Course Title: Aged Care: The Australian Context

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Aged Care: The Australian Context

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008

Course Coordinator: Dr Keri Chater

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7445

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Registration or the ability to be registered as a Division 1 nurse in the State of Victoria.

It is desirable that students are currently employed in either the community or residential aged care sector.

Course Description

This course focuses on the changes that have taken place in Australia in relation to aged care policy and the provision of services to older people. The major focus will be in examining the different models of health care service delivery that is directed towards maintaining the health and well being of older people. The course will examine aged care in both community based and supported environments. Approaches to continuous quality improvement and benchmarking will be explored. Students will be provided the opportunity to examine funding policies, management and industrial relations. The course will also include areas such as palliative care and rehabilitation.

Key areas:
• Development of Australian Aged Care System;
• Residential Care function;
• Acute/residential interface;
• Community care options.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The dimensions of capability developed in the course include:
3. Advanced knowledge in specialised area;
4. Professional responsibility and accountability to make ethical decisions;
5. Apply an evidence-based approach to advanced practice.

At the completion of the course you should be able to:
• Describe the historical development of aged care in Australia;
• Articulate the concept of health and the older person;
• Understand various theories on ageing including biological and psychosocial theories;
• Understand local and global demographic trends;
• Describe how Federal and State policies on aged care affect older people;
• Incorporate the role of the law in aged Online discussion;
• Understand the relationship between the care of residents and policies;
• Describe and incorporate a range of interdisciplinary assessment tools and various traditional and non-traditional methods used in maintaining the health of older people;
• Synthesise a range of different positions on ethical deliberations;
• Relate benchmarking and continuous quality improvement to the nursing home setting;
• Describe the factors affecting leadership and management within the aged care sector.

The underpinning knowledge and skill developed in the course includes:
• Awareness of various theories on ageing including biological and psychosocial theories;
• Understand the impact of socio-cultural influences on understanding ageing and utilise this information in assessing the older person;
• Ability to incorporate demographic information and population movement to plan care;
• Make adequate and accurate assessments which observe individual rights and preferences;
• Observe procedures and legal regulations in practice;
• Critically evaluate policies and procedural guidelines;
• Understand and apply Federal and State aged care policy;
• Engage in continued scholarly development;
• Identify relevant political, economic and ethical issues that affect aged care nursing;
• Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of professional issues from broader areas of health care on aged care nursing practice;
• Apply lateral and critical thinking processes to problem solving;
• Reflect and learn from past and present personal experiences;
• Review assumptions and prejudices that may impact on effective professional development.

Overview of Learning Activities

Class discussion
Directed learning exercises
Additional readings.

Overview of Learning Resources

Lectures, class discussion
Additional reading
Web links to Government aged care policy
Site visits

Overview of Assessment

Online discussion
Class presentation
Written assignment