Expos help elderly age well at home

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Uniting AgeWell successfully hosted two expos in Southern Tasmania last month which showcased the services available to assist elderly people age well at home.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, the free expos brought together about 30 Home and Community Care providers offering services as diverse as respite care, transport assistance, health equipment and aids, cultural support groups, home maintenance and community activities.

Uniting AgeWell’s Director-Tasmanian Communities and Housing, Keith Burke, said the events aimed to show clients, potential clients and their families, carers and friends the range and breadth of services available throughout Southern Tasmania.

“We already know that many people would prefer to stay in their own homes than move into supported accommodation but they, and their families, are just not sure of the support which is available,” Mr Burke said.

“That is both in terms of medical and health services as well as support with everyday things such as meals, home maintenance or even easing the social isolation which can occur for elderly who have difficulty getting out and about.

“For this season we adopted a collaborative approach by working with other providers – including some competitors – to design a one-stop-shop approach for people to find out what is available to make living at home easier and better.”

Mr Burke said social isolation was an issue for many elderly residents as some rarely saw family and friends and could go many weeks without interacting with another party.

“This can make life very lonely and can actually lead to the need for further intervention which deprives some older people of the opportunity to live independently for as long as possible,” Mr Burke said.

“By seeing them regularly, trained staff are also able to pick up on how they are travelling generally and can look at remedies early, which may assist the participants remain in their own environment longer.”

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