Exercise physiologists winners of new therapy program

Allied health peak bodies have welcomed the expanded pain management program for residential aged care proposed in the recent review of the sector’s funding tool.

Allied health peak bodies have welcomed the expanded pain management program for residential aged care proposed in the recent review of the sector’s funding tool.

The Review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) report, which was prepared for the government by Dr Richard Rosewarne from Applied Aged Care Solutions, was released by the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt on 19 October (read our story here).

The review proposes a newly designed therapy program featuring an evidence-based general wellness, restorative approach for all residents that allows their participation in both one-on-one and group activities with a maximum of five residents.

It will be paid for by moving pain management items and the associated funding of $15 per day out of the complex health domain into the new program.

While exercise physiologists are not currently recognised as health professionals under ACFI, their practices fit strongly into the proposed therapy program and their inclusion is recommended, Dr Rosewarne wrote in the report.

Exercise & Sports Science Australia, Occupational Therapy Australia, and the Australian Physiotherapy Association have all welcomed the proposal.

“This report repeatedly references ESSA and accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs), and is consistent with our advocacy message to include exercise services delivered by AEPs within ACFI,” said Anita Hobson-Powell, CEO of ESSA.

She said ESSA hoped to see aged care residents having greater access to exercise services delivered by AEPs.

Ms Hobson-Powell said:

“Optimally positioning our members in this space will ensure consumers have access to AEP services regardless of their living location and create significant opportunities for a skilled workforce to service the aged care industry.”

Occupational Therapy Australia CEO Rachel Norris said OTA was a strong proponent of the need for multidisciplinary allied health teams in residential aged care.

“We believe that the changes to ACFI proposed in the report will allow for more accurate assessments of the resident’s needs and the provision of a diverse range of interventions,” Ms Norris told AAA.

The inclusion of a more broadly-focused therapy program was “enthusiastically welcomed and strongly commended” by the chair of APA’s national gerontology group, Vanessa Jessup.

“This represents an exciting fundamental shift from the current model,” Ms Jessup told AAA.

“In our view, the model needs to have a strong focus on detecting early indications of preventable decline in health, and use expert physiotherapy to intervene in a timely manner,” she said.

Tim Henwood

Exercise physiologist Tim Henwood, manager, connected living – community wellness and lifestyle at Southern Cross Care SA&NT, has worked in residential aged care for 20 years.

Dr Henwood said he strongly supported the proposed changes and exercise being more widely used in aged care.

“Each of Southern Cross SA&NT’s 16 facilities has a gym and other staff and I work with residents on individual programs based on their physical and rehabilitation needs,” Dr Henwood told AAA.

“These range from one-to-one sessions to moving towards ongoing maintenance in a group setting that can provide social as well as physical and mental benefits.”

When releasing the review, Minister Wyatt said no decisions have been made yet on the funding reforms and that this report added to the options in the University of Wollongong report released in April.

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Tags: accredited exercise physiologists, acfi, Applied Aged Care Solutions, australian-physiotherapy-association, exercise, Exercise & Sports Science Australia, Ken Wyatt, occupational therapy australia, Rachel Norris, richard rosewarne, slider, Southern Cross Care SA & NT, tim-henwood, Vanessa Jessup,

2 thoughts on “Exercise physiologists winners of new therapy program

  1. I am looking for a physiologist who can assist my husband who is struggling to walk. He has had time in the RAH; Calvary Rehab; Modbury Hospital for rehab; Valley View Nursing Home and currently Warrina Court at Paradise.

    I met Mrs Jan Henwood some months ago when she was in Adelaide who suggested I contact her son Dr Tim Henwood who could help my husband, but I have since lost the details and as
    Mrs Henwood is from Townsville am having trouble contacting her. Would be very pleased to hear if this is the physiologist and how I contact him.

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