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Protecting Older Australians COVID-19 Update 7 May 2020


Further Clarification: CHSP Personal Monitoring Technology for Senior Australians

On Friday 1 May 2020, the Department advised Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers that they may use unspent funds in 2019‑20 to purchase personal monitoring technology for their vulnerable clients, up to the value of $1,000 per client. Following a number of questions from providers, the Department wishes to clarify:

  • to support vulnerable older people facing social isolation during COVID‑19, providers may source monitoring technology up to the value of $1,000 for clients who would benefit, regardless of the amount of other Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology the client has already accessed under the CHSP in 2019‑20.

For example, if a client has received a walking frame and shower chair to the value of $500 under the CHSP in 2019-20, and would also benefit from a personal alarm during the COVID‑19 pandemic, they may still be provided with an alarm and 12‑month monitoring subscription up to a value of $1,000 by a CHSP provider with unspent funds. The provider does not need to be funded to deliver goods, equipment and assistive technology.

Please note, this measure applies to 2019‑20 only.

Further information is available on the department’s website.


Home Care: Conducting Dementia and Cognition Suppliement Assessments by Videoconference

The dementia and cognition supplement is available in all levels of the Home Care Packages Program for people with moderate to severe levels of cognitive impairment associated with dementia or other conditions. A diagnosis of dementia alone cannot be used as evidence to support a claim for the supplement.

The eligibility requirements for the dementia and cognition supplement, including the assessment tools, are prescribed by legislation in the Subsidy Principles 2014.

If you are unable to conduct a face-to-face assessment with the care recipient due to social distancing regulations, you may be able to conduct an assessment by videoconference.

You will need to consider the following steps to conduct the assessment:

  • The assessment can only be conducted by one of the approved assessors listed on the Department’s dementia and cognition supplement webpage.
  • The assessor will need to be familiar with the assessment tool being used.
  • The care recipient undergoing assessment will need to have access to a computer to conduct the videoconference.
  • The care recipient will need to have another person, such as a carer or family member, present to help with conducting the assessment. This person does not need to have a clinical background or experience in assessments.
  • The person assisting will need to have a copy of the material before the assessment for any written or visual recognition tasks. This can be emailed to print out, or sent by fax or some other method.
  • The person assisting will present the tasks to the care recipient at the appropriate time in the assessment, under guidance of the assessor. They should not prompt the care recipient or help with responses.
  • Assessment materials or questions should not be shown to the care recipient prior to the assessment.
  • The assessor needs to be able to see the care recipient while conducting the assessment, to assess visual cues.

More information about eligibility for the dementia and cognition supplement is available on the department’s website.


Rescheduled Webinar - Friday 8 May

A reminder that a webinar will be held on Friday 8 May from 4.00pm to 5.00pm AEST on Residential Aged Care COVID-19 Outbreak Preparedness and Management

The webinar will cover what residential aged care facilities should be doing in preparation for a potential COVID-19 outbreak, what to do if there is an outbreak, as well as the support available to services in the event of a COVID-19 case.

The webinar panel will include; Michael Lye (Deputy Secretary), Alison McMillan (Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer), Lisa Peterson (State Manager NSW), Janet Anderson (the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner), a member of the Aspen Medical team, and Andrew Kinkade (CatholicCare, Bodington).

The discussion will be moderated by Amy Laffan, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Reform and Compliance Division. There will be an opportunity for Q and A following a discussion from the panel members.

The webinar will be broadcast from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment here.


Consultation Closing on Visitor Access Code

A Visitor Access Code to ensure a nationally consistent visitation policy to residential aged care homes during the COVID-19 crisis will be closing for consultation today, Thursday 7 May.

Read the draft code and find out more about the consultation process so you can have your say.

Unknown Author, 2020, Department of Health

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