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Senior healthcare in focus at City of Whittlesea’s Ageing Well Expo

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MAJOR health care and community organisations shared their expert advice to seniors at City of Whittlesea’s Ageing Well Expo on Wednesday.

From 10am until 3pm at Plenty Ranges Art and Convention Centre in South Morang, seniors had the opportunity to learn about a diverse range of products, services, and information to help plan their own futures or care for a family member.

Providing advice on tailored care, Heritage Care Epping used the expo to help seniors seeking specialised aged care facilities.

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Head of marketing and communications Electra Tounis said the expo was to increase awareness within residential aged care, particularly after the pandemic.

“The local community are not very familiar with the different types [of services] available, whether it’s a short-term stay or a long-term stay, as well specialised care available from dementia care right through to palliative care,” she said.

“We’re trying to shift the perception around residential aged care. I think people perhaps are a little bit scared due to the past COVID experiences and in the industry overall.”

Northern Health staff, left, Karen Overall, Ella Critchley, Oksana Kasapis and Lisa Manago. ​

DPV Health assisted seniors on services providing face-to-face and in-home support, with the Federal Government’s Aged Care Assist designed to accommodate older people experiencing limited family support, language barriers and difficulty processing information.

DPV health coordinator Adele Parris said the aim was to introduce different services in the area, including government-funded packages, to vulnerable residents needing a head start.

“It’s such a fantastic service that we can offer. If it’s not being utilised, it won’t be around for that long, so the more people we can get in, the merrier, [and] the more we can help is the best option for this,” she said.

“By being [at the expo] and just opening that conversation and having it first, we find it makes people a little bit more relaxed and people comfortable.”

From a human rights perspective, Elder Rights Advocacy showed older residents about their own rights, specifically information on accessing the aged care system, and how their concerns can be addressed within aged care facilities.

DPV Health assisted seniors on aged care services at the Ageing Well Expo on Wednesday. ​

Advocate Stacie Synon said the free independent service used a ‘rights-based approach’ when assisting seniors with various aged care services.

“We work for the older person and support their wishes and ensure that their rights are being upheld,” she said.

For social well-being, Whittlesea University of the Third Age, U3A, communications manager Natalie Lim welcomed retirees to the community group, which has 130 classes and 70 tutors for craft, exercise, dance, and several activities.

Tony Rizzotto and Sue Rizzotto participated at the Ageing Well Expo at the Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre last week. ​

Ms Lim said she received a great number of inquiries from residents over 50 who could access the information they needed face-to-face.

“Basically it’s to meet people to make people in the area aware of who we are, and what we offer. There are quite a few people who have heard of us, but don’t really know about us,” she said.

“Since COVID, a lot of them have stayed home, and they haven’t come out and they feel very isolated, so one of the things that we try to do is provide all sorts of different activities.”

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