Final proposed recommendations to the Aged Care Royal Commission have backed the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s (APA) call for an aged care system focused on improving the quality of life of older Australians via holistic, multidisciplinary care options.
Gerontology physiotherapist and APA Director Rik Dawson said the recommendations represented a significant step forward in meeting the complex health needs of older people.
“The Counsel Assisting’s final submissions recommend a systemic overhaul of aged care, including a major shift to delivering preventative care and rehabilitation, not just acute care,” Mr Dawson said.
“Significantly, the recommendations recognise allied health’s critical role in delivering care appropriate to each person’s individual needs.”
The APA broadly supports the Counsel Assisting’s proposed recommendations that residential aged care facilities engage allied health professionals via a blended funding model of ongoing and activity-based payments. It also supports the monitoring of allied health services delivered to ensure consumers receive the level of multidisciplinary care they need.
Recommendations to ensure allied health representation in care management and in aged care health assessments via Medicare are also positive.
“The recommendations back the APA’s calls for appropriate funding of ongoing care reinforced by new funding for preventative programs and rehabilitation,” Mr Dawson said.
The proposed establishment of an independent Aged Care Commission and an interim Aged Care Workforce Planning Division to ensure adequate workforce distribution were much needed, Mr Dawson said. A recommendation to include allied health professionals in an Aged Care Advisory Council would further embed the critical role of allied health professionals.
The APA will be responding to the report via a final submission to the Royal Commission.
Rik Dawson is available for further comment.
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