ACAT CHAT Newsletter. Welcome to the ACAT CHAT Vol. 41, October 2014

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1 ACAT CHAT Newsletter Welcome to the ACAT CHAT Vol. 41, October 2014

2 In this issue Update on My Aged Care Page 3 What is the process to update information for My Aged Care service finders Page 3 My Aged Care Training update Page 4 Important information about the new income and assets assessments for home care and residential aged care Page 5 Moving to Consumer Directed Care Page 6 We are not all the same but we are all equal Page 7-8 Facing the times: Young Onset Dementia Support Group Facebook style Page 9 The role of ACATs in assisting clients to access aged care advocacy services Page 10 Feedback details and Contacts Page 11 2

3 Update on My Aged Care Since its launch in July 2013, the national contact centre and the My Aged Care website continue to see increases in contacts each month. In the three months to August 2014, the national contact centre received an average of 15,622 calls per month, or approximately 625 calls per operating day. Over the same period, the My Aged Care website received 4,046 unique visitors per day; the highest visitation rate since commencement. This is an increase of almost 300% unique website visitors from the first three months of operation, and an increase of approximately 82 received calls per day. The contact centre routinely responds to general and advanced aged care enquiries, supported by an internal Knowledge Base. This Knowledge Base contains approved content from the Department of Social Services on the many facets of Commonwealth funded aged care. Additionally, the national contact centre acts as a referral service, directing callers to other services where required. In July 2014, ACAT assessment referrals occurred in 13.8% of all referrals or 7.8% of all incoming calls. The website contains general information for carers, eligibility and assessment information for accessing aged care and financial guidance, as well as tools to find a service provider in a local area and a calculator to estimate fees in both home and residential care. What is the process to update information for My Aged Care service finders? Assessment Finder (ACAT) To edit or add details about your organisation within the Assessment finder, please with the following details: Name of ACAT Contact phone number Hours of business Fax number Street address Help At Home Finder & Aged Care Home Finder For details on how to update an organisations details within the Help at Home Finder and/or the Aged Care Home Finder please visit: For any enquiries on the Finders, please contact 3

4 My Aged Care Training update In March 2014, the Department engaged Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Solutions to undertake a Training Needs Analysis to determine the training needs of staff involved with the introduction of the My Aged Care capabilities, including the implementation of the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF). CIT Solutions was also tasked with mapping the identified training needs against relevant nationally recognised competencies, identifying any gap training that will need to be developed and recommending a cost effective and sustainable training delivery model. CIT Solutions has worked in close consultation with the My Aged Care Training Reference Group (TRG) and have undertaken either a site visit or teleconference with each state or territory to understand the current training environment and to identify the future training needs. The final report was accepted by the Department in July Since then, CIT Solutions has been re-engaged by the Department to commence Stage 2 of this project. Stage 2 includes establishing the training delivery model and developing and delivering the training resources. Recognition of prior learning will also be available to validate and recognise the current competencies of staff. The TRG has also been re-established to continue to support this new work. This next stage will primarily focus on developing training resources and then supporting those staff involved with the two Demonstration sites in Queensland and Victoria, plus the National Contact Centre. Following on from this initial training, any lessons learnt will inform the rollout of the national training program, currently planned to commence in April CIT Solutions will provide a final report to the Department, in the near future, recommending strategies to meet the future and/or ongoing staff training needs. 4

5 Important information about the new income and assets assessments for home care and residential aged care It is important that ACAT staff advise older people or their representatives to not delay applying for an income (or an income and assets) assessment when they are considering their care options. Completed income and assets assessments generally remain valid for 120 days. Whether a person is interested in taking up home care or residential aged care, the process is simpler if an assessment has been completed prior to the commencement of care. The correct form for people who are considering home care options is the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form, which can be found on the Centrelink website at the following link For people considering their residential aged care options the correct form is the Combined Assets and Income Assessment application form. The form can be downloaded from the Centrelink website at the following link: If a hard copy of either form is preferable, ACATs can direct clients to call the DHS Aged Care line on Where people require information about the fees and charges, there are two easy-touse Fee Estimators available on the My Aged Care website. One estimator is for people who are considering a home care package and the other is for people considering residential aged care. The Fee Estimators can be found at the following link: People without access to a home computer who would like an estimate of their fees can also call the My Aged Care contact centre on Prospective care recipients or their families who are urgently awaiting the completion of an assessment can be advised to contact DHS directly on the Aged Care line on Please note that people who were already in residential care or receiving a home care package on 1 July 2014, and whose arrangements have not changed, DO NOT need to request an income (or income and assets) assessment. 5

6 Moving to Consumer Directed Care Consumer Directed Care (CDC) puts choice and control in the hands of older Australians. It allows older Australians and their carers to decide where their funding is spent and how their needs are met. From 1 July 2015, home care providers will be required to deliver all home care packages on a CDC basis. The Department has engaged COTA Australia to assist in facilitating this transition with consumers and providers across the aged care sector. COTA Australia s support for providers is being planned in conjunction with the Aged Care Peak bodies, Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA). As part of this project, COTA has developed the homecaretoday website to build older Australians and providers knowledge and capacity to operate in the new CDC model of care environment. COTA has also developed the Your Guide to New Choices in Home Care booklet for older people, their families and carers to help explain the changes. This booklet is available in 11 languages for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. For further information about CDC and homecaretoday go to My Aged Care 6

7 We are not all the same but we are all EQUAL In 2012 the legislative changes to include older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) people as a special needs group in the Aged Care Act created the impetus to ensure that Victorian Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) provide a LGBTI inclusive assessment service. In 2014, Val s Café at the Australian Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University was funded to facilitate 4 workshops to support the development of LGBTI inclusive assessment using a train the trainer approach. The workshops were facilitated by Dr Catherine Barrett, Pauline Crameri and Tim Firth, an ACAS clinician from Western Health. The staff who attended the workshops needed to have the capacity (commitment, organisational resources and access to high level decision making) to effect change in their service. All 18 Victorian ACAS were represented at the workshops and the ACAS training reference group was used to support the project. The ACAS staff who attended included 2 managers, clinicians and 2 ACAS Education Officers (AEOs). Tim Firth has since become a statewide resource for attendees at the workshops and the AEOs are available to cofacilitate education at each ACAS as required. The training utilized multimedia to keep participants engaged, this included posters, ice breakers, DVDs and YouTube clips. The resources developed include 10 guide sheets, a powerpoint presentation and accompanying guide. The engagement, skill and commitment of the participants ensured the success of the project. The guides will be finalised in November and topics include: 1. The importance of history 2. Cultural safety 3. Legislation and other reforms 4. The experiences of aged care 5. Standards 6. Welcoming environment 7. Having conversations and setting the scene for the conversation 8. Disclosure and documentation 9. Supports 10. Glossary The workshop participants will continue to meet twice per year and the ACAS managers have endorsed a position statement for LGBTI inclusive aged care assessment practice. 7

8 This position paper includes supporting the 5 key principles outlined in the National LGBTI ageing and aged care strategy: Inclusion, Empowerment, Access & Equity, Quality and Capacity Building. Other recommendations include: 1. ACAS will undertake LGBTI inclusive aged care assessment training for all staff in all Victorian ACAS teams by July 2015; and 2. ACAS will protect information where information is disclosed and collected and will only disclose with the clients documented consent (Aged Care Act 1997). There have been so many positive spin offs from this project including presenting at the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference in Melbourne October If you have any questions about this project please contact Debbie Senior or 8

9 Facing the times: Young Onset Dementia Support Group Facebook style In April 2012, ACAT Psychologist Denise Craig identified the need for people experiencing a Young Onset Dementia (YOD) to have a platform from which they could voice their thoughts, identify others living with dementia, gain social support and access vetted newsfeeds. People living with YOD (dementia diagnosed before the age of 65) have enjoyed engaging with peers around the world. So what led to the creation of the social networking support group? People diagnosed with a YOD often experience particular challenges on account of symptoms not typically expected at their age. They often find there are few specialist services; they feel that they fall between the cracks in services; and there is often uncertainty and confusion surrounding funding responsibilities of various organisations. People with YOD often report an extreme sense of loss as they struggle to come to terms with stigma, reduced opportunity to achieve lifelong goals, and the loss of roles and responsibilities. They are often under pressure to improve work performance, they have financial responsibilities, and they may be raising a family. People with YOD typically face lengthy diagnostic pathways and misdiagnoses. If they access dementia support services they report identifying more closely with the staff than elderly clients. Relationship strain is common and partners struggle as they juggle their dedication to care versus their own future needs. Support/friendship groups can be difficult to access for a host of reasons. By utilising Facebook, members are able to interact with others from within the privacy of their own home, in their own time, and with the added benefit of having time to consider (and edit) what they would like to say. The page gives easy access to news feeds, articles, clips, research and messages, providing an extensive, supportive online community available around the clock. Care providers are finding it a useful tool for accessing thought provoking insights. The Facebook Young Onset Dementia Support Group allows people with dementia a voice beyond their own social network. 9

10 The role of ACATs in assisting clients to access aged care advocacy services ACAT assessors are ideally placed to provide clients with information on how to access advocacy services. Referrals to advocacy services can also be made if a need is identified and the older person provides consent. Advocacy most commonly refers to a person speaking up for themselves or on behalf of someone else and making sure a person s wishes are heard and acknowledged. Advocacy is important in supporting consumers to exercise informed choice, particularly for those consumers who, as a result of their care needs, are vulnerable. The implementation of Consumer Directed Care may also see advocacy services becoming increasingly important at the beginning of a person s engagement with the aged care sector. The National Aged Care Advocacy Programme (NACAP) provides free, independent and confidential advocacy and support to consumers or potential consumers of Australian Government subsidised aged care services (residential aged care, Home Care Packages or flexible care services), their representatives and their families. NACAP providers can assist with the resolution of problems and complaints and help consumers to be involved in decisions underpinning the provision of individualised care services. The NACAP also provides information and education, to both consumers and aged care providers, which contributes to the protection of consumers rights and fosters culturally appropriate services that enhance the quality of life for consumers of aged care services. The Australian Government funds nine NACAP providers, one in each state and two in the Northern Territory, to deliver advocacy services under the Aged Care Act Your local NACAP can be contacted directly on to discuss your clients rights or you can visit for further information. ACATs may also contact their local NACAP provider to request information and education sessions on aged care advocacy services for ACAT assessors. 10

11 Seeking ACAT CHAT Articles and Feedback The ACAT CHAT newsletter provides updates on the Aged Care Assessment Programme from a national perspective and other information that may be of interest to ACATs. We encourage readers to share information of interest from their local area. A variety of articles gives ACATs opportunities to learn more about initiatives across the country. We welcome feedback, contributions and suggestions for articles and improvements. Please forward any contributions to Contacts General enquiries about aged care: Phone: Website: ACAT specific information: Medicare Aged Care Online Claiming: Phone: Website: 11

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