder of aged care could be a surprising recruitment strategy

10 How multidisciplinary care results in better quality of life


13 Using decor to create a home away from home


16 Unlocking the power of 'moneyball' in aged care: A data-driven transformation

18 Big reputation, big reputation

19 Modern technology offers a new solution to malnutrition

22 The Pioneer’s Journey: How Dr Caroline Lee and her team made tech accessible for the care industry

24 A roadmap for technology: Need of the hour

26 Empowering excellence: The MyVista journey with QPS Benchmarking


29 Loneliness is both a state and a feeling

Design & Equipment

32 Person-centred approach key to long lasting care

34 Universal design is the principle for aged care

Legal & Compliance

38 We need more than a 15% pay rise to beat the 3 stigmas turning people off aged care jobs

40 The ‘Seismic Shift’ in aged care and how to navigate the 24/7 staffing mandate


43 An insider look at the importance of hospitality, food and the dining experience

46 From kitchen hand to peak body Board member: A journey to towards change

Government Regulation

48 In this changing landscape, what could the future of aged care look like?

50 Highlighting the role of InspectorGeneral for Aged Care

Human Interest

52 The march towards de-institutionalisation of residential aged care

56 Collaborate with peers to transform dementia care in your workplace

58 Events


Hello Leaders Summer/ Autumn 2024

Hello Leaders Summer/ Autumn 2024

Hello Leaders Summer/ Autumn 2024

Printed March 2024

Printed March 2024

Printed March 2024

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Hello Leaders sparks conversation and connection to ignite progress and innovation within the aged care industry.

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Attracting a younger generation of staff with new-age mediums

As our health and aged care sectors look at how to entice the next generation into these industries, one provider is tackling recruitment and retention a little differently with promising results.

The average age of a human services worker is getting younger, the use of social media is rising and innovative strategies are replacing traditional learning methods, so how do we connect with these younger workers?

Queensland-based People Leader at Infinite Aged Care, Rebecca Pacey, is pioneering the HR space in aged care, teaming up with marketing colleague Sarah Luckhardt and fellow People & Culture professional Georgia Harvey to produce the Honey, We Grew The Team podcast – a resource current and future care workers and managers can utilise to learn more about the job.

Acknowledging the need for more education among a cohort that is incredibly time-poor, the podcast platform offers “micro-training” in a more digestible, conversational and accessible form.

“We saw we needed to work on ‘micro-training’ and ‘micro-credentialing’, even at a leadership level, and we had to work out what we could do in 15–20 minutes that someone could listen to anywhere – in the car, for example,” Ms Pacey told hello leaders

“Younger managers, particularly these days, need to connect via different means. Traditional learning and practices don't really happen anymore and employees need to be able to access information online when they want, in their own time.”

Ms Pacey is also actively exploring the role popular social media platforms can play in education and how “gamifying” employee feedback strategies can add fun back into these often serious roles while also harvesting the right information you need to address employee needs and improve your policies.

Tradition versus innovation

Across the sector, there are perceptions and assumptions that managers automatically have leadership capabilities but without upskilling opportunities and training, that isn’t always the case. Similarly, the HR department isn’t always a group employees feel they can approach, even for those at a senior level.

The Honey, We Grew The Team podcast has helped fill those gaps.

“Some of our younger members have also said they now have the confidence to know and understand that it’s okay to make [...] it’s about encouraging everyone to communicate better and grow their skills,” Ms Pacey said.

“With traditional training, we put people in a room with a series of PowerPoints. Do they get the outcome from that and are able to apply it? If someone can take one thing away from what they’ve heard and relate it to something memorable, they’re perhaps more likely to apply.”


It is important organisations provide all platforms to engage staff and attempt to reach them at the level they’re at, not where you think they should be.

The role of TikTok

The Infinite Aged Care HR team has begun utilising TikTok for engagement and connectivity with the younger generation.

While still in its infancy, Ms Pacey wants to further investigate the role platforms like TikTok can play as an easy-access employee training and engagement tool.

While it is hard to stay on top of fast-paced trends, the organisation had a video go ‘viral’ earlier this year, garnering 400,000 – 500,000 views. This was aided by workers who are ‘influencers’ posting on the platform and encouraging views.

“What we’ve found is we have some employees who are influencers and post all the time,” Ms Pacey explained.

“They give such a fabulous representation of the fun that exists in aged care so we like to try and drive that as well in terms of changing the perspective of the industry and using TikTok as a platform to try and recruit people into the sector.”

Incentivising employee engagement surveys

Many providers struggle to get staff to participate in engagement or satisfaction surveys – either because they are too busy, they fear reparation or don’t feel like their feedback will change anything at their workplace.

After what Ms Pacey described as a “pretty dismal” employee engagement survey for 2022, Infinite Aged Care moved away from a generic survey platform and engaged CarePage’s thirdparty employee experience platform Happy Life Index which ensures confidentiality and anonymity.

Ms Pacey stressed the importance of HR departments having strong communication and an action plan to show employees that their feedback does not fall on deaf ears

Infinite Aged Care ran a six-week internal marketing campaign called ‘You Said, We Did’ in the leadup to 2023's survey to show staff what had been done with the results from 2022. As part of the campaign, they told employees, the

purpose of the survey and why it was important to hear their thoughts and insights.

“COVID changed the concept of connectivity and seeing a person for who they are a lot. I think some aged care organisations are still struggling with that,” Ms Pacey explained.

“We focus so much on the residents but you must match it with the attention to staff.”

Through their campaign, the HR team engaged management through ‘gamifying’ the strategy by offering prizes to reward staff. These rewards revolved mainly around improving staff rooms – one winning site used prize money to get an ice machine to keep drinks cool and another site used their winnings to put towards a massage chair for staff to utilise on break.

“Now, even operationally, we’re using gamification campaigns to incentivise teams with different focuses every month,” said Ms Pacey.

“This month, we’re asking, ‘Who has the best room display to show for tours’ and everyone has to up their game to place on the scoreboard. We’ve found our teams love that as it puts the fun back into their jobs.”

Outside of these campaigns, Infinite Aged Care runs key quarterly events that build connectivity with residents and staff and specific fun activity days for staff who participate in the engagement survey.

The organisation has since seen an increase in engagement, with 72% of the business responding to the survey.


The wonder of aged care could be a surprising recruitment strategy

The key factor in Australia’s care sector is the people who work in it. So why is it hard to give them the attention and focus they deserve? Why are we holding back?

In the last few years, we have seen a Royal Commission (resulting in 148 recommendations), a pandemic (where residential aged care was among the hardest hit), a barrage of reforms (30 just in the last financial year), an unprecedented workforce crisis and sustained financial pressures. In some ways, people in the sector are feeling battered and bruised, and that can be discouraging. It’s hard to be creative about building a workforce when there’s been so much to deal with.

[Source: Shutterstock]


There is much to be positive about: aged care workers’ wages are increasing, the Aged Care Taskforce is looking at reforms to improve funding and sustainability, and the new independent pricing authority will be reviewing the cost of quality care.

All of these will help when hope has been hard to see on the horizon.

What’s more, I think we have a secret weapon that perhaps we don’t talk about enough when it comes to attracting people into our sector – wonder.

That’s a word I use to describe the sense of real meaning and purpose that comes from working in this hard but profoundly beautiful space. We already have the most amazing people doing the most incredible jobs. Both my daughters now work as carers in disability, and I couldn’t be more proud.

I’m touched on a regular basis when I see the dedication of my team members, just like the home care worker who walked miles to see a client after a car breakdown or the residential team who set up a mock workplace for a retired office manager, now living with dementia. They are special people, doing one of the most important and rewarding jobs around. We need to share their stories so that the world knows how truly wonderful it is to serve those who have reached their last years.


Here’s an example. At a recent gathering of leaders at HammondCare, we heard an incredibly moving story about the most challenging of care situations, and its impact on both the patient and the care team.

It centred on a palliative patient we’ll call Jim. Jim was an older gentleman living with some severe mental health issues as well as dementia. On top of that, he had a fungating cancer on his face that had not only seen the removal of his nose, but covered his eyes and mouth and prevented him from eating easily. It was – to say the least – an incredibly confronting presentation.

Jim had previously lived in a care home with support from the NDIS but as his illness developed, he ended up in hospital, where he essentially stayed for 18 months. No one wanted him.

Care teams assessed him and shook their heads – his case was too complex, his needs too challenging, and his appearance and behaviour too confronting for other residents or patients, especially those living with dementia.

Our care team leader actually said to me, “If we don’t take this gentleman, he’s going to die in the hospital bed and that was the main reason we thought, ‘We have to take him.’ He is exactly the kind of gentleman we need to care for.”

Over the three months he had left to live, Jim’s life was transformed. Despite feeling nervous, and worrying about failing him, the team quickly built rapport and spent time in meaningful engagement with Jim. They discovered he loved gospel music, and the team would sing along while he listened. He even went outside in the garden and he agreed to have a shower – two of the things he’d mostly stopped doing - because they had built that trust and relationship with him.

Due to his appearance, Jim had arrived with his hands over his face, and he didn’t like people looking at or talking to him. When he passed away a few months later, he’d completely stopped doing that, and died holding a carer’s hand.

Afterwards, despite the challenges, the whole team said they would definitely care for someone like Jim again – it was so rewarding, and it made them proud of the impact they can have.

This is why our teams do what they do – and as leaders, we have to make sure they have the space and the opportunity to do it.

That’s something that has emerged from some HammondCare-led research published recently by The Gerontologist (the journal of the Gerontological Society of America).

Titled ‘Being Present and Meaningful Engagement for Aged Care Residents Living With Dementia: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Australian Care Worker’s Experiences’ and led by The Dementia Centre’s Professor John Swinton, the research found that the number one reason that care workers enjoyed their roles was the opportunity to “be present” with residents and meaningfully engage with them.

That’s it right there – wonder.

It’s powerful, and it’s what makes our teams tick. If we don’t allow them to experience it – because of barriers such as staff shortages, competing demands of the role, and time-pressure – we end up not only with poor care practices and resident outcomes, but with inevitable churn in our workforces.


If we are going to find and retain the number of people we need to maintain this kind of quality care, then we need to think outside the square.


We talk about an hourglass approach –attracting young workers by incentivising pathways into aged care and keeping workers longer who don’t want to retire.

At the younger end of the hourglass, there are scattered programs where high school students gain some form of experience to get them familiarised with the care sector.

We have hopes of seeing more schemes like this taking place all over Australia, with young people developing skills they’ll need for a great career in the aged care environment but also having their eyes open to the beauty and wonder of caring for older people.

But the older end of the hourglass faces serious hurdles.

Even though one in five retirees would consider re-entering the workforce — a valuable group of people with a lifetime of skills and experience — there are several barriers for them to negotiate. Apart from ageism and sometimes a need to upskill, especially digitally, the biggest ones are the pension and superannuation rules. There can be significant confusion regarding how much money pensioners can earn before they lose pension entitlements but, broadly speaking, for every dollar earned over the income threshold (which itself varies) a pensioner loses 50c of their fortnightly pension. With pension income also taxable, many question why they should bother working.

Working ‘too much’ over consecutive fortnights means the pension is quickly reduced, however reinstating the pension is never as quick. On top of this, medication subsidies can be lost, and partner pensions may also be reduced or lost.


One solution could be to exempt employment income completely for aged care workers (and other sectors that have a critical workforce shortage) from the Age Pension income test. This would mean that pensioners with limited wealth can work without losing their pension, and without a reporting burden (although taxation would still apply as normal).

It would be great if we could harness the wisdom, experience and empathy of our older workers who would still like to earn an income, and I think we should do everything we can to make it worth their while and this becomes even more important as the population ages.

We’ll all benefit one day from getting aged care right today – and what a wonder that will be.

Mike Baird is the former Premier of New South Wales and has made his way back into the aged care sector after a long hiatus.


How multidisciplinary care results in better quality of life

Our society is quick to pass laws against actions that can be harmful to life at the smallest degree, to create a positive environment for the community around us. But yet the benefits of healthy ageing and a positive social and psychological environment seem to be gaining less traction.

Our society and its governments desperately need to treat health and well-being as we age with a similar importance to cigarette smoking cessation.

The benefits of not smoking are now obvious to the population at large due to concerted publicity campaigns and an excise-based tax on tobacco products. The benefits of healthy ageing across the physical, social, psychological and environment domains identified by the World Health Organisation seem to be less obvious in the absence of such persuasion.

A healthy ageing approach can prevent and even reverse frailty, significantly compressing morbidity, helping to improve quality of life and reduce the need for sustained complex clinical care.

This is backed by the World Health Organisation’s Global Status Report on Physical Activity 2022, which states “older adults in particular benefit from regular physical activity to maintain physical, social and mental health, delay dementia, prevent falls, and realise the benefits of healthy ageing.”

A pathway to this is through earlier interventions of multidisciplinary care which at its core, is a collaborative approach between many different health professionals to deliver the best care for a client, or in the case of residential aged care, a resident. When it works, multidisciplinary aged care has huge benefits in all health domains and can reduce falls, injuries, loneliness, medication use and hospitalisations.

True multidisciplinary care is not just about providing high quality care that meets the medical and physical needs of aged care residents, but about improving their overall quality of life.

The Department of Health and Aged Care's own scoping study on best practice multidisciplinary models of care in residential aged care homes found quality of life, physical activity and mobility, mood, and activities of daily living were all improved through the inclusion of allied health in models of care.

Meanwhile, a review by Aged Care Research & Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA) found multidisciplinary care results in better rehabilitation, reablement and restorative care services outside of residential care. In these home or community-based settings, multidisciplinary care enables older adults to “maintain their independent activities of daily living, and improve memory, executive function, functional status and everyday problem solving” - all important facets that contribute to quality of life.

Involving the experts

In home-based reablement services, ARIIA found multidisciplinary care was often provided by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses. But why stop at three disciplines? Through experience we know that exercise


physiologists, dietitians, podiatrists, social workers and others should also be involved for a true overall health approach.

It is also important for a restorative care program to go beyond a person’s immediate physical needs and safety, to educate them about ongoing exercise routines, diet and lifestyle (including social) habits that will enable them to maintain their health beyond the life of the program.

Southern Cross Care’s Quality and Clinical Specialist, Dee-Anne Hull MPS, was recognised by her peers in July when she was named the 2023 Early Career Pharmacist of the Year at the PSA Symbion Excellence Awards. In her role, DeeAnne collaborates with a wide range of care and health professionals to support residents across our 17 residential care homes, where last year 97% of residents experienced good quality of life, as measured using World Health Organisation validated well-being indices.

Dee-Anne often tells me how much she loves working in a multi-disciplinary team because she knows that there is very seldomly one cure for anything, or one way to help a resident achieve their goals.

Put it this way, a football team has a range of professional players in the side to fill specific roles, as well as a team of professionals on the sideline to support them. You would not ask the assistant coaches to take to the field and play. You would not ask the coach to run out on the field with a whistle to umpire for a quarter, although supporters might argue they would do a better job in this instance!

In the same way, we do not expect a physiotherapist to provide advice on whether a client is taking the right medication in the right amounts, or making the best nutrition choices for their lifestyle, but this is still guidance that residents need to achieve a good quality of life. In the multidisciplinary care model the physiotherapist provides the expertise they have trained for and works with the other health professionals to deliver a holistic approach.

The physiotherapist, as well as each of the other professionals, can also provide the resident with advice on what they can continue to do to maintain their health and well-being, such as exercises to strengthen a particular muscle or prevent falls. Health education from the team gives residents and clients the tools to improve their quality of life and maintain their well-being

into the future. Ultimately for the resident or client it may fulfil something more holistically important such as being able to have a picnic with grandchildren or simply being able to go to the toilet by themselves.

As confirmed by ARIIA, the multidisciplinary model of care needs to be well-defined to work. Each professional needs to understand how they fit into this model and what their role is, so they can refer to a colleague when it is in the best interests of the resident. Without this understanding you risk having disjointed services that don’t deliver the care the person needs and may even negatively impact their quality of life.

Person-centred care and the impact of goals

To ensure the focus of every team member is on person-centred care, the resident and in many cases their family members, should be involved in setting goals. Meaningful goal-setting can help to set residents up for a better future and guide the professionals in how best to support that person.

It is vitally important to understand through appreciative enquiry techniques what life outcomes a person wants (e.g. prevent a move to residential aged care, enjoy a future holiday, make my own breakfast) as this will be a key to developing their health literacy and thereby motivation to commit to health rehabilitation and maintenance programs.

In order to achieve those meaningful goals and remain person-centred, the multidisciplinary team must conduct ongoing assessments with the client or resident so they can adjust their shared goals and set new ones. Regular case conferencing between multidisciplinary teams is essential to support this with ongoing input from residents and their families.

Healthy ageing or as we say at SCC, “Better for life” is the secret sauce to a healthy future less reliant on hospital wards, however it needs significant promotion and financial incentivisation (to individuals and organisations) by all governments to realise the future benefit for our society.

With over 20 years of executive management experience in retirement village living and aged care, David has also participated extensively with industry representative bodies Aged and Community Services and the Retirement Living Council of the Property Council.


Using decor to create a home away from home

Ada Cheng, CEO of the Australian Nursing Home Foundation (ANHF), is a strong advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse care for older people. The Huang Ying Jung Nursing Home at Gordon is one of four homes under the ANHF umbrella which focuses on culturally specific care tailored towards older people from Asian backgrounds.

As the number of older Australians from various ethnicities and cultural backgrounds continues to rise, the need for culturally aware aged care homes becomes paramount. Providing older people with culturally sensitive and inclusive care is essential for ensuring their well-being, maintaining dignity, and enhancing their overall quality of life.

“When we designed the new Huang Ying Jung Nursing Home at Gordon, we thought about how we [could] decorate the home to make it culturally fit for residents,” said Ada Cheng. “The physical environment had to be humanistic and ergonomic for older people and care workers but we also wanted it to be homely but suitable for workers to deliver care effectively.”

To make a home look beautiful you not only have to think about the architectural and building aspects of the space, but also about the intent behind the decor. Including intricate details like paintings, artefacts and ornaments brings out the charm in a place; it almost feels like you get an insight into the lives of the people behind the creation of the space too, fostering a sense of belonging.

The Huang Ying Jung Nursing Home conducted a very successful campaign soon after it was launched in 2023 called ‘Dressing up our new home with love and kindness’. This initiative encouraged people in the community to bring in beautiful ornaments and art pieces to decorate the home from eras familiar to older people for them to enjoy.

Ada explained as a result of this campaign, “Everyone who walks in can feel there’s something unique and special about this home – you can feel a sense of camaraderie, a feeling of friendliness, love and goodwill from the community. The kind donations of so many residents are what has helped build this awardwinning home.”

Common areas of the nursing home at Gordon decorated with intricate artefacts and ornaments. [Source: Supplied].

In May 2023, ANHF’s Huang Ying Jung Nursing Home won the Best Interior Design of The Year award at the 12th Eldercare Innovation Awards held at the World Ageing Festival in Singapore. It also was a finalist for the Care Suite of The Year and Dining Space of The Year awards. In October, the home also won gold in the Better Future Sydney Design Awards 2023.



Ada said if mainstream nursing homes do their due diligence and look around their communities, they will most certainly identify a high percentage of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people in the area.

“Community members of these cultural groups not only can be your potential customers or care workers, they can [also] be encouraged to bring in items to share with older people of similar cultural background or they can help the home organise cultural activities or events for everyone to enjoy.”

Aged care providers should also take the religious beliefs and practices of residents into account by providing spaces for prayer, facilitating access to religious leaders, and accommodating dietary requirements in accordance with religious customs.

Ada said their team at Gordon made a conscious effort to acknowledge these differences and have designed a small corner that acknowledges Buddhism, Christianity and Catholicism to stimulate residents’ cultural and spiritual observance.

Key points to approach diversity and cohabitation

Look at different demographic profiles: Some suburbs may have huge groups of CALD older people. Providers can then use this to their and the resident’s advantage by creating a cluster within the home that can help care for these potential residents.

Linguistic and Dietary Requirements: Work towards employing bilingual staff that speak the language and consult the community about food habits, activities and cultural celebrations that are important to those people.

Cross-cultural training: Provide cross-cultural training and set up policies and procedures

to ensure frontline staff and management are culturally competent in delivering care. Planning celebrations: Instead of always organising birthday parties, management can help organise different cultural events that offer variety and enjoyment. This also helps the staff feel purposeful rather than just focusing on their list of jobs.



“We believe a person’s cultural background and lived experience have a great impact on a person’s lifestyle and care needs and culturally appropriate care plays a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life. If we integrate a lot of cultural elements into care, it can really make a big difference.”

Bridging social gaps between residents, their families, and the care team can also help navigate cultural differences and ensure that the care provided aligns with the residents' cultural expectations.

Ada explained, “Carers commented that they felt respected because they felt being part of a big family. They said they’re so blessed that while they migrated here, they can share the same experiences with their clients of the same background. They appreciate a provider acknowledging the uniqueness and culture of residents and staff.”

Looking to the future, ANHF is looking at building a brand where their homes offer more than just care for older people. They are extremely focused on bridging aged care with innovation to create exciting new experiences no matter what stage of life you are at.

‘Dressing up our new home with love and kindness’ campaign at Huang Ying Jung Nursing Home. [Source: Supplied] .
Culturally diverse show pieces donated by the local community. [Source: Supplied]

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Scan me For Business EDITION 03 • 15

Unlocking the power of 'moneyball' in aged care: A data-driven transformation

The aged care sector is undergoing a significant shift where care minutes and funding are intrinsically linked, challenging conventional revenue-maximising methods from our past.

My journey through the tech industry, including a stint at IBM (SPSS) and collaboration with the Major League Baseball team Oakland Athletics, has provided me with invaluable insights. My involvement in the 'Moneyball' phenomenon, in baseball particularly, shaped my perspective on the aged care sector's transformation especially in light of the AN-ACC model introduced just a year ago.

The 'Moneyball' revolution in baseball, underpinned by empirical analysis of player performance, resonates deeply with the current situation in the aged care sector. Billy Beane's famous quote, "We need to change the way we think about the game," mirrors the imperative need for a paradigm shift in how we approach aged care in the era of AN-ACC.

To navigate this landscape successfully, a fundamental reorientation toward a datadriven approach is imperative, placing a strong emphasis on workforce management and ANACC metrics.

Adopting a 'Moneyball' approach involves restructuring business units typically operating in silos, fostering collaboration among admissions, rostering, and funding teams, and leveraging active Medicare care claim and “Off-claim” AN-

ACC data to craft informed business scenarios. This empowers providers to control AN-ACC outcomes and operational planning, steering the course of care delivery.

Let's delve into three critical AN-ACC metrics that are pivotal in this transformation:

1. AN-ACC Forecasted Assignments % (AFA):

The AFA metric, measuring the percentage of consumers with forecasted AN-ACC classifications at a service, allows for accurate prediction of care requirements. Aiming for an AFA close to 100% necessitates a 'Moneyball' approach that utilises data analytics to refine facility level scenario planning capabilities. Through empirical data analysis across services, providers can optimise resource allocation and care delivery.

2. Predicted vs. Achieved Rate % (PvAR):

The PvAR metric gauges the accuracy of a service's AN-ACC predictions in alignment with the outcomes assigned by Assessment Management Organisations (AMOs). A high PvAR signifies a facility’s ability to effectively align their AN-ACC classes with actual care needs. Committing to data-driven decision-making requires a high PvAR, enabling a confidence level percentage that can be applied to the modelling of forward-looking AN-ACC case mix scenarios with a high degree of accuracy, thus gaining control over AN-ACC.

3. Entitlement Efficiency Rate % (EER):

The EER measures the achieved margin on Government-funded care entitlements, showcasing the efficiency of financial resource management concerning direct care time.


Maximising the EER relies on a strong PvAR, costeffective roster delivery, and strategic resource allocation. It aims to deliver exceptional care within budgetary constraints.

In conclusion, 'Moneyball,' which transformed baseball, offers a guiding light for aged care within the context of the AN-ACC model. Embracing these new metrics and adopting a data-driven approach allows providers to take control of operations and compliance.

Just as 'Moneyball' revolutionised baseball and many other sporting codes, the aged care

sector now has the opportunity to reshape its landscape for the better. Leveraging the power of data analytics, fostering collaboration across business units, and aligning resources with care requirements ensures improved care quality, efficient workforce management, and financial prudence. Ultimately, this transformation benefits both providers and most importantly, the residents for whom care is being provided.

To find out how Mirus Australia can assist your organisation by visiting www.mirusaustralia. com and request a call back.


Big reputation, big reputation

As a sector, it is time we embrace reviews for their valuable insights and the opportunity they present to change the narrative and reputation of aged care.

Over recent years, aged care has suffered from a massive reputation crisis. As we look to the sector's future and rebuild the reputation of a sector close to every Australian's heart, the role of word of mouth and, in particular, online reviews should be the center of mind.

For years now, consumer groups, advocates, and aged care inquiries have highlighted the critical role independent insights and peer reviews have to play in the system's future.

So why is the sector still reluctant to welcome reviews and ratings?

The initial fear among providers was that reviews would "be bad for business." Perhaps the fear was also that public reviews would reveal experiences that weren’t favorable and might damage their reputation.

'My reputation's never been worse.'

In 2018, I wrote an article in which I said, "Research shows that 41% of Australians have a negative view of aged care."

That was before the Royal Commission aired the sector's failings, and long before COVID and that Daniel Andrews moment (permanently etched in the minds of everyone who works in aged) when he said of aged care, "I would not let my mum be in some of these places, I just wouldn't.'' With such a bad public reputation, it isn't surprising that aged care occupancy is at an alltime low.

Forward-thinking providers are embracing online reviews in the new world of aged care, understanding that reputation is built through transparency and insights into a provider collected through word of mouth.

They also understand the power of reviews to provide early warning and the opportunity to improve, acknowledge improvements,

and recourse a reputation to gain a competitive edge.

'The truth is, it's easier to ignore it, believe me.' Please don't confuse me for a digital evangelist when discussing online reviews. I firmly believe that we need information on aged care available in ways that are as accessible as possible for everyone. But often, in the sector, we focus so intensely on accessibility and offline sources of information that we can sometimes forget about the online world.

The truth is, it is easier to ignore. Monitoring online reviews across platforms is highly time-consuming. Responding to each review, even more so. But we do so to our businesses' detriment if we ignore online reviews. Consumer reviews matter a lot.

Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising study found 88% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know above all other forms of marketing messaging.

And before you say - "but ahh, aged care is different," - they also found one of the top industries where consumers see reviews as most important is Healthcare.

"Today is never too late to be brand new." Embracing consumer feedback, in all its forms, is an essential driver of innovation and continuous improvement. If you're ready, CarePage's online reviews aggregator can help you save hours monitoring Google and other aged care websites to give you a clear line of sight over your reputation and free up valuable resources to address and respond to reviews.

Janine Yeates, General Manager CarePage

Modern technology offers a new solution to malnutrition

Over the last couple of years, Australia has been facing one of its toughest times when it comes to staffing in the care industry. Insufficient staffing levels and inadequate training of staff in aged care facilities has unfortunately resulted in suboptimal care for residents.

Budget constraints can affect the quality and variety of meals provided in aged care facilities. The quality and quantity of food being served is then also impacted. with the average resident requiring at least 30 grams of protein each main meal, those requirements obviously change per person and are typically tracked and monitored by staff.

But unfortunately, tracking food consumption can be complex and difficult to achieve when the right systems or processes are not in place. Not paying attention to food wastage, serving cold and unappetising food or not responding to changes in a resident’s health status can all contribute to malnutrition.

Meet Meal Vision. This world-first AI-enabled solution is making a difference in peoples’ lives by combatting malnutrition in residential aged

care. Developed by global food and support services company Compass Group Australia, together with Deloitte and AerVision, the program’s development was spurred on by the growing risk of severe malnutrition within the aged care sector.

This is where innovative programs play a critical role in improving resident care and reducing malnutrition rates, explained Lea Cornelius, Chief Information Officer at Compass Group Australia.

“The data provides accurate insights about the nutritional value consumed by residents, as well as early detection of malnutrition or changed eating behaviours. The information assists staff and clinicians by informing and optimising personalised care plans. Over time, the data will strengthen and identify individual and collective trends,” Ms Cornelius said.

Detecting early warning signs

The risk of malnutrition is often spotted once a resident starts to lose weight, which is a sign that they have been missing out on important nutrients for some time. Incorporating AI technology enables far better early detection.

In this instance, each plate is personalised with an RFID tag. Each plate is placed onto a scanner prior to and after eating and it will measure the food loss to determine how much has been eaten. The data is fed into an AI platform which analyses consumption over time, providing accurate data for staff to respond to.

“Modern technology [...] is a game-changer. It can provide clinicians with information and accurate insights to inform decisions. We’re also witnessing how critical it is to extend this information to family members, with

Some aged care facilities may struggle to provide meals that are both nutritious and appealing to residents. [Source: Shutterstock]

the enhanced visibility enabling trust in the care provided to a patient,” added Michael Foenander, General Manager of Senior Living at Compass Group Australia.

Personalising nutrition

By analysing consumption patterns, it’s possible to map out what foods residents do and do not like, even when they may not verbally share that information. With past studies indicating roughly two-thirds of aged care residents are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, it’s essential to take advantage of tools that can tailor meals to individual preferences and health needs. Real-time data provided by plate scanning and AI analysis also removes any human bias or misinterpretation.

Workforce support

Lastly, you cannot ignore the workforce implications of AI. Artificial intelligence is

intended to assist and support staff by removing or reducing the burden of manual administrative tasks. This is achieved through quick analysis and easy access to timely, accurate information.

James Triggs, Director Data and AI at Deloitte Australia, said AI will positively impact the care staff provide, resulting in a far more holistic approach to reducing and preventing malnutrition in aged care.

“Generative AI can expertly transcribe and summarise consultations, analyse and identify trends, and can also assist in roles as vital as triaging patients. Saving time and energy for all involved and ensuring a greater level of accuracy, documentation, structure and data analysis,” Mr Triggs said.

“This will free up healthcare professionals for more holistic, higher quality care.”

Staff often lack the knowledge or time to address the nutritional needs of older people, leading to malnutrition. [Source: Shutterstock]

The Pioneer’s Journey: How Dr Caroline Lee and her team made tech accessible for the care industry

Dr Caroline Lee remembers a time when the typical nurse’s desk had over 60 folders filled with assessments and care plans, and putting everything together required hours of extra work.

It was the early 90s, and the Nursing Homes Act had been released a few years ago. The founder and CEO of digital solutions company, Leecare Solutions, was helping aged care homes train staff in the new standards and put documentation systems in place. Homes were struggling with the overwhelming workload, which included writing up care plans in the newer style.

“At that time, information was siloed into different areas around the unit. Sometimes before an accreditation visit, documents would go missing.

Seeing the stress of the staff trying to rewrite what they had spent months working on made me think, ‘this is enough’. Accountants on another floor no longer had paper invoices or general ledgers. Why not the same for nurses?”

Dr Lee said.

“It became obvious that without software, all of the work we were trying to do with the sector wasn’t helping. Nurses needed somewhere central where documentation wouldn’t be lost, and everything was connected.”

Pioneering technology in aged care

As timing would have it, Dr Lee was in the perfect position to develop a workable IT solution for the aged care industry, starting with support for residential care. After studying Applied Physics at RMIT, Dr Lee had changed careers and became a Registered Nurse specialising in gerontology. “My whole family were nurses, including my 92-yearold father, who was one of the first trained male nurses in Australia,” she said.

Dr Lee was inspired by how nursing could change people’s lives, but she quickly realised how complex the profession was, especially in the aged care sector. Nurses and care workers dealt with multiple aspects of a person, from treating chronic diseases to wound care, continence programs, mental healthcare and behaviour management strategies. They needed an integrated software solution, but the only package available at that time was a care planning program that didn’t connect care plans directly with assessments. Respected Director of Nursing friends, Maree Cameron and Christine Unferdorben provided ideas re the quality requirements of a software system that also guided our development direction.

Dr Lee first created a care plan template to help clients start the IT journey, then reached

Dr Caroline Lee, Chief Executive Officer Leecare

out to a friend from her science days involved in software development and started working with Damien and Tony. In 1999, they launched Leecare’s very first software solution, which Dr Lee funded herself. Setting up aged care homes on the new system was slow, hard work. “I did the installations physically with disks into people’s servers, while Tony did the developing,” Dr Lee said.

“Homes we worked with trusted us, and adopted software before anyone else in the sector. We grew by word of mouth, but it wasn’t easy. We introduced tablet solutions in 2001, and only two clients took it up. We realised we needed to wait for the public to be familiar with the technology before the sector recognised its usefulness. In aged and community/home care, there isn’t always the time to adopt something new, as they’re busy with residents or clients.”

Riding the digital tidal wave

Things began to change in 2006, following widespread IT adoption across Australia’s workforce. To drive efficiency and better compliance with accreditation requirements, the Australian Government started encouraging aged care providers to adopt digital technology. Leecare won a major contract, employed more staff, and grew from 70 customers to around 250. By 2012, approximately half of residential aged care beds in Australia was managed by electronic record systems, and one of the major electronic record providers was Leecare. But the team never strayed from its regulatory focus, or from its connection with frontline staff. “We created configurable systems. Each month, we provided a new release and listened to feedback, so they had something that works for them,” Dr Lee said.

“We haven’t strayed from that model because if we don’t build something that will be adopted by staff, then what’s the point? If it doesn’t save people time, then we’re not helping.”

The future of aged care IT

Today, Leecare is based in four countries and has a team of 60 from different disciplines, including 10 healthcare professionals. Its leading aged care software platform, the Platinum 6 suite, is an intuitive solution that integrates all care related functions, medication administration, compliance, HR, operational systems and finance management in one centralised location. They now support organisations providing community and home care support, disability support services, young care as well as residential aged care.

According to Dr Lee, the future is bright for aged and home/community care IT. App technology is driving deeper connections – not just between

staff and residents or clients, but also with family or loved ones. And over the last year, Leecare worked extensively with the medical and pharmacy industry on its e-prescribing journey, creating an integrated system that delivers efficiencies for all.

Technology has also helped meet the urgent needs of an aged care workforce that is increasingly under pressure. “We’re helping care teams quickly access information about the person they are supporting,” Dr Lee said. “They can look at a screen and read a person’s entire care plan and history, help them approach that person in a respectful way.”

As for the big issue on everyone’s minds, artificial intelligence in healthcare, Dr Lee urges caution.

“AI can be helpful in supporting routines such as delivering meals, or using business intelligence more powerfully to better inform decision making,” she said.

But what AI can’t yet deliver is perceptiveness into the lived experience of an individual person. “A human being is very diverse and complex. AI can’t make decisions from a medical, emotional and psychological perspective. You need systems that listen to people, not just make assumptions then judgements. We can’t lose the person in the AI world”.

While the days of manual installations and floppy disks have been replaced by cloud technology, Dr Lee is determined not to lose sight of Leecare’s main priority: creating solutions that actually work for the care workforce.

“For our customers, their focus is the resident or client they support. They need technology that can produce information in an easy to consume format, that comes from everyday data,” she said. “That’s why we concentrate on our mission to simply help our customers be the best they can be, so residents or clients can experience the best possible quality of life.”

The Leecare team [Source: Supplied]


A roadmap for technology: Need of the hour

Are we there yet? Has the aged care industry reached a level of digital maturity that meets the needs of a contemporary high quality and sustainable sector?

In 2016, Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) recognised the need for further research to enhance understanding of the role of technological disruption and innovation in the aged care industry. I was part of the industry voluntary effort to create an evidence-based sector specific Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia published in 2017. This was the starting point in the development of a range of evidence and benchmarking which ACIITC has undertaken, and this has contributed to the understanding of the level of digital maturity in the aged and community care industry, but also the gaps in utilisation of technology, and the uptake of innovation, along with the level of investment required.

The ACIITC Technology Roadmap was designed to complement the Government of the day’s Aged Care Roadmap which was developed by the then Aged Care Sector Committee to provide

a strategic roadmap for the next five to ten years of developments in the sector. However, this initial roadmap did not address the critical role that technology, and the uptake of innovation, would have in the future of provision of higher quality, more reliable, and innovative services, and support for older people.

Developing the ACIITC Technology Roadmap was a timely and important undertaking raising the possibilities along with the challenges that could be realised from a more digitally mature aged and community care sector. The Technology Roadmap was structured around five key destinations:

Technology-enabled operational, business and communication systems

Technology-enhanced care and support for older people

Technology-enhanced information and access to care

Technology-enhanced assessment of eligibility and changing needs

A technology-literate and enabled workforce

A plan of action was framed against the Short Term (1-2 years), Medium Term (3-5 years), and Long Term (5-7 years) which mirrored the timeframe applied in the Government’s Aged Care Roadmap.

Six years after the Technology Roadmap was released another aged care roadmap has been released, this time by the Department of Health and Aged Care – the Aged Care Reform Roadmap, which summarises the key reforms being pursued by the Government and the sector between 2023 and mid-2025. While it focuses on the key recommendations that the Royal Commission in Aged Care Quality

Anne Livingstone, Executive for the ACIITC


and Safety (Royal Commission) tabled, again some would argue that this Roadmap lacks a robust filter that acknowledges today’s complex digital environment.

One of the key issues identified by the ACIITC 2017 Technology Roadmap was the failure of the sector to integrate technology as a core feature of aged and community care, rather than an after-thought, or as an ad hoc add-on. A growing number of aged and community care organisations are cognisant of the importance that technology has in enhancing care, and as a necessity for underpinning data collection and analysis, along with improving the effectiveness and efficiency of operational systems, however, need guidance and investment to achieve essential digital maturity.

ACIITC projects, including the Capabilities in Aged and Community Care Readiness: An Evaluation of Innovation & Technology (CARE-IT) (2020), Residential Aged Care Facilities Use of Clinical Care Software (2023), National Aged and Community Care Digital Maturity Benchmarking (November 2023), and National Data Standardisation Projects currently have all lead to a clear understanding of the current state, its complexities, and what any new industry engaged Technology Roadmap needs to include. In these investigations and benchmarking it has been identified that the sector critically needs leadership, and massive investment, to adequately embed the potential that quality digital systems can have in providing higher quality care and support. We have identified key areas where funding models and workforce design need to change radically, and where guiding standards, policies and new funding models are critically needed.

The Royal Commission had responded to the ACIITC Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia with a number of specific recommendations into its final report (2021) as well as a separate report focused on ICT infrastructure for aged care (2020).1

The Commission’s response identified five major deficiencies within the aged care sector and Australian Government, arising from:

Disconnected business processes

Lack of data collection and sharing

Poor interoperability

Obsolete technology

A fundamental lack of standardisation (Royal Commission 2020: 4)

The five major recommendations have a strong focus on improving the interface between the aged care and health care sectors, including by providing for interoperability between both to support efficient data collection and data sharing. They also acknowledged the need for the aged care sector to build its investment in technology and ICT systems infrastructure, and in assistive and smart technologies that will enhance care provision.

The Commission’s recommendations do reflect some of the vision and directions set by the earlier Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia (ACIITC: 2017). In particular, the identification of the following issues under Destination 1, Technology-enabled systems:

The need for interoperability, open standards, and common platforms

Underdeveloped sector technology readiness

Fragmented capacity building and a failure to embed technology in aged care

The need for national data exchange and readiness for electronic data usage

The need for Aged Care B2B and B2G Interfaces in order to create an open ecosystem of secure data exchange

However, many industry commenters, along with contemporary research evidence, recognise that there is a range of other critical areas requiring focus and attention to achieve a minimal level of digital maturity industry wide. So how far have we got since the handing down of the Royal Commissions 2021 report, and are we there yet in achieving a digitally mature and capable sector?

My observation is that, whilst we need to build basic sector capability and capacity, we have a long way to go. Not only to fully achieve improvements in the essential areas that both the Royal Commission and the ACIITC Roadmap have identified, but also in addressing the real danger of missing out on the potential that new and emerging technologies could have in the provision of higher quality and person-centred care. My hope is that the current Government will answer the call to properly invest in this.

Anne Livingstone has over 40 years in aged and community care service delivery and systems reform as well as extensive experience in service design for special needs groups in community settings.

Quality &
Strategy and Architecture Review Report, prepared by The Architecture Practice, 23 November 2020 EDITION 03 • 25 TECHNOLOGY HELLOLEADERS.COM.AU
Royal Commission into Aged Care
Safety (2020) ICT

Empowering excellence: The MyVista journey with QPS Benchmarking

In the evolving landscape of healthcare, where data-driven decisions are the cornerstone of operational excellence and quality improvement, QPS Benchmarking emerges as a beacon of innovation and reliability.

For over three decades, it has been an indispensable ally for healthcare providers navigating the complexities of person-based care and operational efficiency. Central to QPS Benchmarking's narrative of success is its partnership with MyVista, as shared by Irene Mooney, the Chief Executive Officer of this Perthbased aged care provider.

Introducing MyVista: A beacon of care and innovation

MyVista has established itself as a pillar of the community, dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to older people. Under the stewardship of Irene Mooney, a seasoned professional with over 24 years in the aged care sector, MyVista has embarked on significant growth trajectories, including a major $68 million development project. This expansion not only doubled its size but also underscored its commitment to enhancing service offerings and setting new benchmarks in aged care.

Three decades of expertise, a legacy of trust

QPS Benchmarking, known for its innovative and data-driven benchmarking solutions, has built a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness, aiding healthcare organisations in their continuous improvement journey. "Our collaboration with QPS Benchmarking has been a game-changer," said Irene. "Their benchmarking solutions have provided us with critical insights, enabling us to identify areas for improvement and achieve excellence in personal care."

With a clinical background, mainly in senior executive roles, and a master's in leadership and management, Irene’s leadership has been pivotal for MyVista. Under her guidance, MyVista has seen significant growth, while at the same time committing to elevating the quality of individual care to new heights.

The strategic edge of data-driven solutions

QPS Benchmarking’s services offer more than just data; they provide strategic insights driving operational efficiency and financial outcomes. She praises the versatility of QPS Benchmarking’s software, essential for its compliance with stringent regulations and its user-friendly interface. "The software allows managers at all levels to utilise data in their quality meetings and enhancing our operational efficiency by empowering our staff to make informed decisions," Irene elaborated. Her extensive experience in not-for-profit and rural healthcare settings has imbued her with a deep understanding of the sector's unique challenges and opportunities, further enriching the partnership between MyVista and QPS Benchmarking.

Irene also highlights the strategic benefits of QPS Benchmarking's solutions for MyVista's governance and compliance processes. She explains how corporate reports generated from QPS play a crucial role in board meetings, offering a comprehensive overview of the organisation's direction and performance. "These reports are instrumental for our board, providing insights into our progress and


helping to navigate through the complexities introduced by Government reforms," said Irene. Furthermore, the precision and reliability of data, especially regarding mandatory quality indicators, ensure that MyVista meets regulatory requirements while maintaining high standards of care. "The ability to cleanse data before Government submissions not only streamlines our compliance efforts but also empowers our team with accurate and actionable information," she added.

Innovation at the core

What sets QPS Benchmarking apart is its commitment to innovation and excellence. Its software development team is constantly adapting to industry changes and technological advancements. Irene underscores the importance of this innovative spirit, stating, "Their commitment to driving efficiency and understanding from the floor to the boardroom has been pivotal in helping us achieve measurable improvements in our quality of care."

A partnership that speaks volumes

The partnership exemplifies the transformative power of benchmarking in aged care. She shares how QPS Benchmarking’s auditing techniques and comprehensive reports have streamlined MyVista's compliance and quality improvement processes. "The beauty of QPS Benchmarking lies in their dedication to the industry. Their teams are not just about providing data; they enhance our understanding of our performance, driving efficiency at every level of operation," she said.

Her active role in the aged care community, including her involvement with various boards and her efforts to advocate for quality and improvement in the sector aligns perfectly with QPS Benchmarking's mission. Her insights not only illuminate the specific benefits MyVista has gained from this partnership but also highlight her broader impact on the industry.

Irene commended QPS Benchmarking's evolution and its commitment to the industry, highlighting their dedication to ensuring data is not only validated and cleansed but also measurable and meaningful. "Watching QPS grow and develop has been fantastic. Their strongest asset is their willingness to work closely with the industry to guarantee that the data we rely on is accurate and actionable," she reflected.

Looking to the future

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the strategic partnership between QPS Benchmarking and MyVista underlines the critical role of data-driven benchmarking solutions in the future of aged care. With a legacy of trust and a commitment to innovation, QPS Benchmarking stands ready to support healthcare leaders like Irene in their quest for excellence.

"In a sector demanding constant improvement, QPS Benchmarking has been our trusted guide, navigating us through the complexities of healthcare benchmarking with innovative solutions and deep industry expertise," concludes Irene. Her leadership and vision for MyVista, coupled with QPS Benchmarking's expertise, promise to continue setting the standard for excellence in the aged care sector.


Loneliness is both a state and a feeling

Mental health is at the top of everyone’s care strategies post COVID-19 pandemic and has shown us how crucial it is to have well trained and educated staff, especially when it comes to dealing with the intangible aspects of a resident’s life.

Recently I was presenting at a loneliness event, when an audience member posed a question that I believe resonates with many providers and caregivers in aged care: despite efforts to engage in social activities, why do interactions often remain superficial, confined to pleasantries, and fail to foster deeper connections? This question reflects a pervasive experience of feeling alone even amid a crowd for a growing number of older Australians.

The reluctance to unveil one's true self in social settings can be attributed to many factors, especially for those in the minority regarding identity, culture, belief, ability, or lifestyle. We live in an era marked by polarisation. People are often reluctant to reveal perceived vulnerability. Research has shown that over 80% of Australians prefer to disclose a mental illness rather than admit to loneliness.

For diverse older Australians, these challenges are compounded by intersectionality, communication barriers, cognitive decline, homelessness, isolation, and neurodivergent experiences.


Despite the notion that we experience increased happiness after the age of 70, ageing demands us to navigate many transitions, losses, and separations, testing one's mortality, financial stability, and emotional resilience.

Acknowledging the diversity among older people is crucial to offer true support. Diversity

is recognised in the draft revised Aged Care Quality Standards, defining diversity as: ‘encompassing various needs, characteristics, and life experiences, including social, cultural, linguistic, religious, spiritual, psychological, medical, or care needs, as well as diverse gender and sexuality identities. (DOH, Revised Aged Care Quality Standards 2023).

With the heightened awareness of identity and belonging, emotional well-being emerges as a cornerstone for aged care transformation in Australia. Creating environments where our older Australians can feel genuinely at ease and at home is imperative, and loneliness poses a significant risk to achieving this goal.

Loneliness, both as a state and a feeling, can be intensified by external factors and exacerbated by mental health issues, past trauma or even the built environment. Many older people as recipients of aged care have a stoic attitude to hardship, coupled with feelings of shame and embarrassment, that in turn contribute to the hidden nature of loneliness. And for those living at home, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians over 65 are increasingly likely to live alone, and living alone is one of the common causes of social isolation. And loneliness is painful. "It entails immense emotional suffering. However, some people think


we are talking about solitude. Solitude is often a chosen circumstance and one that we associate with pleasant time for oneself. Yet, loneliness is not positive ‘me-time’ or ‘self-care’,’ (Neves, B, 2022).

But recognising that not all loneliness is alike is also important. Different types and reasons exist, necessitating an understanding of contemplative aloneness across faiths and cultures, changes in mobility or sensory abilities, and the ability to identify and differentiate social, emotional, and existential loneliness.

Aged care staff can help by identifying what is important and fulfilling for everyone through conversation, relationship-building, and a willingness to listen and learn. This awareness becomes even more profound when staff reflect on their own sources of fulfillment and connection.


For those who work in aged care, it is important to know how to have conversations about the circumstances and situations that might lead to loneliness for every individual in their care.

As our colleague, Jacquie Molloy points out: It can be difficult for people to honestly answer the direct questions of "how are you feeling?" and "are you lonely?" especially absent of a trusted relationship. (This applies both to staff as well as the older people they care for.)

It is even more difficult, without support and preparation, to know how to recognise and respond appropriately – and without patronising someone, especially if that person is not someone who is used to yielding or who does not even understand that the discomfort or distress they are feeling is a type of loneliness. For example, emotional loneliness can be experienced as a lack of connectedness to what is most important (which might not even be about being with other people) whereas existential loneliness is not so much about a lack of connectedness but rather being in a state of separateness from others and the world, including the natural world and a sense of creativity and wonder.

It is only social loneliness that is about a lack of human-to-human connections. But if social loneliness is due to the lack of a particular type

of person, then no amount of social interaction would satisfy that which is not there. An example of this might be for a Buddhist who has a strong personal faith and practice but who no longer belongs to a sangha and feels this lack of connection. Unless you know and perceive this you would not easily recognise it.

It is important therefore for staff to be able to identify what is most important and fulfilling to someone. One of the important ways to do this is through conversation and relationship and a willingness to listen and learn.

Even better if staff can reflect on what is important for them and their own fulfilment and connection. If we are to truly respect our diverse sector and be wholly inclusive then we must include in our efforts both older people and the staff who care for them.

In the words of Rev John Swinton, a research consultant with Meaningful Ageing Australia and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen: "In order to feel that we belong, people need to affirm us, to notice us and to offer the gifts of time and friendship".

As a timely coincidence, the World Health Organisation took a significant step by launching a commission aimed at fostering social connections, further underscoring the global importance of addressing loneliness.

Rachael Wass has a solid foundation in Health Sales Account Management spanning over 25 years. She is a carer and spiritual practitioner and her passions include learning about indigenous culture, meditation and philosophy, pilgrimages and the power of song.

Australians over 65 are increasingly likely to live alone.
[Source: Shutterstock]

Planning for Diversity training series

Who’s missing from your aged care services?

Our free training helps aged care providers to differentiate, address barriers for those who would like to access their services, and demonstrates commitment to Aged Care Quality Standards.

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Who’s missing? “

Person-centred approach key to long lasting care

The aged care sector is facing some of its biggest challenges experts have ever seen. But with a sector-wide staff shortage, how do providers keep up with the demand for high quality care?

Signature Care is a significant contributor of new aged care buildings for the residential aged care facilities sector, delivering around four new homes a year, approximately 600 beds per annum or over 3,500 beds over the past 15 years.

Until recently locations for new homes were mandated by the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR), but since this process has been disbanded, the selection of new sites has been limited and uncertainty over funding models have limited new investment in the sector. Without the security of Refundable Accommodation Deposits (RAD) or Daily Accommodation Payments (DAP) security, it is hard to justify private capital to new ventures.

Over the past 12 months, all of Signature Care’s new ventures have had massive waiting lists with all homes filling between six and nine. Without the mandated ACAR I wonder how many new regional homes are now likely to be built, as capital is likely to be attracted to metropolitan locations where security of RAD inflow matches the capital cost of construction.

The Final Report Aged Care Design Principles, by the Department Health and Aged Care, highlighted the following principles:

Enabling a person to cultivate a home

Access outdoors

Connect with community

The report focused on many things including small households with domestic kitchens, with no prescriptive definition of what this means. Given the requirement of reporting of care hours and minutes under ANN-ACC this presents a potential conflict of working within the small home model.

To create a safe household environment I am not sure that I would want care staff going from resident care to participating in food production. There are some notable comments in particular “outdoor access” and comfortable temperature and airflow considerations that have become even more important since COVID-19.

IT was hardly featured in the design principles, but it is such an important part of every design we create, including CCTV, resident monitoring, access points, and new AI predictive technology to minimise falls.

Governments need to encourage investment in different care models and enable the timely development of new buildings in areas where homes are needed for baby boomers turning 80+. RACF can assist in the hospital discharge process for older persons, who may need physiotherapy, or short term sub acute care, but not immediate long term care.

Whilst everyone would like to be cared for at home, the reality is the cost of organising staff with sufficient training, being available at times of need including overnight, weekend and public holidays is outside the means of most people to afford even with the highest care package available.

Graeme Croft is a veteran in the aged care sector with over 38 years of experience as a self starter, entrepreneur and owner operator of various aged care facilities throughout Melbourne.

Graeme Croft, Executive Director of Signature Care Pty Ltd

Dementia Design School

Better Spaces, Better Lives.

What will the new aged care design requirements mean for you?

Developed to guide capital works for both refurbishments and new builds, the Draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines will be introduced on 1 July 2024.

The Dementia Design School can help you get ahead of these changes and create better spaces for the people in your care.

With the opportunity to see the principles in practice in one of our purpose-built dementia cottages, the intensive two-day course will help you make more informed decisions.

You can register for the Miranda, NSW school on 13-14 March or find a school near you.

Find out more

Scan the QR Code or visit


EDITION 03 • 33

Universal design is the principle for aged care

While the Government and authors should be commended on the Final report on the development of the draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines, we need to go much further if Australia is to meet its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and achieve a truly inclusive society. That goal requires what is known as Universal Design.

Watch one episode of the BBC’s Grand Designs and you could be forgiven for never building anything, ever again. Kevin McCloud’s carefully timed questions never fail to make the owner builders - who have willingly subjected themselves not only to the project but prime time scrutiny - shake, vacillate, equivocate. Honestly, why would you?

Well, many do. And we are all better off for the innovation and courage their bravery or folly teaches us, and the legacy of the home as a unique addition to the streetscape or evolution of architectural design and practice.

In September 2023, the Australian Government released its Final report on the development of the draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines, which is a key recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission.

The purpose is to help guide aged care providers and architects when building or renovating facilities. It is practical, easy to interpret and apply, and should support achievement of a consistent quality of building form and experience. Importantly, it provides a reference for providers commissioning architects or builders (for new builds or modifications) and for families to assess the mindset, effort, and realised space of the provider.

Ellis Jones has been conducting research for aged care providers and older persons advocacy organisations since 2006. The

consistent themes through successive studies are a deep desire for life to change as little as possible, with continuing contact with family and community, access to green space and creative pursuits, independence in choosing what to do and when, and personalisation of spaces. This is consistent with the report’s four design principles of: enable the person; cultivate a home; access to outdoors; and, connect with community.

The great potential of Universal Design

As Dr Jane Bringolf, Chair, Centre for Universal Design Australia, said, Universal Design is "design for everyone, everywhere, all the time". In an aged care setting, it considers not only residents, but the workforce, health and care partners,

Rhod Ellis-Jones, Managing Director, Ellis Jones

and visitors. At its foundation is the premise of inclusivity, not accessibility.

Inclusivity is a philosophy, mindset, and practice through which places, activities and communication are experienced equally by every person. Afterall, to be included and to belong, is a basic human need.

Universal Design is a design philosophy that ensures that products, buildings, environments, programs, services, and experiences are innately accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their age, level of ability, cultural background, or any other differentiating factors. It has its origins in the work of American architect and disability advocate, Ronald Mace, in the 1970s.

Applying Universal Design in practice

In aged care, Universal Design can help in many important areas:

Place identity and placemaking: co-designing aged care homes and shared spaces that represent the social identity of a community, and considers the relationship of places to the belonging, purpose, self-worth, and identity of inhabitants

Organisation and service strategies: placing inclusivity at the heart of decision-making, and leadership behaviours

Building design: human-centred, participatory design of buildings that welcome all people

Service design: Designing with users and health sector partners to achieve universality

People and culture: establishing inclusive workplace and resident culture, and designing jobs, systems, process, and technology

Communication: welcoming language, accessible content, and digital and physical experiences that are experienced equally Brand differentiation: inclusivity expressed through brand strategy and activation to achieve competitive differentiation and advantage

Universal Design extends from residential to inhome care services. Once aware of the meaning and principles, workers see opportunities to improve client outcomes by adapting their homes and changing the language and approach to client engagement.

Learnings from important projects

In 2023, I had the privilege to work on two important design projects: service and enterprise design for veteran aged care provider, Vasey RSL Care; and, for Paralympics Australia, a Universal Design Guide for sports organisations.

Here are some key learnings: Australians are proud of their egalitarian values. People connect by expressing common values, giving fully to the design process, and gaining reward from the exercise. Volunteers are generous with their time, and advocate for outcomes

A key barrier to getting started is a lack of confidence talking to people and communities that are unfamiliar. Naturally, there is a fear of saying and doing the wrong thing. This is easily overcome with basic (and readily available) training

There is a pervasive belief that accessibility, in building and internet standards, is enough, when it is only a minimum requirement and misses the opportunity for innovation

Universal Design is an opportunity and benefits everyone. When you invite diverse people into a design process, you get diverse perspectives. That means learning new ways of thinking and doing things, which leads to new ideas and outcomes. Australians are diverse, and Universal Design considers that diversity – not just people with disability, but people from different ages, cultural backgrounds, genders, and many other identities. For example, a wheelchair ramp installed at an aged care home doesn’t only benefit people in wheelchairs, but also tradespeople with gear, delivery people with trolleys, and parents with prams

Redesigning jobs for people with disability significantly broadens the talent pool, addressing critical labour shortages while also demonstrating inclusivity

Inviting health and social care representatives, as well as people with lived experience, into the design process enriches the dialogue, produces valuable insights, and establishes the basis for ongoing partnerships in a community of practice

Adapting buildings can be expensive, disruptive and take time. It is often viewed as a necessary cost, rather than an exercise in service and experience innovation,


and cultural change, that accrues to the brand and bottom line. Reframing for financial, social, and environmental impacts accurately defines and evaluates building adaptation projects and opens a range of value creating opportunities before, through the project, and ongoing Achieving inclusivity is a journey. Setting expectations that change is participatory and takes time creates the space for learning, experimentation, and improvement Start with the inclusive mindset

The best way to get your team started, is to establish an inclusive mindset, generating momentum and commitment to applying Universal Design principles.

An inclusive mindset is about making sure diverse perspectives are heard, understood, and applied; and, decisions are reached collaboratively.

People with an inclusive mindset are curious, kind, aware, and open-minded. They are comfortable asking questions, listening to answers, and working within a diverse team. They have self-awareness that their views, and the way they see the world, may not necessarily be shared by everyone else. And that’s a positive thing; it’s a chance to grow.

An inclusive mindset means using inclusive language: words and phrases that avoid biases, slang, and expressions that discriminate against groups of people based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, and ability.

Like other behaviours, an inclusive mindset is developed over time. The important thing is to get started and practice it. Be comfortable "learning while doing" because, if you use inclusive language, people will always forgive any mistakes and help you on the way.

Start every meeting and every task with the question: "How might we be inclusive".

Needs and aspirations

In the introductory pages of the Australian Government’s report, the authors share a consistent theme of their research has been "a home reflects people’s needs and aspirations". In my family, that theme has been expressed and repeated by my grandfather and mother who both became increasingly fixated on designing a new home well into their twilight years. Although perplexing to their concerned family members (who never want to renovate again), it clearly represented a chance to produce a home that perfectly matched their needs and aspirations, and an expression of their identity.

Participatory co-design of aged care applying Universal Design principles and goals enables older people to express themselves, aware to the constraints of an aged care setting. Innovation happens within constraints. Often, we are happy with seeing incremental change, and clever solutions, that don’t cost the Earth.

Kevin McCloud has said, “Every decently-made object, from a house to a lamp post to a bridge, spoon or egg cup, is not just a piece of 'stuff' but a physical embodiment of human energy, testimony to the magical ability of our species to take raw materials and turn them into things of use, value and beauty. I don’t look at what people do with their homes in terms of money, but the social and personal value of what they’re trying to do and achieve.”

That’s why people keep signing up to Grand Designs. It’s who we are. And it is the great opportunity Universal Design presents for aged care.

Rhod Ellis-Jones facilitates participatory research, human centred service and experience design, and enterprise strategy to the aged care sector. Please visit www. ellisjones.com.au for more information.

Universal Design can extend from residential to in-home care services. [Source: Shutterstock]

We need more than a 15% pay rise to beat the 3 stigmas turning people off aged care jobs

Higher wages was a key recommendation of the aged care Royal Commission. But how much money is enough to compensate for the stigma associated with aged care work?

The University of Queensland

Aged care workers will see their award wages increase by 15% at the end of this month. It’s recognition that their work has been undervalued, and that something needs to be done to solve the looming critical shortage of aged care workers as the population ages.

Our research shows that aged care work is burdened by three types of stigma – physical, social and moral.

Physical stigma refers to work performed under particularly dangerous conditions, or being exposed to dirt, bodily fluids and death. Examples of jobs with high physical stigma include firefighting, working with sewage and being an undertaker. Social stigma is associated with work seen as low-status, because it involves being in a servile relationship and working with people belonging to marginalised groups – in this case, older people.

Moral stigma involves work that is viewed as deceptive or unethical. Examples include used car salespeople and loan sharks. Our findings point to a moral stigma around aged care work, which is reinforced by media coverage of elder abuse and neglect.

All three stigmas put aged care work in a select group of maligned occupations. Higher wages may ameliorate some of these stigmas, but more will be needed to address them all.

Physical, social and moral stigmas

Our research is based on surveying 159 health professionals who do not currently work in aged care about their perceptions of the sector and the work.

Many occupations are stigmatised. For example, being a miner carries a high physical stigma, a welfare worker a social stigma, and a real estate agent a moral stigma.

Some occupations have two strong stigmas, such as being a prison guard (physical and social stigma), being in the military (physical and moral stigma), or being a debt collector (social and moral stigma). The following graph

Reports of abuse and neglect have contributed to a moral stigma of aged care work. [Source: Shutterstock]

shows how US researchers Blake Ashforth and Glen Kreiner categorised different occupations in their 2014 study, “Dirty work and dirtier work: Differences in countering physical, social and moral stigma”.

Our research shows that aged care work carries the burden of all three stigmas.

How can higher wages help?

Attracting more people to aged care work requires challenging all three of these stigmas. The question is to what extent higher wages can do this.

It’s generally the case that higher pay means higher occupational prestige.

Higher pay can’t reduce physical stigma, but it can compensate for it – just as high salaries compensate people willing to do mining work. It can certainly help to diminish the social stigma, by signalling that society values this work more than it has done in the past. But the relatively small wage increase will not overcome the fact that society puts greater value on occupations that focus on “curing” rather than “caring”.

Higher pay may reduce the moral stigma, but only if other royal commission recommendations regarding better training and management are also implemented. The cases of abuse and neglect highlighted in media stories aren’t just about “bad apples”, but broader systemic issues such as staffing ratios and time allocated to direct care.

More fundamentally, the stigmatisation of aged care work reflects a structural deficiency of the economy, which fails to celebrate and remunerate caring work.

The Federal Government has taken a number of steps to address this, including giving the Fair Work Commission greater powers to address systemic low payment of female-dominated work, and expanding the potential for multienterprise enterprise bargaining.

But much more will need to be done before all care work is valued the way it needs to be.

Asmita Manchha is employed as a Research Fellow in the Bolton Clarke Research Institute. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence.

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The ‘Seismic Shift’ in aged care and how to navigate the 24/7 staffing mandate

The road to compliance with the 24/7 staffing laws may be challenging, but by adopting staffing flexibility and optimising rosters, providers can not only meet the legal requirements but also ensure the well-being of aged care residents and the sustainability of their facilities.

Aged care providers will need to adopt a multifaceted approach to staffing and training which involves targeted rostering to deal with the Federal Government’s new 24/7 nursing requirements which has forced the closure of at least 16 facilities across Australia.

The new laws have created a “seismic shift” in the industry which now needs to adapt to new ways of working, while simultaneously dealing with the ongoing issue of attracting and retaining workers.

The transition to round-the-clock staffing has been demanding and it now requires effective, and sustainable, solutions to ensure compliance and the continued delivery of high-quality care to residents.

Aged care providers need to embrace staffing flexibility, incorporating a mix of permanent staff, casual workers, and part-time employees to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

This blend of workforce segments not only meets the 24/7 mandate but also offers the agility required to manage varying care needs.

Under the new laws, from July 1, 2023, approved providers of residential care or flexible care provided to care recipients in a residential facility, must have at least one Registered Nurse on site and on duty, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

It's been reported that the number of aged care homes that have closed in Australia has been

on the rise in recent years. In the past 15 months, there have been at least 16 closures impacting around 350 beds.

What we’re seeing is that, on average, one aged care facility closes its doors every month because of the demands of the new laws.

The only way to deal with this is to adapt as efficiently as possible.

There are several key strategies that could help providers meet the new requirements, while maintaining high levels of care. These include: Roster Optimisation: Efficient rostering practices are essential to address the demands of the 24/7 staffing laws. Providers should predict peak hours and resident

Cameron Fancourt, Group Director, Zonda Group

activity, identify potential coverage gaps, and leverage rostering software to streamline the scheduling process Technology Integration: Aged care facilities can benefit from the integration of technology, such as workforce management tools, to aid in optimising staffing levels and schedules. Modern solutions can help in creating balanced rosters aligned with the new staffing regulations

Training and Upskilling: Investing in training and upskilling programs for staff is crucial to ensure that they can handle the demands of 24/7 care. This includes education on mental health support and specialised care for residents

Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Aged care providers should actively collaborate with industry stakeholders, workforce management experts, and Government agencies to share best practices and strategies for meeting the staffing laws. Collective knowledge sharing can help the sector adapt and thrive in this

The real key to all this is the role of rostering optimisation. Efficient rostering is a linchpin in achieving compliance.

Predictive rostering aligns staff resources with resident activity and care demands, contributing to the welfare of residents and regulatory compliance.

The road to compliance with the 24/7 staffing laws may be challenging, but by adopting staffing flexibility and optimising rosters, providers can not only meet the legal requirements but also ensure the well-being of aged care residents and the sustainability of their facilities.

With over 26 years of entrepreneurship in the Hospitality, Wellness, Fitness, Retail, Beauty and Service sectors, Cameron specialises in providing strategic direction and leadership to the organisations he works with.

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An insider look at the importance of hospitality, food and the dining experience

One of life’s basic human pleasures is food; the smell of a freshly cookedw meal, the taste of a delightfully sweet dessert, or the captivating presentation of a new dish. These pleasures should not be forgotten as we age and it’s essential to provide all that, and more, for residents.

Food and hospitality play an important yet sometimes underappreciated role in aged care. Yet the satisfaction of a good meal, pleasant dining experience and constructive relationship between residents, chefs and kitchen staff is intrinsic to a quality aged care experience. Its impact is further supported by the Government’s focus on food and nutrition (Standard 6) in the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards. The Food and Nutrition Standard urges providers to engage with older people about what and how they like to eat and drink with choice essential.

Creating a positive dining room culture is challenging, though, and experience is often essential as it helps aged care staff adopt a more flexible and person-centred approach. Stuart Walton, Baptist Care’s Hotel Services Manager, told hello leaders that the first step to strengthening the dining experience is engaging with residents.

“We want these dining rooms to feel like a home and getting the residents involved is going to help you understand exactly what they're looking for. Engagement with residents allows your staff to get to know who they are,” explained Mr Walton.

“The dining room also provides an opportunity to socialise. Table settings should look inviting so the residents look forward to spending time there. It is not just about food, it's about loneliness.

“With staff engagement you want their service and interactions with residents to feel homely as well. You don't want care staff or employees delivering food with rubber gloves making it feel like there's a clinical setting.”

and socialise. [Source: Shutterstock]

The dining experience is closely linked to what occurs behind the scenes, in the kitchen, as well. There, one of the top concerns can be food wastage, particularly when it comes to residents not eating all of their meals.

This is a complex topic for Mr Walton as he acknowledges that there are numerous factors influencing why food wastage occurs. On one hand, it can be kitchen overproduction, while on the other it’s teams not properly monitoring and reacting to the amount of food residents are eating.

“You need to be monitoring waste. In most aged care homes there are various choices for lunch and dinner so you must know what you’re

A positive dining experience encourages residents to eat more

ordering and providing. If there’s leftover food you need to be looking at it and readjusting your ordering levels to match what the consumers want out of those choices,” said Mr Walton.

“On the other side of the coin, there's nutritional compliance. We have something called plate counts which is based on certain weights for proteins and vegetables. We never want to compromise plate counts unless the clinical information system tells us to reduce portions.

“So if we were to look at wastage, if you provided the correct plate count and a resident wasn't eating all their food - especially if it starts to become a pattern - then we need to engage with that resident.”

He recommended discreetly talking to residents about why they aren't eating all their meals as it may be due to mouth ulcers, poorly fitting dentures or loss of appetite. A chef can typically initiate the conversation before escalating it to a nurse or clinician if necessary.

Eye-catching food presentation

If table settings are one way to entice residents into the dining room, the food presentation has to be on another level. Meals should match up to how the menu describes them, just like any quality restaurant, and they

should never lose quality or appeal because of dietary requirements.

Texture-modified foods are an essential consideration in aged care. Approximately onethird of residents consume texture-modified foods so their diets will be influenced by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) Framework.

Mr Walton said the transition from a normal diet to a puree diet can be difficult enough for residents, so presentation and the integrity of food are paramount to a successful dining experience.

“A few years ago we did a course with Maggie Beer and Amanda Orchard [Chef, Maggie Beer Foundation] and we loved the concept [of rethinking texture-modified foods] and the piping she was doing. We adopted that concept,” he explained.

“With some older processes of using ice cream scoops to serve food or buy already moulded food, if you heat that food too much, it collapses and doesn’t look very appealing. When that comes out the resident has already decided whether it looks good or not and that may deter them from eating all of it.


“We use a 6D reduction and cook at lower temperatures to hold an inner core temperature and gain a better product at the end. When the food comes to the residents it looks appealing, it’s colourful, they can identify the protein and they’re more likely to eat it.”

A team approach to success

If food presentation is one solution to prompting residents to eat more of their meals, what else can kitchen and hospitality staff do to reduce food wastage? There are a few approaches to help both in the kitchen and throughout the residential care setting:

Spot checks to see if there’s less wastage in rubbish bins are always helpful as you can physically check how many leftovers are piling up

If overproduction is a concern, electronic systems that provide full recipe

Dipesh, chef at BaptistCare Macquarie Park, conducts a TMF piping technique workshop. [Source: Supplied]

requirements will help align orders with production requirements

Meanwhile, checking the temperature of food is important when complying with food safety, but monitoring the temperature during transportation is also essential Food that is transported to dining rooms or private bedrooms can cool down, compromising flavours and changing textures and putting off residents

The impact of technology is not limited to planning and production as resident surveys and data analysis can positively influence future menus

Spot checks and quality checks are both essential, said Mr Walton, and they’re everyday steps that can make all the difference in a seamless dining experience from production to clean-up.

“We're checking that the food is hot enough and if it’s not then we find another solution. Say you were taking ten meals out to residents eating in their rooms, you may change the frequency to five people at a time to keep them warmer,” explained Mr Walton.

“If it’s sitting in the dining room it’s cooling down as well and you may have a resident who eats slowly and you never want to rush them. But if the food’s going cold you could take out half a portion to them and then bring out the other half once they're finished and it’s still warm. You're going to encourage people to enjoy their food and see less plate wastage.”

Technology’s influence in the kitchen is also increasing and hospitality will be one of the next sectors to experience a digital transformation. Many processes have already gone paperless, or are currently transitioning from paper to digital, including food safety programs and product management.

This digital growth will further enable staff to support resident choice. For example, employees can better monitor what foods certain residents cannot eat, easily adapting recipes to cater to allergens and intolerances. Clinical systems are also better ingrained in food and nutrition processes with real-time data set to be a game changer.

“Technology plays a big part and it's definitely going to help reduce food wastage. Once you start using technology properly, such as capturing information for recipes, you can go

into a system and change the quantities and modify things much easier than on paper,” added Mr Walton.

Ultimately, most if not all of these processes involve staff and resident interaction. Staff are instrumental in identifying issues and finding solutions and increasing their knowledge will increase positive food and nutrition outcomes.

Active involvement in everyday processes will enable staff to learn and grow, as does fostering a positive food experience culture. Educate and highlight the implications of not supporting residents with their dining experience

“I think everybody should know the processes, and to me, the more your staff know about processes, the better the processes are going to work. Culture plays a part in that,” said Mr Walton. “When you have a food safety program and educate people properly, tell them the

Approximately one-third of residents consume texture-modified foods, and so, presentation and quality are essential to promote consumption.

[Source: Supplied]

implications of not following it they will get on board and you don't have to police the program because people believe in what you're doing. Involving the staff means you’re going to get better results.”


From kitchen hand to peak body Board member: A journey towards change

From a brief stint working in the kitchen to becoming a board member of a peak body in the industry, Daniel Aitchison has forged a successful aged care career.

In the fast and overly competitive world we live in today, it’s hard to find many people who are passionate about looking after the older generation and giving their time to those who looked after us. Is this innate personality trait becoming a rarity? If we take a hard look at the current staffing shortages in the industry, it sure feels like it is. For Daniel, his interest in aged care grew at home.

“I was very close to my grandparents in my younger years and that time I spent with them is imprinted in my childhood memories,” he said. “I just guess it was that inherent sort of thing inside you wanting to look after other people in some way shape or form.” His journey into the aged care sector started at the young age of 18 when he was first offered a job in the kitchen of an aged care facility in Queensland. His interest in understanding the ins and outs of the care sector peaked at the time which led him to pursue a career in nursing.

“I entered nursing school straight away and after the three-year course, I didn’t waste any time. As soon as I received my registration, I started working as a Registered Nurse (RN) the very next day in the same aged care facility.”

“I worked there as a nurse in the cardiac medical ward and in the Emergency Department on the organ transplant retrieval team for about two years,” Daniel adds.

He eventually made the switch from the hospital wards into aged care homes, “For me, it was ultimately all about the people that we work with and the people that we look after and I found that it was very fulfilling to have that kind of environment where you're surrounding yourself with different people and you're building those people skills," he said.

Daniel has a long history of working in aged care and health services across Australia. He joined Palm Lake Care after having served in leadership roles for Anglicare Southern Queensland, TriCare and AnglicareSA. In 2018, Daniel joined AnglicareSA in the role of Executive Manager, Aged Care Services, while in 2021 he was recruited to the role of Chief Executive for Clayton Church Homes – a provider of aged care services across South Australia.

Although Daniel has moved onward and upward in the caregiving industry, he still holds his nursing registration and has never forgotten his roots. “It's been a good journey, and I wouldn't see myself working in any other sector.”

Stepping up at ACCPA

Daniel’s influence extends beyond operational roles; he was a founding board member of ACCPA (Aged and Community Care Providers Association), instrumental in the merging of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) to establish the sector’s new peak body.

Daniel Aitchison. (Source: Supplied)

Over the years the peak body has worked towards enhancing the well-being of older Australians through a high-performing, trusted and sustainable aged care sector. This support has been important during the most recent period of change, with the sector experiencing COVID-19, care minutes and staffing mandates, funding changes and ongoing reform.

This sector has understandably gone through one of its toughest periods, and according to Daniel, now more than ever, it will rely on the ACCPA to seek answers. With the new Aged Care Act coming into play, everyone has their eyes and ears open.

“I think the aim of the board will continue to build all of those tools to help support a strong and sustainable aged care sector into the future,” said Daniel.

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ACCPA’s core values are to advocate and Daniel with his nan, who was a respite resident at one of their Aged Care Communities. [Source: Supplied]

In this changing landscape, what could the future of aged care look like?

Australia’s aged care sector is undertaking “transformational change”, with “unapologetic

All in the sector agree change is needed, however a focused approach may lead to sustainable improvement, limit further closures of homes and slow the departures of quality aged care workers.

The Department of Health and Aged Care published its reform agenda, the most recent version (2.0) outlines 61 Aged Care Changes from October 2022 to December 2024, which is 26 changes per year. The pace of change is coming at a financial cost in an already strained sector, as well as personal cost to many in the sector who have, since the announcement of the Royal Commission in 2018, been operating at unsustainably high levels. The financial cost associated with implementing the changes are significant and with over half of the industry making a loss meeting the change agenda will lead to more providers failing financially. Many also question with so much change being implemented in quick succession how do we know what is and is not working?

Funding increases whilst significant, have mostly benefited care workers, and passed through providers hands. The increase to workers pay is well earned and supported by the sector, however what was declared as fully funded has not been. The increase in leave liability from July 1 2023, is to be 50% funded. With the grant opened in December, funds will make their way to providers well into 2024 and providers will continue to cover the additional cost for all leave taken from July 1. Payroll tax for private providers, which varies by state up to 6% of wage cost, has not been covered in the work value case


increases. The December increase in AN-ACC to cover the 5.75% Fairwork increase is greatly beneficial, however received six months after the additional costs have been incurred.

Pass through grant funding such as the retention bonus and Registered Nurse (RN) incentives whilst providing support to valued team members has come at a cost to providers. Oncosts were not funded, and there was an expectation providers passed on the funds to their teams prior to receipt of funding which arrived many months later. The use of grant funding to address shortfalls has been welcomed by industry but has also come at expense to providers. Most grants need additional staff to complete the applications and then respond to, in some cases a great many queries and further details often after the changes to grant rules following application.


Much change has occurred on the fringes of the sector. Significant funds have been allocated to the regulator, consultants for such programs as the Governing for Reform initiative, as well as consulting to assist with grant funding scrutiny. Consulting support for the regulator was recently shown to be in some cases below the accepted standard. In total the Department of Health and Aged Care spent around $84 Million dollars on consultants during the 2022-2023 financial year! The Royal Commission demanded transparency and the sector is now providing significant amounts of data daily, monthly, quarterly and

annually in a variety of formats to a variety of departments and the regulator. The benefit of the provision of data is yet to be seen. Reporting of improvements to care outcomes and benefits to residents and care recipients, particularly, quality of life, would be the single best benchmark to improve the sector’s reputation. Whilst quality of life metrics are difficult to measure and benchmark, this should warrant prioritisation and would be supported by industry. The significant increase in reporting and transparency seems to be one-way, with the department particularly seemingly holding their cards close to their chest whilst the sector tries to guess both their agenda and the detail of upcoming change.

Clarity is critical for the successful implementation of change. Care minutes are a great example of where interpretation and classification seem varied across providers. New governance requirements another change where cost has been incurred to interpret the new requirements. With new standards and a new Act on the horizon these costs will escalate as we try to understand and interpret what the changes practically mean. Having implemented

new standards 2019, we are aware of the associated cost and complexity, coupled with a new Aged Care Act, more than likely requiring legal interpretation the costs will be significant. Whilst the sector sprints to keep pace with the significant change agenda it would seem from both departmental webinars and the constant communication of system outages and errors the Department and the Regulator are understandably also struggling to keep pace. Changes to reporting, funding, regulation, governance, and assessment have all had issue. The system remains complex, with a great many different environments which often seem to duplicate data requiring providers to enter the same data numerous times in numerous systems. Whilst the complexity and size of the systems mean resolution will take time, from a provider’s perspective, it would be appreciated if timelines were extended to those providing care. So, what does all this mean? There appears to be a consensus amongst many providers that the combination of the change agenda, a workforce that is feeling underappreciated and overworked, and significant under investment, shortages are inevitable. Hospital beds are already being used to accommodate older Australians in most states. The ultimate issue is that older people will not be provided with the care they need as supply will be exhausted. Most workers in the sector want to provide great care to clients, and to be acknowledged for doing just that. No one will be happy when hospital beds are the last resort for those who can’t find appropriate aged care.

We have as an industry, those who we care for, those who care, the Department, the Regulator and Government all managed our way through extremely challenging times. Whilst perfection is not achievable, and we have each made mistakes and missteps, the intent of all continues to be one of genuine care and compassion. Whilst many believe we have passed the point where shortages are avoidable, we owe it to all older Australians to find solutions to the problems that seem obvious to most. Tim has over 20 years of health experience including 17 years within aged care. Prior to Homestyle Tim was CEO of Provider Assist, a large, aged care consulting service. Tim recently stood down as Chairman of the board of directors for the Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer after 12 years as a director.

Clarity is critical for the successful implementation of change. [Source: Shutterstock]

Highlighting the role of Inspector-General for Aged Care

The Inspector-General will look for things that are sub-optimal in the aged care system - that might be “acceptable practice” but it could be a whole lot better for the older people who need and use aged care.

The creation of an independent InspectorGeneral of Aged Care was a key recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission. The Royal Commission believed it was important to continue to “shine a light” on the aged care system - which the Royal Commission itself had done - to make aged care more transparent and accountable, including to provide regular reports on the implementation of Royal Commission recommendations.

The Commission’s recommendation became a reality when the Office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care (OIGAC) became an independent statutory agency of the Commonwealth Government on October 16, 2023, following the proclamation of the Inspector General of Aged Care Act, which passed Federal Parliament in August 2023.

From late January 2023, I had been the Interim Inspector-General, supported by the Interim Office. For that period we were legally a branch of the Department of Health and Aged Care, located in the Corporate Services group of the Department, separate from the Ageing and Aged Care Group but still legally subject to Departmental and Ministerial direction and without any special powers.

Since October 16, the OIGAC is a separate Government agency, no longer part of the Department, and not subject to direction by Ministers as to what we do and how to go about our role and functions. The Inspector-

General and OIGAC oversight the whole aged care system:

How well our aged care laws and regulations work, or not

How they are implemented by bodies like the Department, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, and the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority

How well aged care processes and systems work

Oversee if funded services and programs are achieving their purposes

How complaints management processes are working across the aged care system

To annually report on implementation of Royal Commission recommendations and periodically review how this is going

The Act gives the Inspector-General and OIGAC significant powers. These include compulsory information gathering powers if needed to obtain any relevant information; to interview officials and other relevant people; to require responses to formal recommendations and include those in our reports; and to report to Parliament through the Minister, who must table our reports in both Houses within a certain period.



We will monitor what is happening in the aged care system through a wide variety of channels, namely through the regular provision of information by the Department and the Quality and Safety Commission; through consultation with older people and their families, with aged care providers and the aged care workforce, with stakeholder peak bodies; and through monitoring of media of all forms and levels.

We will undertake formal Reviews of matters of concern that fall within our functions. These will be comprehensive ‘deep dives’ into an issue or area or any matter decided by the Inspector General. The process to be followed for Reviews is set out in the Act. Reviews will result in a draft report for consideration and response from relevant officials or other people, then a final report to the Minister for tabling in parliament and publication on the OIGAC website.

We have already announced that our first Review, to be undertaken in the first half of this year, will be into the administration of My Aged Care. It will examine whether My Aged Care is fit for purpose in facilitating access to aged care services for older people regardless of their level of ability, cultural background, or language. My Aged Care is the entry point to all government funded aged care and its essential that it work well for older people who need timely and appropriate support and care.

Over coming months we will also be preparing a major report (as required by the Act) on the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, including a status report on all 148 recommendation as at December 31, 2023 and findings on the degree and quality of progress in key areas, including access by older people needing support and care to those services.

As the Interim Office we already prepared and provided to the Government in July 2023, an initial Progress Report on Royal Commission recommendations which can be found on the Health & Aged Care website.

We can also decide to provide reports on any other matters that fall within our specified functions, which could cover any of the aspects of the system to which I outlined above. At the moment a number of possibilities suggested by stakeholders are under consideration.

The Inspector-General will certainly be alert to shortfalls and failures in the aged care system, particularly those which are persistent and/ or pervasive. And, we also want to identify, promote and recommend ways to encourage and replicate innovation, excellence and best practice. It exists but it should be the norm, and we need to develop ways to make that the case.

In this process we want people in the sector to engage with us, to suggest matters we could focus upon and provide us with your experience and knowledge about what’s wrong and what’s right. You can contact us by email at contact@igac.gov.au or by mail to Office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care, PO Box 350, Woden ACT 2606.

For more information please visit the OIGAC website at www.igac.gov.au.

Ian Yates is the Acting Inspector-General of Aged Care in the Australian Government. Prior to becoming Interim Inspector-General Ian was Chief Executive of Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, the national peak consumer body for older Australians. Ian was a Director of Livable Housing Australia and the Aged Rights Advocacy Service. He remains the Chair of the Management Committee of the Australasian Journal on Ageing.

Ian Yates, Acting Inspector-General of aged care

The march towards de-institutionalisation of residential aged care

With a proliferation of community based small scale models across the globe, is it time that Australia started to invest more freely in these alternate models of care and stopped looking internally for inspiration?

The status quo

While we are seeing an increase in aged care “innovation” funding, grants and research in Australia aimed at improving the standards of aged care through organisations such as Aged Care Industry and Innovation Australia (ARIIA) and the Department of Health & Aged Care, the limitation that this funding is only available to current approved providers is seen as an impediment to achieving the necessary movement away from instructional thinking and only serves to introduce innovation within the confines of an institutional paradigm.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s recent reform conference in Melbourne, which was an ‘invitation only’ event and which precluded attendance by anyone not an approved provider, further adds to the insular thinking of the sector, including the regulator, and is seen by many as a direct attempt to limit dissenting thought and open discussion.

The argument against communitybased care

For decades there has been an argument that older Australians need a clinically based service model that can only be delivered in an institutional setting. A major criticism of historical aged care accreditation reforms has been that it has moved residential aged care further away from an integrated social model of care and created a pseudo sub-acute medical model that sits outside of the mainstream health system, is removed from the community and is neither equipped, staffed nor funded to provide this

level of specialist care. More recent reforms have reinforced this thinking, including the introduction of mandatory 24/7 Registered Nurses, when many experts agree that this is an unnecessary step, is unachievable in the current workforce crisis climate and has come at the expense of other valuable nursing designations such as Enrolled Nurses and a raft of allied health professionals.

Community integrated residential aged care – shattering the myth

Many within my network have followed the story of Community Home Australia and their guest, Garry, who is in many ways the perfect demonstration of what can be achieved outside of institutional aged care. This is his powerful story.

Garry was a resident of a mainstream residential aged care facility and had lived there for approximately nine months. During this time, his family had become increasingly concerned about his deteriorating functional status and sought alternate avenues for care.

Due to Garry’s primary diagnosis of Younger Onset Dementia, he was eligible for funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and although this was available to the aged care provider, they chose for whatever reason, not to access it. The result was that Garry


received the basic minimum standard of care and services that are prescribed by the current legislation. Nothing more and nothing less.

At the time of his transfer to Kambera House, Garry was 67 years old. He had been diagnosed with Younger Onset Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, both of which had been sub optimally managed. He was unable to be mobile, required the assistance of four staff to stand up, was unable to feed himself, was doubly incontinent and was unable to speak. He had not received appropriate Physiotherapy or Speech Therapy during his stay in aged care. His medications, which included the ‘do not crush’ Sinemet, were being crushed simply because it was deemed too difficult and time consuming for staff to get him to swallow his medication. He presented in a pseudo catatonic state with a flat affect and depressed appearance.

Garry joining us at Kambera House in 2021– his nursing home medical record photo supplied by his residential aged care provider

After comprehensive review by his new medical team, gerontological nurses, speech pathologist, dietitian, occupational therapist, pharmacist and physiotherapist, Garry was provided with an individualised program that included nutritional support, interventions to improve independence and function, a new medication regime and daily exercises to improve mobility. This program was delivered by our specially trained dementia care companions coordinated by a Registered Nurse, all completed in the community and without acute care hospital intervention.

tasks, his level of continence improved. It is noted that this was all undertaken during the COVID pandemic.

Six months later

The program of support encapsulated by the Community Home Model encourages a relationship approach that enables the guest, their loved ones and the support team to build a meaningful connection that surpasses the delivery of clinical care. The team is empowered and encouraged to love, show love and share in the beauty of their guests’ lives. Families become an integral part of the support program and work together with our team to develop and implement highly individualised programs of support.

Five weeks after the commencement of this program, Garry was able to stand with the assistance of one team member and had begun mobilising with the use of a walking frame. His speech was returning, and his affect improved dramatically. With assistance to complete toileting

Over the next 12 months, Garry continued to improve and was able to mobilise throughout the house independently using his frame and also outside with only supervision and monitoring. He resumed his community-based life, participating in community events and engaging socially with others at Club Kalina, a community embedded day program for people living with younger onset dementia and cognitive disability.

9 months later

Even as his health continued to decline, Garry enjoyed a range of pursuits and activities and remained an active participant in life.

Despite the obvious success of Garry’s reintegration into his community, for the final six months of his life, he faced ever increasing pressure to return him to institutional aged care based solely on his age and the increasing level of support he required. There was no consideration whether his care needs could be met in the community, or where he wanted to be, only that “mainstream aged care services were a more appropriate option”. Garry, his family, and his care team disagreed with this conclusion.

Garry 5 weeks later

Garry passed away in Kambera House, surrounded by his family and loved ones in November 2023. His end-of-life care, which included the use of multiple syringe drivers and intensive clinical support was delivered in consultation with the specialist palliative care team at Clare Holland House by our Registered Nurses and their amazing companion team at Kambera House. His family were an ever-present part of his life and actively involved in every step of his journey. Yes, this level of care comes at a cost, but what value do we attach to the well-being and life of a human being? The support that the NDIS refused to fund was covered by Community Home Australia and our philanthropic partners.


The transition from traditional institutional aged care towards deinstitutionalisation represents a fundamental shift in the way society approaches the needs of older adults. It requires a movement away from institutional thinking and cannot be successful if the government, its agencies and the sector only engage and consult with the same people who are wedded to institutional care. The notions of community embedded care, person-centred care and small-scale residential care are more than just token terms and require more than a change in building structure. They require a fundamental change in thinking.

Garry’s story proves that it can be done. He is the poster boy of change. When you approach aged care with a completely different mindset, anything is possible, and the highest levels of quality care can be delivered within a social model, in the community and without compromising outcomes. The benefits to both older Australians and those who care for them are enormous.

In Loving Memory of Garry Brown

06/10/1953 – 12/11/2023

Dr Rodney Jilek is a Registered Nurse with 30 years’ experience in the delivery of clinical care services to Older Australians.


12 months later Garry enjoying social activities at Club Kalina. Canberra in 2023
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Collaborate with peers to transform dementia care in your workplace

With the current shortage of care workers, it has become imperative to strengthen the capabilities of our existing workforce. Ensuring that staff are given the right training to succeed in aged care settings will not only help attract and retain staff to the sector but also elevate the quality of care provided.

In response to this need, Dementia Australia has launched new Leadership and Practice Change education programs tailored specifically for people working in care settings. These programs aim to equip professionals with the skills necessary to thrive in their roles, contributing to the enhancement of aged care services.

“Strong leadership was recognised as a critical element of sustained practice improvements by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and in response, also by the Federal Government,” says Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM.

As part of this initiative is the launch of Dementia Australia's Community of Practice (CoP), designed to build professional communities for networking, knowledge-sharing, and skill development.

This program enables passionate individuals with diverse dementia knowledge and experience to come together to create positive workplace change and foster innovation. Staff will network with like-minded people and share best practice methods to achieve industry wide transformation.

Participants will have opportunities for continued online learning beyond formal education and workshops, with access to experts and leaders in dementia care.

Your team will enhance dementia care by:

Continually evolving their practice to provide high-quality care.

Consulting support networks to address the challenges of implementing change.

Learning from colleagues who have diverse backgrounds and experience.

As an organisation this means:

A team that inspires each other to provide bestpractice care.

A happier workforce and improved staff retention. Residents and families feel confident in the support being provided.

Enroll into Dementia Australia’s Community of Practice today and be a driving force in transforming dementia care at your workplace.

Together, we can make a meaningful impact on the quality of care in aged care settings.


Dementia Community of Practice

Dementia Community of Practice

Expand your skills, test ideas and learn to lead practice change in dementia care by joining a Community of Practice.

Expand your skills, test ideas and learn to lead practice change in dementia care by joining a Community of Practice.

This program is fully funded (no tuition fees), 100% online and designed for busy care professionals like you.

This program is fully funded (no tuition fees), 100% online and designed for busy care professionals like you.

• Learn from industry experts

• Learn from industry experts

• Access classes and content from anywhere

• Access classes and content from anywhere

• Connect with like-minded individuals across Australia

• Connect with like-minded individuals across Australia

• Free access to Learning Hub, classes and forum

• Free access to Learning Hub, classes and forum

• Learn to lead real innovation in care

• Learn to lead real innovation in care

Dementia Australia (RTO CODE: 2512)

Dementia Australia (RTO CODE: 2512)


Scan to Apply now

Scan to Apply now

Dementia Training Australia is a major funder of these programs under the Australian Government Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund and delivered by Dementia Australia (RTO CODE 2512). Visit dta.com.au

© Dementia Australia 2024, 24016, February 2024

© Dementia Australia 2024, 24016, February 2024

provides a nationally accredited training courses for residential and community care services professionals and healthcare providers in our own right and on behalf of other States and Territories.
provides a nationally accredited training courses for residential and community care services professionals and healthcare providers in our own right and on behalf of other States and Territories.
Training Australia is a major funder of these programs under the Australian Government Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund and delivered by Dementia Australia (RTO CODE 2512). Visit dta.com.au


Upcoming events

Innovation and Technology Across Care (ITAC) Conference

Gold Coast 26 - 27 March, 2024

Royal Pines Resort

The Innovation and Technology Across Care Conferece creates opportunities for individuals and organisations with an interest in the aged and community care sector to come together to discuss, exchange and learn about a range of topics related to the innovative technology in aged care, disability, and community care services. ITAC 2024 will facilitate meaningful interactions, enabling Government representatives, vendors and aged and community care providers to meet and collaborate on crucial matters concerning innovation and technology in aged care.


National First Nations NDIS Greater Choices for Disability Care

Cairns 22-24 April, 2024

Hilton Hotel, Esplanade

This conference aims to highlight the eight priority areas which My Aged Care clients identified as important to them, based on the survey results outlined in the Consumer Experience Report (CER) for home-based and community-based aged care services. These priority areas include but are not limited to: control, Interpersonal interaction, flexibility, local residence in country, affordability, administrative and financial literacy, safety and timeliness of service provision. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Elders and their families would more likely access aged care services when it allows them to stay on Country, being cared for by their own mob and the ability to maintain their connection to country, culture and community.

ACCPA 2024 Queensland Conference

Queensland 29 Apr - 1 May, 2024

Embark on a transformative journey into the future of aged care with the highly anticipated conferences set to launch in 2024. Under the theme “From Vision to Reality: Aged Care’s Journey Forward,” these conferences promise to be pivotal moments in shaping the trajectory of aged care services. Attendees will delve into discussions and presentations that bridge the gap between visionary concepts and practical implementation in the aged care sector. From ground-breaking technologies revolutionising

APRIL Continued

the sector to policy frameworks translating compassionate ideals into tangible improvements, these conferences are ready to leave your inspired and geared towards the future.


Aged Care Recreation & Lifestyle Conference

Melbourne 15-16 May, 2024

Amora Hotel Riverwalk, Richmond

This conference serves as a platform for collaboration, where speakers and delegates come together to inspire change and raise the bar in aged care service provision & standards. The conference is an essential professional development opportunity for Recreation Therapists, Leisure / Lifestyle Professionals & Staff, PAG Coordinators, Day Centre Managers / Staff, Managers, nurses and other interested Health Professionals/staff working in aged care services.

Aged Care Catering Summit

Sydney 21 May, 2024

The Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre

The Aged Care Catering Summit will provide expert speakers to help you stay informed and to make good decisions. The demands and expectations of Australia's booming aged care sector are evolving and we are seeing huge changes in the way meals are prepared and serviced. At the Aged Care Catering Summit the industry will reconnect, share stories and learn from leaders.


ACCPA 2024 Victorian Conference

Melbourne 11 - 13 June, 2024

Embark on a transformative journey into the future of aged care with the highly anticipated conferences set to launch in 2024. Under the theme “From Vision to Reality: Aged Care’s Journey Forward,” these conferences promise to be pivotal moments in shaping the trajectory of aged care services. Attendees will delve into discussions and presentations that bridge the gap between visionary concepts and practical implementation in the aged care sector. From ground-breaking technologies revolutionising the sector to policy frameworks translating compassionate ideals into tangible improvements, these conferences are ready to leave your inspired and geared towards the future.





Conferences 2024 From vision to reality: Aged Care’s journey forward TASMANIA
March 2024 Rydges, Hobart SOUTH AUSTRALIA
March 2024
City, Adelaide QUEENSLAND
April - 1 May 2024 The Star, Gold Coast WESTERN AUSTALIA
May 2024 Crown, Perth VICTORIA
June 2024 Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT
June 2024 Hilton, Sydney conference.accpa.asn.au SAVE THE DATE ITAC National Conference 26-27 March 2024 ACCPA National Conference 23-25 October 2024 Don’t miss these highly anticipated national conferences!
1300 789 845 www.atsaindependentlivingexpo.com.au Organised by Media Partners Australia’s foremost assistive technology event BY THE INDUSTRY FOR THE INDUSTRY SYDNEY 22-23 MAY 2024 SYDNEY SHOWGROUND ADELAIDE 6-7 MARCH 2024 ADELAIDE SHOWGROUND BRISBANE 29-30 MAY 2024 BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE AWARDS DINNER 29 MAY 2024 BRISBANE TOWN HALL

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