Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Nov-Dec 2013 Contents - Fully flexible three-headed
toothbrush 'surrounds' teeth
cleaning front, back & biting
surfaces simultaneously to
optimise plaque removal.
- Simple back and forth brush-
ing motion makes it quicker,
safer & easier to provide oral
• Small 'heart shaped' head
with 45° angled end rounded
• Designed to bend not break
• Brush heads and handle
covered in a non-slip soft
• Reusable bristle cover
Den st Recommended
Easier, Even When
Cooperation is Limited
MOBILE MEDICAL SYSTEMS
For specialised oral
For Further Informa on
Contact Mobile Medical
Ph: 02 9252 4410 or email
Made from a special high -
density foam and rigid core,
the OWD holds mouth safely
oral care & can
in hot water
of communication-based services and
proactive interventions, she says.
For the small number of speech
pathologists currently working in the
sector, Cartwright says they are servicing
an incredibly high number of residents,
which compromises quality and limits the
outcomes that can be achieved.
To compensate, families are often
having to source and fund private
speech pathology services on their own
initiative. "This is expensive and detracts
from coordinated, interprofessional,
best-practice care," says Cartwright.
"Even though the information we have is
anecdotal, it looks like this happens quite
a bit across Australia," she says.
Cartwright, who is also a lecturer in
speech pathology at Curtin University,
says education and practice initiatives
between the different professions will help
drive the closer integration of allied health
services into mainstream aged care.
"Interprofessional education and
practice initiatives are recognised as
key mechanisms for growing a more
collaborative future workforce.
"This represents a paradigm shift from
siloed healthcare delivery towards more
cohesive and integrated models of practice
where different disciplines work together to
address an individual patient's healthcare
needs collaboratively and holistically.
"Through collaborative practice, the
focus of care becomes implicitly more
client centred -- which underpins best-
practice care within an aged care setting."
Cartwright says it is the responsibility
of the profession to improve understanding
and awareness of their role and value in
aged care and to work with the tertiary
sector and industry to provide positive, high
quality clinical placements to students. n
Case study: Setting the bar
ONE AGED CARE provider which continues to invest significantly in
allied health is Montefiore Jewish Home in New South Wales. Out of
approximately 1000 staff across Montefiore's four sites 10 per cent are
allied health workers, a figure well above the industry average.
Permanent staff include physiotherapists, occupational therapists,
diversional therapists, creative therapists, social workers, a dietician and
diet coordinators, and a dental hygienist.
Montefiore also provides additional allied health services through
contracted 'preferred providers' including massage and reflexology,
speech pathology, podiatry, optometry, audiology and psychology.
Of these 100 in-house and contracted allied health staff,
approximately 20 are allied health assistants including exercise
physiologists and recreational activity officers involved in the organisation's
physiotherapy and diversional therapy programs.
Tracey Clark is Montefiore's general manager allied health services. She says it's
very important for the allied health staff to be integrated within the organisation, which
is why Montefiore has opted to use 'preferred providers'. These professionals, who the
organisation has developed strong relationships with, are able to support continuous
improvement and effectively work as part of the multidisciplinary team.
"As part of the contract they help us develop our workflows and provide ongoing
training for our staff and also for our residents and their families," she says.
FOCUS ON ORAL HEALTH
In a program unique in aged care, Montefiore introduced a dedicated dental clinic at its
"We recognised that even with the care staff implementing the government's Oral
Health Assessment Tool we still weren't meeting all of our resident's needs," says Clark.
As part of the optional oral health program residents receive three or more
appointments with the in-house dental hygienist for scaling and cleaning and two annual
dental check-ups with the site's three visiting dentists.
Due to the higher costs of running the clinic, residents who opt in for the service are
charged an oral health levy of $1 a day. If a resident requires advanced treatments a
treatment plan with estimated fees is developed in consultation with the resident and
Since its introduction, Clark says staff have witnessed a decrease in infections, such
as respiratory infections, and a decrease in behavioural issues. Residents also report
improvements in eating solid food more easily and less oral pain.
Clark says the program has seen an almost 70 per cent uptake. While many residents
report that the in house service alleviates the stress of visiting an external clinic, residents
who prefer to be treated by their private dentist are supported to do so.
Due to the program's success, Montefiore was recognised with a 2013 Better Practice
award from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation agency, in the health and
personal care category and Clark is exploring the program's expansion.
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