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How to review your services and supports for daily living in line with the new ACQS

Sophia Wichtowska
2019-07-10

Part 4 of the Aged Care Quality Standards Series

The new Aged Care Quality Standards are now in place across Australia. The standards apply to all aged care services, including residential care, home care, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program. Now is the time to familiarise yourself with them.  

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In order to meet the standards, staff must be well-equipped and feel confident in delivering the best possible care. To support this, Go1 has partnered with Australian training provider Aged Care Learning Solutions to bring you all the online training courses you need to be ACQS compliant.

For Standard 4, organisations need to ensure their services and supports for daily living allow for consumers to do the things they want to do. Meeting the requirements for this standard is closely linked to the guidelines set out in Standard 1.  If consumers are provided with the help to maintain their independence, they will be able to live with purpose and have a sense of belonging to their community. 

What does ‘services and supports for daily living’ include?

Your organisation’s services and support systems include any provisions in place for consumers’ health and wellbeing that enable them to do things they want to do. 

Whether you are working with consumers living in their own homes or those in residential care, each consumer will have goals they want to achieve.  They will also want to be engaged in activities which have meaning and purpose, but may have challenges in their health and abilities which make this more difficult. 

The services and support your organisation provides should enable consumers to work towards their goals and aspirations, and help them to engage in meaningful pursuits. 

Examples of these services include:

  • domestic help, such as cleaning, laundry, gardening and home maintenance services
  • food services, including meals, food advice, delivery and preparation
  • services to encourage and support consumers to take part in social and other activities they are interested in, including community life.

Reviewing your services and support systems

Whether you believe the services your organisation offers are of a high standard, or you think they need improving, you will need to complete a review and ensure they meet the requirements for the new ACQS. 

These are our top tips for aged care providers to use and to generate conversation around the topic. The advice we share is to be implemented at the discretion of those responsible for the quality of aged care provision. Staff wishing to implement changes should do so in consultation with colleagues and line managers:

1. Provide opportunities self-management 

Where possible, allow those you are caring for to take ownership of organising activities and making changes in their home. Of course, there are policies and guidelines everyone has to adhere to, but there is room within these to allow consumers to shape the world around them. 

Perhaps the consumers in your organisation could set up a community association, or organise a fundraiser? If a person in your care is living at home, are there organisations in their community which could help to give them a voice? Of course, this won’t be possible for all individuals, but highlighting the opportunity to those who are able can make a huge difference to their sense of independence.

2. Encourage consumers to remain physically active 

Staying in the best physical shape possible is essential for the individuals in your care and their ongoing level of independence. Although the extent to which an individual is able to move or how far they can travel will vary, encourage them to continue doing what they can.  This might be as simple as walking in the garden, or organising household items. However small, each opportunity for movement will help those in your care to remain as active and engaged as possible. 

3. Tailor your services to the consumers’ needs

When reviewing the support your organisation offers to consumers, the best place to begin is with the information on the care plans.  If the services on offer meet the needs and wishes of consumers as closely as possible, consumers in your care will feel safer and that they are being listened to. This also applies if you have room in the budget to put new services in place.

It is equally important to involve consumers in the review process and ask for their feedback.  Their opinions will be the best indicator as to how the organisation is doing, and it is important to listen to them as you implement change.  Communicating any changes to consumers is also essential, as changes to an environment or routine can be stressful. 

4. Encourage consumers to take part in community life 

In order for consumers to feel as though they are engaged in daily life, it is important that staff members encourage them to take part in their community. Consumers need to be supported to overcome any impairments or conditions they may have which make participating difficult. 

If consumers are in residential care, there should be a range of activities that those with different personalities will enjoy taking part in. Some will enjoy physical activities, some more creative pursuits, and others will enjoy staying up to date with world politics. Provide activities for consumers of all personality types to enjoy their environment. 

Consumers in residential care should also be encouraged to take part in activities in the wider community if possible. Family members or friends might be able to assist with this. In residential care, it is also beneficial to have networks with the community, so that those outside of the organisation can provide services to consumers. For example, a massage therapist might visit consumers in residential care on a weekly basis. 

On reflection, are there any improvements you need to make to the services and supports in your organisation?  For information and support with meeting the requirements for Standard 4, you can find reflective questions on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.  

If you have a Go1 Premium portal, log in to view the Aged Care Learning Solutions video guide to Standard 4. Here, you will also find learning resources related to Standard 4.

Topics include:

  • Enablement and Optimising Wellbeing
  • Social Inclusion and Support
  • Hospitality Services
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