Well done and congratulations to all those that have needed to make changes in a small amount of time due to changes in case numbers and location, where COVID 19 and the Delta variant continues to play havoc in every facet of our lives. Well done in minimising the impact where possible for clients and ensuring person centred care is at the forefront to meet their needs. As some areas go in and out of lockdown, and others are remaining in lockdown, please make sure you have time to be kind to yourself too. Another month with lots going on, the conference, a new network group, COVID check-in meetings, workforce reform in mental health, the AGM; so let get started with your update.
The conference is only a week or so away, and if you haven’t done so, please make sure you book as soon as possible so you don’t miss out. It is the DRTA educational event of the year. We have two awesome international keynote speakers this year both with vast knowledge and expertise in their areas with evidence-based research and practice. We also have many other fantastic speakers on diverse topics in aged care, disabilities, hospital patients and in virtual reality.
The AGM will be held once again via zoom and at a different time to the conference, as we did last year. The AGM will be on the 12th of October at 6:00pm. For anyone interested, I would encourage you to join the board with some positions available for one year and others for three years. A nomination form has been included in this newsletter. It is a great opportunity for you to have your say in how our profession and association develop moving forward. I would also strongly encourage students to participate in the conversation.
We have a new Online Dementia Specific Network Group which is starting this month and will occur on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm. These meetings are held via zoom and you can either dial in from your phone or from a computer with the details in the network group section of the newsletter.
Meeting ID: 883 5893 7783
We ran a series of three COVID check in’s. The majority of people who joined the check-in’s were from aged care, but not all. There were discussions about the impact that COVID has had on facilities. In Victoria some aged care facilities were closing down ‘wings’ or different areas have closed due to a reduced number of residents entering the facilities. Some reasons for this may be around last year’s outbreak and family fearing to put their loved one into residential care. Other ideas were around an increase of funding for community aged care services, reducing the demand to enter residential aged care facilities. Members also expressed the challenges around volunteers not being able to support the leisure program leaving a heavy burden on lifestyle staff.
I attended a webinar earlier in August as part of the Mental Health Royal Commission looking into workforce reform in Australia. The webinar talked about changing the mindset in how a workforce should look to meeting needs, from treating mental illness to enhancing mental wellbeing. To do this consideration needs to be given to support needs in the community. It was suggested that new models of community care are required and a different workforce with digital support. A current draft strategy is waiting to be released. The focus needs to look past just clinical and hospital-based care and thought needs to be given about continuity of care and the psychosocial aspect of meeting needs. Thought also needs to be given to the whole life cycle with more of an emphasis on the lived experience of the workforce. The recording of the session is now available on their website. The next meeting is in October on ‘Mental health Reform: governance and funding’.
Until October, stay safe