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Help for older people with disabilities to age at home.



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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

24 June 2005 JB083/05

Help for older people with disabilities to age at home

The Federal Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, today recognised the work of two pilot services that are helping older people with disabilities to remain living at home in their NSW communities.

“Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, and while this is one of the nation’s greatest success stories, it also brings challenges,” Ms Bishop said.

“To ensure older people with disabilities have the same opportunities as other older Australians to remain living in their own home and community, the Australian Government is investing more than $4.5 million in two innovative pilot programs being run by Uniting Care in western Sydney and western NSW.

“Through these projects, the Australian Government, in partnership with the NSW Government, Uniting Care and local disability services providers, is helping more than 70 older people with disabilities remain in their local community, rather than entering residential aged care prematurely.

“These projects, funded through the Australian Government’s Aged Care Innovative Pool, are providing older people with disabilities with age-specific care in their group home so they can remain living close to their families and friends.

“The two pilots demonstrate how the partnership between the Australian Government, the state governments, Uniting Care and local disability service providers are helping to meet some of the challenges that will be posed by the ageing of Australia’s population.”

Since 2001-02, about 1,300 flexible aged care places have been allocated across 41 projects nationwide through the Innovative Pool Program. The evaluation of these pilots will assist the Australian Government in developing policy and programs to address the aged care needs of all older Australians, particularly those living with disabilities.

Julie Bishop, Federal Minister for Ageing, will address the celebration of the Uniting Care Innovative Pool pilot programs at McCall Gardens, 10-32 Terry Road, Box Hill NSW, at 11am on Friday 24 June 2005.

Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289

Suite M 1.46  Parliament House  Canberra ACT 2600  Tel: (02) 6277 7280  Fax: (02) 6273 4138 www.health.gov.au/minist.htm --- www.seniors.gov.au