CEO News, December 2018

Dear friends,

As the year draws to an end, we enter what is commonly known as the “silly season”.  There was a time when we all looked forward to January when things were a bit quieter throughout MACS, a chance for us to catch our breath and plan for the year ahead.  However this will not be the case this year.  We are already well into our planning for 2019.  Excitingly we will be celebrating 25 years of service to our community in 2019.  This happy occasion, alongside the very sobering Aged Care Royal Commission which will start hearings in early 2019, will keep us busy.  The Federal Government has also decided to make some regulatory changes to the quality care standards we work under.

At the moment Home Services and Residential Care operate under different Acts of Parliament and are expected to comply with different Standards. When Quality Surveyors assess Home Services and Residential Care they use these different Standards and supply different reports.

Source: Australian Aged Care Quality Agency website www.aacqa.gov.au

From 1 July 2019 there will be a single Act and a single set of Quality Standards. These Standards https://agedcare.health.gov.au/quality/single-set-of-aged-care-quality-standards will be assessed by one set of assessors and the reports will be very similar. While the number of Standards is increasing from 4 to 8 they mostly cover the same ground we are familiar with and we already have in place to continue to comply. There will be some changes to the way we do things and you will have a chance to help. However it is important that everyone involved with MACS is made aware of these standards and so over the next 8 months part of my letter will be to inform you of what it all means.

Source: Australian Aged Care Quality Agency website www.aacqa.gov.au

Standard One addresses having choices and being treated with dignity, which are essential elements of feeling good. Surrounding the care people need and must have are the choices they have made all through their lives – when to sleep, what sort of lunch they like and whether to sit in the sun or burrow in bed. Wanting to make choices about their life doesn’t stop when people enter MACS or start services with us. In fact, given that many people lose a lot of their history, including their neighbourhood, the furniture that has accompanied them through life, pets and pictures, it is especially important we make sure there are still choices in every part of their life.

The other part of Standard One is having choices respected and being treated with dignity. Dignity means different things to different people but the core is to be treated fairly and like everyone else, regardless of where they are living. Words people use to describe dignity are; respect, individual, accepted, valuable, difference and privacy. At MACS, staff bring those words to life in the relationships we build and the care we provide.

Over the coming months you may also see some of our staff dressed in eye catching T-shirts!  Please take the time to ask us a question – we would love to talk to you about the new standards.  There could also be a surprise for you if you do!!

Heat Pack DANGER – despite the warmer weather approaching I would like to remind everyone of the dangers of using wheat packs and heating wheat packs in the microwave. MACS no longer uses wheat packs residentially since the danger of them starting fires or exploding was recognised. They are also unreliable in the amount of heat they retain so they can burn fragile skin. If you know someone using a wheat pack at MACS, or at home, please take it away from them immediately or tell a MACS’ staff member. MACS now uses gel heat packs of non-toxic materials which are warmed in hot water for residents who experience pain and staff can always supply extra heat packs if needed.  These gel packs cannot be heated in the microwave or they will explode.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all an enjoyable Christmas however you may celebrate or acknowledge it. May the closeness of friends, the comfort of home and the unity of MACS renew your spirits this festive season.

Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Vrolijk kerstfeest, Wesołych świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Καλά Χριστούγεννα, Frohe Weihnachten, sretan bozic, veseli khmary, sretan Božić, Maligayang Pasko, среќен Божик, to you and your family.

Warm regards,

Joy Leggo, CEO

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