October 17 2022
the target audience:
Flood events and elder care preparedness
East Coast Floods – Prepare
2022 has already been disrupted by a number of flooding events along the East Coast, with more bad weather expected next summer.
Major flooding continues to affect the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and is expected to continue over the coming days. This may present further challenges to aged care services, such as evacuations, staff shortages, and reduced ability to visit vulnerable care recipients in the community.
On October 10, 2022, he released Met Office (BOM) has released its long-range forecast for the upcoming severe weather season in Australia including an increased risk of widespread flooding in eastern and northern Australia and an increased risk of an above-average number of tropical cyclones and tropical bottoms.
Planning and preparing for emergency events is critical across the aged care sector to reduce the risk of their occurrence, and to enable service providers to respond quickly and decisively as they arise.
Elderly caregivers in areas prone to floods, fires, or hurricanes should review and stress testing to ensure they are current and consistent with potential threats that may lurk in the coming weeks and months.
Aged care providers must be informed and prepared to act in all emergencies. It is important that aged care providers are prepared and prepared to respond to the potential impacts on their services.
Preparedness enables you to implement effective responses while continuing to provide quality aged care services to vulnerable older Australians.
It is important to remain vigilant, even if the initial threat has passed. Continued rainfall may lead to renewed flooding in some areas.
Information on emergency preparedness and response is displayed on the department’s website.
Provider commitments – be prepared for risks
Aged Care Quality Standards require providers to demonstrate that they have an effective risk management system and practices that can be activated in times of crisis, to ensure that they can adequately manage the high-impact risks associated with consumer care (Standard 3 and Standard 8).
A slow or ineffective response to an emergency event by a service provider puts older people and employees at increased risk of harm.
In preparation for and in response to a flood event, service providers are expected to:
- Responding to staff shortages where staff are unable to travel to and from work due to floods or other personal circumstances
- Conduct appropriate assessment and care planning and make temporary arrangements for continuity of care and access to services (focusing on those most at risk)
- Plan for critical infrastructure issues including power outages
- Identify, support and monitor situations in which older adults have been and are still affected by floods
- Adapting service delivery to accommodate restricted access to essential supply chains.
Providers in flood affected areas should have already activated their risk management systems, and you are expected to actively monitor the safety and welfare of consumers.
For home service providers, additional activities include phone care checks. Welfare checks can alert you to a situation that requires immediate action, including a possible referral to an emergency responder. You are expected to make every effort to address any issues identified through this communication, including working with another provider to provide care or services that your employees are unable to attend.
Know your warnings – stay informed and updated
There are a number of sources of information that can assist in making decisions during these events. Understanding what’s happening and what contingency management plans are in place or ready to activate makes a big difference to your ability to respond.
Please note that flood warning and evacuation orders will be updated regularly as weather and flood forecasts evolve.
Relevant information can be found at:
If needed – contact your State Emergency Service (SES) at 132,500 In the first moment. In an emergency, call 000.
Webinar: Brief on Preparedness for the High-Risk Weather Season
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in partnership with the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety, is hosting an important briefing on seasonal outlook, risks, and preparedness related to residential and flexible aged care homes and aged care services.
The webinar will be held at Friday 28 October 2022 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST.
This summary will provide you with tips on risk and preparation for the high-risk season, including:
- Seasonal weather forecast from the Met Office
- Updates from the National Emergency Management Agency, the Health and Elderly Care Administration, and the Elderly Care Quality and Safety Commission
- Tips on how the aged care sector can help and communicate with the Australian Government during the severe weather season
- A short crisis scenario is running and being discussed.
How to join
The webinar will be held via MS Teams. If you are interested, please record the date and time in your calendar.
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