Your Say on Aged Care

Older People speak out would like to hear from you.   Your input will be invaluable as a way to let Canberra publicly know what the issues are at the coalface. You will be helping us show policymakers and politicians what really needs to be addressed.  Have your say here.


Seniors back elderly abuse laws

SENIORS are backing a coroner's call for the creation of a new criminal offence to punish carers who neglect the elderly, in the wake of the death of 88-year-old Cynthia Thoresen.

As revealed by The Australian yesterday, the elderly woman died in a Brisbane hospital after being left bedridden, covered in faeces and screaming in pain from an undiagnosed broken leg for at least three weeks by her carer daughter.    For the full story click here.


One peak body to represent them all?

By Stephen Easton

Leading Age Services Australia, the new peak association that aims to represent all providers of accommodation, care and other services for older Australians, was officially launched yesterday afternoon at Parliament House in Canberra.

The LASA board of directors was also named, with former Australian Defence Force chief General Peter Cosgrove to serve as inaugural chair.  Full Article...


Shellharbour aims to be 'aged care capital'

Shellharbour will become the state’s aged care capital if Mayor Kellie Marsh gets her way.   The council this week approved a long-term strategy for its largest seniors’ housing development, next door to Stockland Shellharbour.

UnitingCare Ageing wants to build a $120million complex in the city centre, reaching up to five storeys and including up to 372 apartments, a church, and commercial and retail space.   read more...


Golden Days Radio now heard in retirement facilities

Retirement and aged care facilities across Australia can now hear the melodic sounds of Golden Days Radio thanks to the efforts of an Australian company Web2TV.  The President of the Melbourne based community station on 95.7 FM, Larry James has told radioinfo he is very proud of the new development.   Read full article...


Extra support for students with disabilities

From the Minister for Education

Education Minister Martin Dixon today announced all Victorian Government schools will receive a share in $37.2 million of additional funding under the More Support for Students with Disabilities program.

From next month, all Government schools and students with disabilities will benefit from the one-off grant under a National Partnership between the State Government and the Commonwealth.   Full article...


State govs still responsible for aged care

By Yasmin Noone

State, territory and local governments must not just leave aged care reform to the Commonwealth but instead, carry part of the responsibility themselves in what should be a ‘whole of government’ approach to change, the NSW Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance MP, said in Sydney today.  Read full article...


Call for Victoria to recognise inspiring seniors

From the Minister of Ageing

The search for stand out senior Victorians who are an inspiration to their local community has begun with nominations now open for the 2012 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards.

Minister for Ageing David Davis today invited people to nominate seniors who make a real difference to their local communities.   Read full article.....


FSG Connections Program

Connections operates within Recovery-Based Practices and enhances opportunities for participation in, and contribution to the life of the community.

Reconnections is designed to assist carers to take a short term break from their caring role to focus on other commitments, personal needs and aspirations. Families/carers and the person they care for, can enjoy a short break to reconnect and build on family relationships in a relaxed environment.

Linking Services
Enjoy links with other services and access individual planning, resources and referrals, peer connections & support, education workshops, advocacy, social & recreational events and more.

Social Connection
We believe that recovery is a natural process and that people constantly seek to ‘Self Right’ and our aim is to assist people on their journey to achieve maximum independence and sustain social connectedness in their chosen community.

For more information on the above services please contact FSG:

121 Pinelands Rd, Sunnybank Hills or
Ipswich: 52 Brisbane Road, East Ipswich
Email: info@fsg.org.au
Open Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm      Tel: Brisbane Ph: (07) 3216 9636
Ipswich Ph: (07) 3202 1152


Reform package falls short

The federal government has fallen short in providing the aged care sector with the reform package it needed and was promised, although what was announced pre-budget is good enough for now.

This is the overall feeling of many aged care stakeholders and reform campaigners in the aftermath of the now historic ‘20th April 2012’ aged care reform announcement made jointly by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, more than two weeks before the full 2012/13 budget was released.  Full article ...


Abbott to reinforce support for NDIS

Opposition leader Tony Abbott will reinforce his support for a National Insurance Disability Scheme at a rally in Perth today.   In a whirlwind visit to WA, the Liberal leader will also visit a local business in Kwinana at 10am to talk to the owner about issues facing small businesses.

Disabled people, carers and supporters will march from the Hay Street Mall to Stirling Gardens where a public rally will be held in support of the NDIS outside Council House at 12.30pm.      The NDIS will provide life-long, taxpayer-funded support for people with disabilities under a Medicare-style funding system.  Read article..


Preparing for periodic payments -  Dr Henry Cutler

"The accommodation bond is a unique characteristic of the Australian aged care market. Since their introduction in 1997, a large proportion of providers have become reliant on bonds, using them to fund refurbishment, or to repay commercial debt quicker, thereby reducing the cost of capital.  Full Article...


Safeguard vulnerable young from aged care isolation

Anj Barker was 16 years old when she was bashed to near death by her ex-boyfriend. She sustained permanent, profound brain injuries. After many months she was released from hospital with such high care needs that her parents were unable to look after her at home. There was no  alternative but nursing home placement, an experience Anj describes as ‘‘pure hell’’. Read more:


Calls for MBS item for palliative care

GPs should be entitled to a Medicare rebate for advanced care planning to enable them to play a bigger role in palliative care, according to an aged care group.   read full article..


Telehealth for aged care homes and pharmacies

Telehealth pilot projects are being offered for aged care homes using the National Broadband Network, and retail pharmacies are also seeking to host telehealth services.

      The Federal government is inviting applications for almost $21 million in funding for its NBN-Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program, which aims to connect health providers with people in their homes or in aged care and palliative care facilities.    Full article...


Care needs long term planning

When discussing the capital needed for a comfortable retirement, the likely cost of aged care needs to be included in the planning, warns Philip Galagher, head of wealth management at Equity Trustees Limited.    “The likelihood of care and its associated cost needs to be recognised at the beginning of retirement, not when care looms as an unwelcome necessity,” Mr Galagher said.   Full article..


Aged Care: A Golden Opportunity for Change

Australian Ageing Agenda:   Don’t miss our Q&A panel thrashing out the industry’s response to the May Federal budget announcement. Energetic and opinionated speakers including Clive Bowman, Bill Forward, Bill Appleby, Brian Haratsis and Tracey McDonald will provide input from a range of perspectives including providers, political, international, consumers and the workforce. The panel will be facilitated by Toby Travenner.  full details..


Two Thirds of Australians Reject Reverse Mortgages for Aged Care

The Australia Institute for Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) has called on the Federal Government to abandon the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s report ‘Caring for Older Australians’ following the results of its nationwide survey.     The call comes as the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) and The Council on the Aging COTA have spoken in favour of the reforms at the National Press Club in Canberra. Read more...


Minister welcomes national Alzheimer’s report

The Victorian Minister for Ageing David Davis today welcomed the launch of the Alzheimer's Australia national report on services for people with dementia.

"This report again affirms what has been known for years - that Australia's health and aged care services have not been adequately designed to meet the needs of rapidly increasing numbers of people with dementia, and the needs of their carers," Mr Davis said today.  "Alzheimer's Australia itself has been established for decades and has made a significant contribution. Full article..


Aged care in dire straits

A damning report into the state of Australia’s aged-care system released by Alzheimer’s Australia yesterday came as no surprise to those involved in Illawarra dementia care services.

The report, commissioned by the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Ageing, contains hundreds of testimonials compiled from public consultations held in capital cities and regional centres between October and November last year.   Full Article..


Report finds dementia care inadequate across the health system

ASHLEY HALL: Dementia patients and their families have given a scathing assessment of the quality of care available to them and particularly to those from Indigenous or non-English speaking backgrounds.   Alzheimer's Australia says dementia patients and their carers are being let down right across the health system and it wants an extra $500 million in this year's budget to improve services and research....full article.


Gillard Commits Funds for Disabled Accommodation

The Federal Government will commit $60 million dollars over three years to help build community-based accommodation for adults with severe or profound disability.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that twenty-one organisations across Australia will share in the funds through the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund, which will help address a shortfall in supported accommodation and respite for people with disability. ...  Read More


Rebuilding from the ground up - a National Disability Insurance Scheme

Disability doesn’t discriminate. And yet for Australians with disability, where you live or how you or a loved one acquire a disability can radically change the care and support you receive.  Last year the Productivity Commission reported into disability care and support in Australia, describing the current system as “underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient.” The Productivity Commission recommended a complete overhaul of disability care and support, through a National Disability Insurance Scheme. ..  read article


NDIS. Labor is poised for greatness.

"What is wrong with expecting that our children, regardless of impairment, can have a secondary education? What is wrong with expecting that our children can get jobs and go to universities and TAFE? What is wrong with expecting that you can get a wheelchair within 12 months of ordering one? How is it that in this federation of ours, when you move from one state to another, you have to hand your equipment back before you can move?"

ASSISTANT TREASURER  ...   Read full article by Peter Martin


Key Indep MP backs aged care reform

One of the most powerful politicians in Australia’s hung parliament, Independent MP Tony Windsor, has thrown his weight behind the push for aged care reform andraised a question about the wages and working conditions of aged care nurses in Parliament.

Mr Windsor publically backed the Australian Nurses Federation (ANF) and the NSW Nurses Association's Aged care can’t wait campaign when he asked the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, about wages reform in Question Time, late last week....  full article


Break-Away Aged Care Groups Forms New National Body

Two state-based aged care representative bodies, Victoria and Queensland, have withdrawn from the national peak body ACSA (Aged and Community Services Australia) to form a new national entity.

The split follows more than a year of turmoil over representation and a failed attempt to merge with a for-profit association.   Agreement has been reached by Marcus Riley, President of ACQ, Bryan Dorman, President of ACAA and Valerie Lyons, President of ACCV, to establish the new national entity called of Leading Age Services Australia....  read more


Over One Million Australians with Disability are Working

Over one million working-age people with disability were working in 2009, according to the latest report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS says people with disability who were working were more likely to work part-time, work from home and/or run their own business than employed people without disability.   Around half (54%) of working-age people with disability participated in the labour force in 2009, compared with 83% of working-age people without disability. The type and severity of disability influenced people's employment....  read full article


The dangers of going online

Aged care providers and older people must stop believing everything they read on the worldwide web, start to question their own online activities and be aware of the increasing threat that is cybercrime, a senior member of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) said. --- Read more


One day could make a difference

Ms Collins, who is also the Minister Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, and Minister for the Status of Women, worked a ‘buddy’ shift with two Health and Community Service Union (HACSU) members rostered on shift at OneCare in Kingston, Tasmania.... Full Article


Aged Care National Peak Body Appoints New CEO

The Chairman of UnitingCare Ageing (NSW.ACT), Adjunct Professor, John Kelly has been appointed the new CEO of the national peak body peak of Not for Profit aged care providers, ACSA - Aged & Community Services Australia.    The appointment follows the February announcement that ACSA’s plans to merge with the for-profit Aged Care Association Australia had failed.   Full article..


The farmer redefining disability

ROB Cook wants to get injured farmers back into the workforce. And by injured, he means really injured.    In 2008, Mr Cook was riding in a mustering helicopter on his family's remote Northern Territory property, Suplejack Station, when the chopper lost power and fell from about 60 metres. Read full article


Playing Up in sunny QLD

An aged care facility in Queensland has proudly announced that it is the state's first to bring a unique brand of humour into its resident's lives through the Arts Health ...read full article


Big issues discussed at Sandgate forum

Civil unions, disability services and public transport issues were hot topics at a meet the candidates forum for the Sandgate electorate last night...read full article


Gerroa to again host disabled surfers

THE 11th annual Gerroa Hands On Day for the region’s disabled to have an opportunity to enjoy the thrill of surfing is on again on Sunday, April 1...read full article


Awards from inside and out

General managers from one of Australia's larger groups of aged care facilities have been awarded for outstanding achievement, while another company has rewarded their staff for long service and a ...read full article


Blind receive better social media access

Research by an internet expert has resulted in better access to social media for people with disabilities...read full article


Social Media for People with Disability Still Not Fully Accessible

People with disabilities still face significant challenges in gaining access to social media tools, despite recent innovations to improve access, according to an updated review of the Australian scene...read full article


The question that almost was

The Agewell campaign's day of action yesterday saw 140 aged care advocates fill the House of Representatives public gallery. At Parliament House for the event, AAA now explains what happened ...read full article


Employment for Australians with Disabilities – Everybody’s Business Including NFPs

Australia ranks 21st out of 29 OECD countries in employment participation rates for those with a disability (1) and we really should be hanging our head in shame, according to the President of the Victorian Disability Services Board, Tricia Malowney who speaks from her own experience. read more..


Sunnyfield program in Armidale to help with independent living

SUNNYFIELD in Armidale will receive $588,000 as part of the state-wide expansion of a program to help people with disability live more independently in the community.

The announcement was made yesterday by NSW Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance. Full article


Donation builds a case for more staff

An employment service for people with disability has given $1200 to Cowra Neighbourhood Centre after pledging to donate money to the organisation for every client placed in work throughout a ... read more


Disabled not forgotten in college refurbishment

THE UNIVERSITY of New England has been recognised for its efforts in improving disabled access, with Mary White College being awarded the 2011 Armidale Dumaresq Council Business Access Award... full article


Caring for elderly Australians report: experts respond

The Productivity Commission has released the Caring for Older Australian report

Rhonda Nay, Professor of Interdisciplinary Aged Care at La Trobe University gives a general response to the Report:

The Productivity Commission has at least mentioned end of life but they appear to have given most of their emphasis to funding, which is not surprising.    It is disappointing though because it would’ve been good to see more visionary work around workforce and care issues.   Read the full article..


Fighting dementia

President’s Message

Dear Supporter

My heartfelt thanks to you all for your tremendous support at our Fight Dementia March on 13 October. It was a turning point in getting dementia on to the national agenda.

Five hundred people joined the march and what a sight we were in our new teal and black colours walking up the hill to Parliament House.  We heard from two very special people, Kate Swaffer and Judy Woolstencroft and on behalf of everyone at the march I extend my thanks to them both for sharing their stories with us.  

Ita Buttrose AO, OBE President, Alzheimer’s Australia