Working with Older People

Occupational therapists work with older people to maintain participation in the occupations of everyday life while living with a wide variety of disabilities resulting from disease, injury and age related changes.

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My Aged Care FAQs
Developed by Occupational Therapy Australia, these FAQs aim to address the number of enquiries from members about CHM assessor competencies and delays with approvals of AT applications.

Age Well Campaign
Occupational Therapy Australia knows the challenges and frustrations that many Australians and their families face now in trying to navigate the aged care sector and get the support and services they need. The Agewell Campaign is an alliance of organisations, aged care providers, workers, church-based organisations, consumers and carer organisations including Occupational Therapy Australia, to ask for urgently needed reforms to the sector.

On 20 April 2012, the Prime Minister and Minister Butler unveiled a comprehensive package of reforms to build a better, fairer, more sustainable and more nationally consistent aged care system.

The “Living Longer. Living Better.” aged care reform package provides $3.7 billion over five years. It represents the commencement of a 10 year reform program to create a flexible and seamless system that provides older Australians with more choice, control and easier access to a full range of services, where they want it and when they need it. It also positions us to meet the social and economic challenges of the nation’s ageing population.

The package provides far greater support for older people to be able to age at home, a plan to tackle dementia and a Compact to improve pay and conditions for aged care workers. In addition to these fundamental blocks of the package the Alliance particularly welcomed:

  • Improved access through a single Gateway, including the My Aged Care website;
  • Giving older people choice and options for how they pay for their accommodation;
  • The introduction of fair and equitable user contributions;
  • The establishment of an independent Aged Care Financing Authority;
  • Better palliative care and support in aged care; and
  • More support for consumer advocacy and community visitor program

Additional information about Aged Care Reform is available on the Department of Health website.

Falls Prevention
Falls prevention evidence and resources

The Victorian Government has published a series of online resources for allied health professionals and the wider community to help with fall prevention including evidence-based journals and support groups.

An additional presentation, ‘Working together to prevent falls’ has been developed by Banyule Community Health.

Cochrane Journal Club: Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community
About a third of community-dwelling people over 65 years old fall each year, and the rate of fall-related injuries increases with age. Falling can occur for a variety of reasons, including problems with balance, poor vision and dementia. Most fall-related injuries are minor: bruising, abrasions, lacerations, strains, and sprains, although one in five falls may require medical attention, and fewer than one in 10 results in a fracture. Reported interventions to prevent falling include exercise programmes, education programmes, medication optimisation, and environmental modification.

View current research and take part in peer discussions by joining the Cochrane Journal Club.

Victorian Government Health Information: Wellbeing and Participation
The Department of Health & Human Services has released information to support older people in the community for the promotion of good health, participation and security for the aging population and their carers.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care - Falls Prevention
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has published several resources including guidelines and links to current research on falls prevention.

Neuroscience Research Australia: Sensation, Movement, Balance & Falls
As a leading research institute, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) promotes the study of fall prevention through sensory inputs, accurate movement, balance and risk factors in our environment.

Queensland Government: Stay on Your Feet
As a Queensland Government initiative, ‘Stay On Your provides information and resources for older people to remain active and healthy.

Motorised Scooter Information
ScootAbility Mobility Scooter and Electric Wheelchair Training DVD

Developed in the UK, this DVD provides useful safety information for those who use scooters and power wheelchairs.  It is not intended to replace proper training, though it aims to assist those who acquire a mobility vehicle and receive no formal training; it can also be used by OTs as a training supplement.

Residential Aged Care Communiqué Special Edition: Focus on Motorised Scooters and Wheelchairs
Published by the Department of Forensic Medicine Monash University and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, this edition of the quarterly Residential Aged Care Communiqué discusses the use and maintenance of Motorised Scooters and Wheelchairs.

Mobility Scooter Usage and Safety Survey Report
In 2012 a collaboration of organisations including the ACCC, NRMA and a number of other stakeholders, worked together on Australia’s first national survey of mobility scooter users to provide a better understanding of the demographics of mobility scooter users, and patterns of use amongst the Australian population.

ACCC Help Cut Mobility Scooter Accidents Booklet
Published by the Australian Competitor & Consumer Commission (ACCC), this booklet  to raise awareness of the possible risks associated with scooter use and the actions to manage those risks.

Additional information on product safety and recalls is available on the ACCC Product Safety Australia website.

Dementia Outcomes Measurement Suite (DOMS)
Funded by the Australian Government, Dementia Collaborative Research Centres have released a series of tools designed to assist in the assessment of various aspects of dementia for Health Professionals who have undergone suitable training.

The high quality tools provided are recognised as the most current for dementia assessment an include guidelines and scoring information to enable the delivery of improved assessment results.

Dementia Australia: Help Sheets
Dementia Australia has published several information sheets to support those living with Dementia and their carers addressing the most common issues raised in the community. These resources include advice, common sense approaches and practical strategies to assist those involved from diagnosis through to daily management.

Dementia Australia: Dementia and Driving
Dementia Australia provides a very useful collection of papers to assist those living with Dementia and their carers to keep mobile, active and socially connected in the transition to non-driving.

Dementia Services Development Centre (UK)
Dedicated to improving the lives of those living with Dementia and their carers, the DSDC in the UK is an international centre of knowledge and expertise providing current, evidence-based research and resources.

Clinical Leadership Group on Care of Older People in Hospital (CLG)
The Clinical Leadership Group on care of older people in hospital (CLG) consists of expert clinicians working with or providing care for older people, hospital executives, consumers and academics working in research on ageing. The group aims to provide evidence based information and strategies to achieve optimal clinical outcomes and reduce harm for older people in hospital.

National Seniors Australia
A non-for-profit organisation working to promote the interests and welfare of the over 50s in Australia by giving a voice to issues that affect older Australians.

Aged & Community Services Australia
A non-for-profit organisation representing aged services providers in areas of advocacy, professional development and community support.

COTA Australia
COTA Australia works to promote, advocate and improve the wellbeing of older people throughout the country.

Acute Aged Care Interface: Older people in hospital
The Victorian Government has released a collection of resources for health professionals working with older people including 'A guideline for assessing older people in hospital', 'Age friendly principles and practices' and 'Best Practice approaches to minimise functional decline in older persons across the acute, sub acute and residential aged care settings'.

Aged Care in Victoria
The Victorian Government has links to relevant legislation and community and residential services for the aged population to help ensure social factors do not create health inequalities.

Older Persons Advocacy Network webinars on Navigating the Aged Care System
Do you work with clients who are currently navigating their aged care journey, or are likely to do so in the near future? The OPAN Navigating the Aged Care System free Webinar Series can help you, and your clients, better understand the supports available through the aged care system and how to access these.


Also in this Section

My Aged Care FAQs

OTA has developed these FAQs with the NDIA regarding CHM assessor competencies and delays with approvals of AT applications.

About My Aged Care

OTA has published a series of FAQs to address a number of member enquiries regarding the My Aged Care initiative.

The Aged Care Assessment Process

OTA has published a series of FAQs to address a number of member enquiries regarding the Aged Care Assessment Process.

Home Mods Aids & Equipment

OTA has developed this information to address the number of enquiries from members about Home Modifications Aids and Equipment to assist OTs...

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