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New respite service helps carers in Italian community.



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Senator the Hon Santo Santoro Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

8 March 2006 SS23/06

New respite service helps carers in Italian community

Members of the Italian community in Adelaide’s north who are caring for older relatives or friends and who also want to work will be supported by a new respite service.

The Oggi Con Noi (Today with Us) respite service operated by the Italian Benevolent Foundation SA Inc was officially opened today by the Minister for Ageing, Senator Santo Santoro.

“The service will provide respite care for frail older people, including those with dementia and challenging behaviours, whose primary carers are having trouble finding or maintaining employment,” Senator Santoro said.

“The extended operating hours will make this service particularly helpful for people who have to work long or odd hours but also don’t want to give up their caring role.

“Priority will be given to people of Italian background, but carers from other cultural backgrounds will able to use the service if there are spare places.”

The respite care will be provided at the Oggi Con Noi centre, a four-bedroom self-contained unit within the St Agnes Residential Aged Care Facility.

It will operate between 6.30 am and 11.30 pm seven days per week and will be responsive to the changing needs of carers and care recipients. It will provide care for up to 16 people each week, with an average of seven hours service per person.

The service will receive funding of $708,187 over three-and-a-half years under the government’s National Respite for Carers Program.

The 2005-06 Budget provided $207.6 million over four years to build on the government’s current investment in supporting carers, including $65 million for respite specifically to assist employed carers. More than $5 million of these funds will go to SA projects.

Media contact: Malcolm Cole 0408 612 603

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