Ask managers about their work in aged care delivery in rural and remote communities and most will tell you the work is complex, rewarding and meaningful. But challenges persist, and are often tied to professional isolation, high turnover rates and limited access to culturally appropriate training that ensures standards of care are being met.
In May 2022, we ran a 10-week pilot program – the Rural and Remote Aged Care Management Training Program – funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care through the Service Development Assistance Panel program. All participants reported the experience was overwhelmingly positive.
‘The attendance mix, realistic content and mentor follow-up is the blueprint for best practice,’ wrote one.
Another called the workshop ‘motivating and encouraging,’ largely owing to the face-to-face training. ‘I cannot rate this highly enough.’
The pilot success resulted in the Department supporting a much larger rollout for service providers in rural and remote communities, which began in late February 2023. Managers, along with supervisors, will experience the hands-on approach used in the pilot, where culturally appropriate training was designed to implement culturally safe care.
Week one of the training features two compulsory introductory webinars where the Aged Care Management Training Program is unpacked, with a focus on context and the role of the manager.
Week two includes five days of face-to-face learning about meeting aged care standards to ensure quality outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Being together, in person, is a deliberate strategy meant to combat professional loneliness and excite learners through their shared experiences.
‘I was finally able to be around a group of peers experiencing the same issues and barriers that I’ve experienced and I don’t feel as alone as before,’ one participant wrote.
Weeks three to 10 see all participants supported through structured online mentoring sessions. Managers work through learning tasks designed to utilise their new knowledge. The big goal is clear – to implement the systems and processes required to meet the Aged Care Quality Standards and legislative compliance requirements.
Our cross-cultural team of trainers, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators, are experienced in providing rural and remote aged care services.
We are focused on successful succession planning that sees managers live, work and stay connected in their home communities. We also commit to walking with all participants every step of the way.
Over the next 16 months, we will offer eight workshops. Like the pilot, we will include both face-to-face and online mentorship check-ins.
Face-to-face delivery will be held in Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Cairns. The training program will be delivered at no charge for services located in remote and very remote locations (MMM 6 and 7) and on a case-by-case basis for services in rural areas (MMM 5). The cost of travel and accommodation will also be met for eligible participants.
If you are interested in accessing a customised Rural and Remote Aged Care Management Training Program, please visit barbaraschmidtandassociates.com.au to complete an application form or call us (1800 305 080) for information.