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Acute-Aged Care Interface

Unprecedented increases in the number of older people as a proportion of the total Australian population and shifts in the focus and delivery of health and aged care services have led to new challenges in the interactions between acute care and aged care.

In March 2001, the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) established a national group, the Health Care of Older Australians Standing Committee (HCOASC) previously called the Care of Older Australians Working Group (COAWG) to explore care options for older Australians at the interface of hospital care, community care and residential aged care.

The group's action is targeted at older people:

HCOASC undertook a major research program which led to the release of six major reports. These are available at the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website.

Drawing on the major findings from the work program, HCOASC developed From Hospital to home improving care outcomes for older people. A National Action Plan for improving the care of older people across the acute-aged care continuum, 2004-2008. The National Action Plan focuses on acute, sub-acute and aged care, and introduces transition care services to cater for patients' shift from the hospital system into longer term arrangements, including where necessary ongoing aged care.

HCOASC has also developed or commissioned the development of the following resources to support health and aged care practitioners:

Age Friendly Policies and Practices - Managing older people in the health service environment
  Age-friendly principles and practices - Managing older people in the health service environment - April 2005
Best Practice Approaches to Minimise Functional Decline in the Older Person across the Acute, Sub-acute and Residential Aged Care Settings
  Best Practice approaches to minimise functional decline in the older person across the acute, sub-acute and residential aged care settings - Update 2007

  Best Practice approaches to minimise functional decline in the older person across the acute, sub-acute and residential aged care settings - November 2004

  Best Practice approaches to minimise functional decline in the older person across the acute, sub-acute and residential aged care settings - Quick Guide - November 2004

  Best approaches to minimise functional decline in the older person across the acute, sub-acute and residential aged care settings - Update 2007 Literature Search
A Guide for Assessing Older People in Hospitals
  A guide for assessing older people in hospitals - September 2004

  A guide for assessing older people in hospitals - Biblography - September 2004

  A guide for assessing older people in hospitals Quick guide - September 2004
Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Delirium in Older People
  Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Delirium in Older People - October 2006

  Management of Delirium in Older People Quick Reference Guide - June 2007

  Delirium - Consumer Brochure (Color) - June 2007

  Delirium - Consumer Brochure (Black & White) - June 2007
The ‘how to’ guide Turning knowledge into practice in the care of older people
  The how to guide Turning knowledge into practice in the care of older people
Delirium Care Pathways
  Delirium Care Pathways 2010

  Delirium Care Pathways Poster

Contact

Nicole Doran
Manager Ageing and Complex Care
Telephone: (61 3) 9096 2689
Continuing Care Unit, Integrated Care Branch
Wellbeing, Integrated Care and Ageing Division
Department of Health