ACAT Assessment and Specialist Dementia Care Program

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ACAT Assessment

The Australian Government Department of Health has in recent times received a number of enquiries from providers of aged care about when an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment is required. The department states that “A subsidy cannot be paid to an approved provider for providing care to a person, unless the person is approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) as a care recipient.

An ACAT assessment is required if a person is seeking access to aged care services that are funded under the Act, such as:

  • Residential Care
  • Flexible Care in the form of Transition Care or Short-Term Restorative Care
  • Residential Respite Care
  • a Home Care Package. “

 

New Initiative Rollout 2019

One of the Department of Health’s new initiatives – the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) is beginning to roll out.

This program will provide care for people exhibiting very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), who are unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream aged care services.

The SDCP will offer specialised, transitional residential support, focussing on reducing or stabilising symptoms over time. I have, at times, been in the position of finding suitable accommodation for people exhibiting behaviour that cannot be managed in the aged care residential service in which they reside. It is a difficult situation and, as an Aged Care Support Consultant, I applaud the introduction of specialist services to accommodate people in this position.

The department has advertised a targeted grant opportunity for a prototype SDCP service, with the next round of 14 SDCP grant opportunities to be advertised early this year. This first phase of specialist dementia care units is expected to be operational in early 2020 with a full rollout in 2022-23. It is expected that there will be at least one specialist dementia care unit (within a broader residential aged care service) operating in each of the 31 Primary Health Networks.

One of the objectives of the SDCP is to generate evidence on best practice care for people exhibiting very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia that can be adapted for use in mainstream settings to benefit all people with dementia.

Source: Australian Government Department of Health website.

 

Seek Professional Advice On Retirement Village Contracts

Four Corners and Fairfax Media have recently reported on a story about retirement village living which is worrying. My advice to anyone contemplating entering a retirement village is that they should first speak with their family and let them know what they are planning before entering into any contract. They should also seek legal advice about the details of any contract they contemplate entering into, seeking clarification on not only the financial aspects of the contract but also looking at the fine print on lifestyle regulations. This is good practice for any contract, but particularly in the instance of retirement living as the stakes are so high.

Aged Care is not a trademark and any organisation can state they provide aged care. It’s important to understand the difference between private retirement living companies who advertise that they provide aged care and Government funded aged care.

Checking out all aspects of a retirement village or aged care facility is extremely important. This is one of the reasons clients use my aged care consultancy services.They know they will have a professional who will find them the right place to live in their later years and that I will thoroughly assess the suitability of each option. I recommend that my clients seek further professional input from their legal advisors and financial planners experienced in the aged care field.

During my career as an Aged Care Placement Consultant I have seen many cases where a knowledgeable Financial Planner has given advice to a client that has made a positive difference to the type of accommodation they were able to acquire. I care very much for the welfare of all my clients and do not want to see them suffer as they make these very challenging transitions in life from their own home to a retirement village or an aged care facility.

New Association For Excellence in Age Service Professionals

Jillian Slade - Placement Consultant for Aged Care

Jillian Slade – Placement Consultant for Aged Care

I applaud the recent formation of the first peak body for consultants who operate in the age, retirement and disability sectors. The Association of Age Service Professionals is not a regulating body as such but a peak body that encourages members to operate with professionalism, integrity and behave ethically. I am proud to be on the committee of this body that will set benchmark standards to bring the industry to a higher standard of excellence.

With the formation of this Association consumers will be able to easily identify consultants who meet the standards of excellence when they are looking for help with Aged Care. Consumers can be confident of our members’ commitment to the sector/s they operate in and that they actively remain up to date on all changes in the sector. Members of this Association are valued in their own industry as competent professionals who will deliver a quality service to their clients.

Health professionals and providers in the sector can now confidently refer their clients to members of the Association, knowing that they will receive the correct advice. As the industry evolves and reforms continue to be rolled out the Association of Age Service Professionals will grow into a strong body of professionals, supporting each other for the betterment of the industry and advocating for their clients as one voice. This can only lead to improvements in the Aged Care sector and I look forward to a new chapter opening up with the formation of the new Association.