RAC News and Events

This section will keep you up to date with news and events in the palliative care community and changes to the CareSearch website. Please note that the links below were current at the time of posting, however links may become obsolete as websites update their content.

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012


Winter 2017 RAC Hub News (612kb pdf)
The Winter 2017 edition of the RAC Hub News is now available.

Technology Roadmap for Aged Care
This initiative of the Aged Care Industry IT Company was developed in conjunction with a team from the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University.The roadmap shows how to make technology a core part of aged operations and service delivery and the action needed in the short, medium and long term to address ICT-related shortcomings across key areas including operations, care, information and workforce.

Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Reforms to Human Services
The Productivity commission has produced a draft report examining  to put the people who use human services at the heart of service provision. The Commission's report notes that most people are not dying where they want to die and makes a series of recommendations. People and organisations can make a submission or attend a public hearing.

Cross-cultural Care Program for Aged Care Staff
This new education tool enhances cross-cultural quality of care, leadership and workplace cohesion. This program is funded by the Australian Government and developed by Flinders University through a partnership with Resthaven Inc. and AnglicareSA. There are five learning modules, the last of which focuses on end of life care:
  • Module 1: An Introduction to Cross-cultural Care for new staff - This module includes work-related English language resources
  • Module 2: Cross-cultural Communication
  • Module 3: Cross-cultural Leadership
  • Module 4: Cross-cultural Dementia Care
  • Module 5: Cross-cultural End of Life Care.

Find the Help You Need with My Aged Care
A new information campaign is highlighting how  the My Aged Care phone line and website can provide information and help older Australians find out about aged care services and how to access them.

2017 Decision Assist and Palliative Care Australia Continuing Professional Development Scholarships
You are invited to submit an application for the Decision Assist and Palliative Care Australia Continuing Professional Development Scholarships. The aim of the scholarships is to improve palliative care delivery in aged care.

Principles for Palliative and End-of-Life Care in Residential Aged Care
New principles collaboratively developed by peak aged care and palliative care bodies could be used to guide care for older Australians and support their families and carers. The principles address recognising end-of-life: involving consumers in planning and decision making; timely access to care and care that is holistic and meets spirital and psychosocial needs; care that meets the needs of those with dementia and cognitive impairment;  dignity and respect; and bereavement support.   

Developing an Aged Care Diversity Framework
The Department of Health is seeking input and feedback on the aged care diversity framework. The Framework is intended to assist providers, and enhance the sectors capacity, to better meet the diverse characteristics and life experiences of older people thereby ensuring inclusive aged care services.Feedback is needed by 19 June 2017.

Appointment of Panel to review National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes
Ms Kate Carnell AO, and Professor Ron Paterson ONZM, will conduct the independent review on national aged care quality regulatory processes.

ConnecTo: a new tool supporting spiritual care for elderly
ConnecTo is a flexible spiritual screening tool for use in a range of settings including residential aged care, community care and palliative care.

Alternative Aged Care Assessment, Classification System and Funding Models
The report was prepared by the Australian Health Services Research Institute, (University of Wollongong) which was commissioned by the Department of Health to evaluate current funding arrangements and look into alternative funding options.

New advance care planning learning modules for health professionals and care workers
Decision Assist and Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) have a brand new integrated online learning space with up-to-date resources and training tools to support best practice in advance care planning.

Aummer 2017 RAC Hub News (552kb pdf)
The Autumn 2017 edition of the RAC Hub News is now available.

National CALD Ageing and Aged Care Strategy Review Submission
Comments are now being sought on the Review of the CALD Strategy and the development of the Diversity Framework.The CALD Strategy is going to be replaced by a broader Aged Care Diversity Framework aimed to build on existing efforts to provide guidance for providers to embed better practice in their service delivery to better meet the diverse needs of older people.Under the Diversity Framework, an action plan for CALD consumers will be developed. Submissions close 12 May 2017

Complaints Matter
The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner is holding a one day event on Thursday 27 April 2017 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.  “Complaints Matter” will highlight the process of a good complaint and provide best practice tips for resolving complaints to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

News for Aged Care Providers
Find out more about aged care news from the Deprtment of Human Services news feed.

Single Aged Care Quality Framework - Draft Aged Care Quality Standards
The Australian Government is seeking responses to a consultation paper with a draft set of aged care standards and rationale.  the Consultation Paper is your opportunity to contribute to, and directly influence, the reforms and the quality of aged care in Australia. The consultation closes 21 April 2017.

Single Aged Care Quality Framework - Options for assessing performance against aged care quality standards
The Options Paper for assessing service provider performance against the draft aged care quality standards details three proposed options:

  • An assessment process based on aged care setting with different approaches used for residential settings and home/community settings (based on the status quo with improvements)
  • Introducing a single risk based assessment process that is applicable to all aged care settings 
  • Use of a safety and quality declaration by organisations providing low risk services readily available to the broader population. 
Feedback and comments will help  identify the preferred approach.This consultation closes on Friday 21 April 2017.

National Palliative Care Week 2017
Palliative Care Australia has announced that the theme for this year’s week will be ‘You matter, your care matters. Palliative care can make a difference’ and will focus on residential and community aged care.

New consumer guide to aged care accreditation
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency has published a new Consumer guide to accreditation, available for download from www.aacqa.gov.au. The audit reports are available at http://www.aacqa.gov.au/publications/reports. The new Consumer guide to accreditation aims to enhance consumer awareness of aged care accreditation, and provide more accessible information on quality assurance and how consumers can participate in the quality assessment of a home.

Interprofessional Education in Aged Care
A new provider-developed resource guides residential aged care organisations through implementing a student placement and staff education program in their facilities. The free online program – Interprofessional Education in Aged Care (IPEAC) -aims to increase professional collaboration between students from all health disciplines and improve the quality of care of residents.

Increasing Choice in Home Care
This major aged care reform gives consumers more choice in home care services – such as personal care, nursing and social support – to suit their individual needs. It aims to improve the way services are delivered to older people in their homes.

Specialist Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Advisory Services Grant Opportunity
The Department of Health is seeking applications for grant funding to provide innovative models of delivering the Advisory Services. The objective is to coordinate and deliver innovative models of specialist palliative care and advance care planning advisory services in all jurisdictions. Applications close 2:00 pm Canberra time on Tuesday 4 April 2017

Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia: 2016-2056
This NATSEM report updates the Access Economics 2002 estimate to 2016 and also projects likely future costs of dementia over the next 40 years. The report  provides an overview of dementia in Australia, including increases in the prevalence and incidence of dementia over the next 40 years, describes some of the social and economic characteristics of people with dementia, and identifies the impact of dementia on mortality and burden of disease.

Active Ageing Conference 2017
The call for presentations for this conference  is now open, with aged care providers, community services, councils, researchers, allied health and other relevant professionals invited to submit.The Active Ageing Conference 2017 is hosted by Australian Ageing Agenda and Community Care Review. It shares the latest evidence on restorative care, reablement and wellness and aims to equip aged care providers with strategies to meet their new requirements. 

Provider and consumer research regarding recent and future changes in home care
This report looked at home care providers and consumers responses to the introduction of Consumer Directed Care (CDC) and the forthcoming Increasing Choice (IC) measure. It suggests that while there is support for the approach there will need to be a concerted effort to build understanding to support adoption and intergation. 

Older People's health
The Conversation has prepared a series on older people's health covering : Last updated  10 April 2017


Care Leavers Resource
The Caring for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations Information Package shows how early life experiences can affect older people receiving care and help care providers respond to their needs.

Elder Abuse Consultation
The Australian Law Reform Commission is seeking submissions in response to the proposals relating to existing Commonwealth laws and frameworks which seek to safeguard and protect older persons from misuse or abuse, or to any of the material in the Discussion Paper.

Summer 2016 RAC Hub News (580kb pdf)
The Summer 2016 edition of the RAC Hub News is now available.

Are you a nurse who uses the palliAGEDnurse app in your clinical practice? 
We are currently seeking participants to take part in an online survey as part of the project ‘Evaluating the palliAGEDnurse app’. This project is supported by Flinders University Palliative and Supportive Services department and has been approved by the Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee. Online surveys will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Participants will be asked questions relating to their use of online technology in clinical practice and the palliAGEDnurse app specifically. Participation in the online survey is voluntary and you may discontinue at any time or refuse to answer any questions without disadvantage. For more information, visit the survey and information sheet. 

Are you a nurse who uses the palliAGEDnurse app in your clinical practice OR a nurse who does not use apps in clinical practice?
We are currently seeking participants to take part in focus groups as part of the project ‘Evaluating the palliAGEDnurse app’. This project is supported by Flinders University Palliative and Supportive Services department and has been approved by the Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee. Focus groups will take between 1-2 hours and participants will receive a $25 ColesMyer voucher. Participants will be asked questions relating to their use of online technology in clinical practice and/or the palliAGEDnurse app specifically. Participation in focus groups is voluntary and you may discontinue at any time or refuse to answer any questions without disadvantage. For more information, and to register for a focus group, please contact the researchers via email at palliaged@flinders.edu.au

National Aged Care Staffing and Skills Mix Project Report 2016 (5.76MB pdf)
A new study has examined staffing and skill mix using an 'evidence-based aged care complexity profile' with indicative care interventions over a 24-hour period. They tested the elements of care associated with various resident profiles through a series of focus groups with aged care nurses. It highlights issues in current care provision.

Boosting Dementia Research Grants
The NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research is part of the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative  and will target, co-ordinate and translate the Australian research effort in dementia. These grants will provide financial support for individual researchers, teams of researchers or organisations to undertake research and implementation projects in identified priority areas.

Rethink Respite
This website provides a portal of carer support and reespite information and resources for carers and people living with dementia in Australia.

PCACE Project News - November 2016
The November edition of the PCACE Project newsletter is now available.

PCACE Project News - October 2016
The October edition of the PCACE Project newsletter is now available.

Spring 2016 RAC Hub News (452kb pdf)
The Spring 2016 edition of the RAC Hub News is now available.

Dementia Palliative Care Guidance
As part of The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Changing Minds programme, a suite of seven guidance documents were developed to support healthcare staff working with people with dementia from all care settings in addressing specific aspects of dementia palliative care.

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner: Annual report 2015-2016 (1.25MB pdf)
The first annual report of the Aged Care Commissioner outlines the process by which complaints are managed. The most common issues complained about for residential  care related to clinical care (267), the administration of medication (200), continence management (178) and the choice and dignity of the person receiving care (163). 

PCACE Project News - September 2016
The first edition of the PCACE Project newsletter is now available.

Aged care nursing competencies
A research project being led by the Univeristy of Wollongong is trying identify an Australian set of aged care nursing competencies. Registered nurses are invited to provide feedback on a draft list of competencies.

Dementia care needs include palliative care
The World Alzheimer Report 2016 reviews the state of healthcare for dementia around the world, and recommends ways that it can be improved. Four main themes emerged from the reviews conducted for the report; the need to systematise care processes; the challenges of managing complexity; the need for more research to inform policy and practice; and the potential for efficiency, through moderating costs while scaling up coverage of basic dementia healthcare services. 

Aged Care Legislated Review
The changes announced to aged care in 2012 included a comprehensive review of the aged care sector in 2016-17. This review will inform ongoing reforms to aged care. David Tune, AO PSM, will lead the Aged Care Legislated Review. The final report will be completed by 1 August, 2017.

New Dementia Support Arrangements
HammondCare will deliver the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and a University of Wollongong-led consortium will develop and enhance the skills of the workforce who care for people with dementia under the Dementia Training Program in a redesign of national arrangements.

The PCACE Project
The Palliative Care in Aged Care Evidence (PCACE) Project will develop an online evidence based guidance and knowledge resource for palliative care in aged care incorporating the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) and the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC). The new online resources is being developed by CareSearch and will be released before 30 June 2017. Project pages within the CareSearch website provide information on the progress of the project and you can sign up for the PCACE Project newsletter.

Older Australia at a glance (AIHW)
In 2016, approximately 3.7 million people (15% of Australia’s total projected population of 24.3 million) are older Australians.This AIHW report provides details on older Australians: who they are, how they are changing, how healthy they are and the services they are using.

Elder Abuse 
A new Cochrane review has invetsigated the complex issues around preventing elder abuse. They concluded that there is not enough trustworthy evidence to assess the effects of elder abuse interventions on occurrence or recurrence of abuse, although there is some evidence to suggest it may change the combined measure of anxiety and depression of caregivers. 

PCNA Conference 2016 (532kb pdf)
Tne 2016 conference of Palliative Care Nurses Australia recognises the importance of aged care issues. There is a concurrent session dedicated to "Improving Care Outcomes for Older People", a workshop on Planning Palliative Care for People with Dementia in Aged Care and Other Settings, and a plenary looking at Better Managing Pain for People with Advanced Dementia: The Challenges and Solutions.  

Planning dementia care through case conferencing
This website supports family case conferencing for people with advanced dementia and the findings of a recent report aiming to  improve the quality and uptake of advance care planning (ACP) for people with dementia. The website provides a step-by-step guide to facilitating shared decision-making and advance care planning for people with dementia approaching the end of life who are unable to speak for themselves.

Planning Palliative Care for People with Dementia in Aged Care and Other Settings
 A workshop on dementia care planning will be held at the Palliative Care Nurses Australia Conference in Canberra on September 12th. The workshop will include a special focus on how to use family case conferences as a method for shared decision-making between families and health professionals on behalf of a person who is unable to speak for him/herself due to advanced dementia.

Choosing Wisely Australia: Safe medication for older patients
The NPS Choosing Wisely Australia intiaitive has included recommendations on safe medication for older patients: 5 recommendations from the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) .

The role of registered nurses in residential aged care facilities (144kb pdf)
The Australian College of Nursing has released its position statement indicating that a minimum requirement should be an RN onsite in residential aged care facilities.

Residential aged care and Home Care 2014-15
The Residential aged care and Home Care 2014-15 web report is the fourth annual release of online data on residential aged care and Home Care services in Australia. It provide information on these aged care programs, as well as the people who received care through them. The web report covers the following key topics: aged care places and services, the characteristics and care needs of people in care at 30 June 2015, as well as activity measures over the financial year (admissions and separations).

Global strategy: Ageing and Health (594kb pdf)
The World Health Organization has developed a global strategy and action plan on ageing and health 2016-2020: towards a world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life.

Winter 2016 RAC Hub News (502kb pdf)
The Winter 2016 edition of the RAC Hub News is now available.

PalliAGEDnurse app has arrived
The palliAGEDnurse app was released today to coincide with International Nurses Day! palliAGEDnurse is designed to support nurses caring for older Australian approaching the end of their life.  The app’s content is based on materials developed for aged care workshops and learning modules within the Decision Assist Program. While education is important, nurses also need to be able to access knowledge when it is needed, and the app provides them with information where they are providing care - in someone’s home, in a residential aged care facility or at a general practice clinic. The app has an online-offline capacity and being web-based, it can be updated as new evidence and resources are released. The app was developed by the GATI staff from the CareSearch Project Team as part of Decision Assist Program.

Meaningful Ageing Australia
Meaningful Ageing Australia is the new name for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People (PASCOP), the organisation created in 2012 to support and develop the highest quality of pastoral and spiritual care for older people in Australia, from any background and in any care context.

Webinar on Communication at the End of Life (Meeting the needs of the family)
This Decision Assist webinar aims to increase  confidence in communicating with family members around death and dying and to develop an increased awareness of the psycho-social support needs of family members at the end of life. Thursday 19 May at 1.30pm AEST

Aged Care Roadmap
The Aged Care Roadmap has been developed by the Aged Care Sector Committee to outline what is required to realise a sustainable, consumer-led aged care market, where consumers have increased choice and control of what care and support they receive, as well as where, how and when they receive it.

3D Dementia Friendly Home App
New  Dementia-Friendly Home app uses interactive 3D game technology to give  carers ideas to make their home more accessible for people living with dementia.

Palliative Perspectives
New blogs on Palliative Perspectives cover:
My Learning
This is a set of modules are developed by CareSearch help people understand how to use CareSearch resources in their practice. They have been revised and updated to help make it easier to use evidence in practice. They are free to do and you can print off a certificate to use for your CPD.

Autumn 2016 RAC Hub News (507kb pdf)
The Autumn 2016 edition of the RAC Hub News is now available.

New PA Toolkit Resources
The PA Toolkit Project has released new resources for careworkers. The resources are four short videos and there are companion factsheets. Future Planning and Advance Care Planning: Why It Needs To Be Different For People With Cognitive Decline
A national project aiming to improve the quality and uptake of advance care planning (ACP) for people with dementia has found a new approach is needed to ensure their voice is heard in decisions affecting lifestyle, financial issues, care and health. The research, conducted by the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre and HammondCare, provides seven key recommendations to assist in developing a national model for ACP for people with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment.

Dementia Enabling Environments Project (DEEP)
This project has developed an online information clearing house for resources relevant to dementia enabling interior design (including simple home modifications), architecture, and garden/landscape design (www.enablingenvironments.com.au).

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia (436kb pdf)
These new clinical guidelines highlight the importance of early and intentional assessment, communication, recognition and management of symptoms, supporting living positively and actively, and medication considerations. Carer support and the need for training of health professionals were also acknowledged. 

Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC)
beyondblue's Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC) e-learning program’s overall objective is to improve the detection and management of anxiety and depression in residential and community aged care settings. The PEAC online program is appropriate for a variety of different staff working in both residential or community settings.

National Aged Care Places Stocktake Reporting Tool
The Stocktake Reporting Tool provides a quick, user-driven view of the number of operational aged care places in Australia at 30 June from 2006-2015.

Safeguarding Older Australians
The Australian Law Reform Commission is to conduct an inquiry into laws and frameworks to safeguard older Australians from abuse. This inquiry will assist the Government in identifying best practices for protecting older Australians while promoting respect for their rights and preferences.

ACAT transition to My Aged Care
Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) commenced using My Aged Care to conduct comprehensive assessments and referrals for residential care, transition care and home care packages from 1 February 2016. Details on transition dates by state. 

Dementia Learning Online
Alzheimer’s Australia Vic (non-for-profit peak body for dementia in Australia) have developed dementia specific online learning. Topics include:

  • What is Dementia?
  • How person-centred is your practice
  • Communicating in a person-centred way
  • A problem solving approach to behaviour

Course fees may apply.

Caring for Cognitive Impairment
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has launched a national campaign to improve knowledge and care practices to provide better outcomes and reduce the risk of harm to people with cognitive impairment in hospital.

PubMed for Nurses
A set of videos, designed specifically for nurses, provides an introduction to searching literature in PubMed.

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
Ms Rae Lamb, Australia’s ‘independent’ Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, has commenced work dealing with aged care after responsibility officially transferred from the Department of Health to a new statutory office on 01 January 2016. She will investigate any complaint relating to a Commonwealth subsidised residential or home-based aged care.

Last updated 06 December 2017