Darebin is becoming an Age Friendly City

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Darebin is progressing well toward becoming an Age Friendly City.

One year ago, an independent panel presented the Age Friendly Darebin Report to Council. It included 98 recommendation on how older residents can be better supported to live well in our community. The recommendations encouraged new initiatives and services. They also saw improved Aged Care Services, increased advocacy, and Age Friendly principles embedded in Council’s plans and strategies.

On 7 September 2020 the Aged and Disability Department presented the Age Friendly Darebin Year One report to Council. A ‘Snapshot’ of this progress report was designed in co-operation with a group of community members. It reflects some of the new programs and services, trials and initiatives that Council started to support older people over the past twelve months. It also describes the challenges that came along with the COVID-19 pandemic and Council’s response to limit the impacts on our community.

Read the Age Friendly Year One Snapshot in your language

Arabic

Chinese

Greek

Italian

Macedonian

Vietnamese

You can find the full Age Friendly Darebin Year One report in the document library. It shows how the new projects have already made a difference for older people in Darebin.

The new initiatives in the Year One Report include the ‘Positive Ageing – Darebin Information and Support Service’. This free service assisted hundreds of older people to access much needed help. Council has funded the service for another year.


Next Steps

Council will continue to support the community to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From November on our existing and future clients will experience improved choices and services with their delivered meals.

We will also continue with projects that had to be put on hold due to COVID-19, for example the Gardening trial. Older residents will be given the opportunity to work and socialise in their gardens, alongside a trusted young helper. We will also restart our Lawn Mowing Trial. This program provides a subsidy for older people to get their grass cut.

The Age Friendly Year One report describes in more detail what is coming up in the next year and beyond.

To stay up to date with Darebin becoming an Age Friendly City, you can subscribe to the Older and Active Newsletter.

To stay up-to-date with Darebin becoming an Age Friendly City, you can subscribe to Darebin’s Older and Active in Darebin newsletter.


Age Friendly Darebin – project history

Council commissioned the Age Friendly Darebin Review in May 2018 in response to the Federal Government’s planned changes to Commonwealth Home Support Program funding. The independent panel appointed to conduct the review, Dr Rhonda Galbally AC and Peter Allen, released a discussion paper and led a large community consultation which took place over October – December 2018

After reviewing the community feedback and other information, the Panel prepared a draft report for further community input. Th Panel then finalised and presented their report to council in July 2019.

Council unanimously endorsed the implementation plan.


Council policy overview

Council has taken the following policy positions and advocated to Federal and State Government for:

Block funding of Commonwealth Home Support Program services should be extended and continued beyond 2022.

Council will continue to provide existing Commonwealth Home Support Program services for as long as the Federal Government provides block funding for those services.

The My Aged Care intake and assessment system is experienced by many older people as unhelpful and a barrier. It should be improved.

Future changes to create a national assessment service as part of My Aged Care should still allow for the possibility of local councils to provide locally-based assessment services.

The Victorian government should grant a National Competition Policy exemption to Council-run home support services. This is relevant if, at some point after June 2022, the Federal Government goes ahead with previously planned reforms and discontinues block funding of Commonwealth Home Support Program services. The National Competition Policy exemption would allow local governments in Victoria to choose to continue providing those services.

Council currently spends about $6 million per year subsidising services to older people in the Darebin community. Council has committed to continue this annual budget into the future.

Council has also made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which is currently in preparation.



Darebin is progressing well toward becoming an Age Friendly City.

One year ago, an independent panel presented the Age Friendly Darebin Report to Council. It included 98 recommendation on how older residents can be better supported to live well in our community. The recommendations encouraged new initiatives and services. They also saw improved Aged Care Services, increased advocacy, and Age Friendly principles embedded in Council’s plans and strategies.

On 7 September 2020 the Aged and Disability Department presented the Age Friendly Darebin Year One report to Council. A ‘Snapshot’ of this progress report was designed in co-operation with a group of community members. It reflects some of the new programs and services, trials and initiatives that Council started to support older people over the past twelve months. It also describes the challenges that came along with the COVID-19 pandemic and Council’s response to limit the impacts on our community.

Read the Age Friendly Year One Snapshot in your language

Arabic

Chinese

Greek

Italian

Macedonian

Vietnamese

You can find the full Age Friendly Darebin Year One report in the document library. It shows how the new projects have already made a difference for older people in Darebin.

The new initiatives in the Year One Report include the ‘Positive Ageing – Darebin Information and Support Service’. This free service assisted hundreds of older people to access much needed help. Council has funded the service for another year.


Next Steps

Council will continue to support the community to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From November on our existing and future clients will experience improved choices and services with their delivered meals.

We will also continue with projects that had to be put on hold due to COVID-19, for example the Gardening trial. Older residents will be given the opportunity to work and socialise in their gardens, alongside a trusted young helper. We will also restart our Lawn Mowing Trial. This program provides a subsidy for older people to get their grass cut.

The Age Friendly Year One report describes in more detail what is coming up in the next year and beyond.

To stay up to date with Darebin becoming an Age Friendly City, you can subscribe to the Older and Active Newsletter.

To stay up-to-date with Darebin becoming an Age Friendly City, you can subscribe to Darebin’s Older and Active in Darebin newsletter.


Age Friendly Darebin – project history

Council commissioned the Age Friendly Darebin Review in May 2018 in response to the Federal Government’s planned changes to Commonwealth Home Support Program funding. The independent panel appointed to conduct the review, Dr Rhonda Galbally AC and Peter Allen, released a discussion paper and led a large community consultation which took place over October – December 2018

After reviewing the community feedback and other information, the Panel prepared a draft report for further community input. Th Panel then finalised and presented their report to council in July 2019.

Council unanimously endorsed the implementation plan.


Council policy overview

Council has taken the following policy positions and advocated to Federal and State Government for:

Block funding of Commonwealth Home Support Program services should be extended and continued beyond 2022.

Council will continue to provide existing Commonwealth Home Support Program services for as long as the Federal Government provides block funding for those services.

The My Aged Care intake and assessment system is experienced by many older people as unhelpful and a barrier. It should be improved.

Future changes to create a national assessment service as part of My Aged Care should still allow for the possibility of local councils to provide locally-based assessment services.

The Victorian government should grant a National Competition Policy exemption to Council-run home support services. This is relevant if, at some point after June 2022, the Federal Government goes ahead with previously planned reforms and discontinues block funding of Commonwealth Home Support Program services. The National Competition Policy exemption would allow local governments in Victoria to choose to continue providing those services.

Council currently spends about $6 million per year subsidising services to older people in the Darebin community. Council has committed to continue this annual budget into the future.

Council has also made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which is currently in preparation.



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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The covid disaster has shown the weakness and profit taking by large companies. Facebook. _. Vict Gov run nursing homes have 6 cases of Covid. In contrast , there have been 1923 cases in private homes. I have been carer for a family member who had a Home Care package 1 $14500. the book work not adequate. I was told the woman sat using her mobile. I knew someone had been in the house, no visitor book. I was unable to have the company give a weekly account being hours person who attended, cost, items purchased and an account at the end of the month. I was fortunate I did not give a credit card number. I was charged $600 for 5 one and half hours cleaning. Client had a hospital visit then into a nursing home. When I repeatedly asked for a weekly breakdown Answer, books closed and nothing owing. The other problem, people purchasing motorised chairs should have a medical certificate. A Ringwood company travelled to Pascoe Vale to deliver a motorised chair, filled out the cheque, signed by client.The client had no instructions, no garage, front steps, no insurance, did not know how and when to service the battery. This was taken up the front steps, client fell, found by neighbour and spent night in hospital. Fortunately the cheque did not have enough money in account. I was abused for having it returned on doctors orders. This happened to friend neighbour but $5000 machine he never used. I feel older people are taken advantage of. A company was employed to put a non slip coating on the tiled floor. a dirty mop and dirty water left a grey film over the white tiles. the company said use some eneergy and wash them. NOT good enough.

    newmanpamela asked 3 months ago

    Dear Pamela

    Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns about aspects of the Commonwealth Government’s Aged Care system. These examples are distressing to hear about, and no doubt even more upsetting for the people directly affected.  The Royal Commission into the Quality and Safety of Aged Care, which is still in progress, highlighted similar concerns in its interim report, and the Commissioners recently focused on Aged Care during COVID-19. Council has made several submissions to the Royal Commission on behalf of the Darebin community, and we strongly encourage citizens to be informed and get involved in the process. You can find out the latest at https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au

    Council continues to advocate for stability and sustainability of local services. The Age Friendly Darebin project continues to work with older people and the community to improve the wellbeing of older people in Darebin. It is anticipated the Year One report and Year Two plan will be presented at the Council meeting on 7 September.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and our deepest sympathy for the stress and disappointment you and those you care for have experienced.

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    It is absolutely critical to support aged people to remain healthy and at their homes by supporting the continuation of funding to the council to provide routine daily support to frail /weak aged that are not sick. To expect them to go through my aged care is simply dening them necessary support to stay healthy at their home . My Aged care is based on a sickness model there is no chance that a frail old aged person can receive support through this new system.

    Kanitsaki asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. The community has told us often that there are challenges associated with accessing My Aged Care, and that in some instances people who registered with My Aged Care did not receive the support they needed.

    The recently completed Age Friendly Darebin Review highlighted this concern,  and as a result, Council resolved to offer a service that will include personal assistance for people to navigate the Aged Care system. The new service will be launched in October this year and will inform and support Darebin’s older residents and their families to find services that are right for them.  

    A few facts about My Aged Care and Council’s role:

    • My Aged Care is the gateway to the federally funded aged care system.
    • Darebin Council aged care services have been block funded under the Commonwealth Home Support Program since 2015.
    • Residents can access Council’s Commonwealth-funded aged care services via the My Aged Care Contact Centre and Council’s Regional Assessment Service
    • in September 2018 Darebin Council decided that if the Federal Government continued the block funding arrangement, then Council will continue providing those services.Darebin Council and others advocated for the Federal Government to extend the funding arrangements.
    • On 2 April 2019 the Federal Government announced that the funding would be extended until June 2022. This means that Darebin Council will be continuing to provide existing CHSP services for a further three years and possibly beyond.

    We encourage anyone having challenges with accessing aged care services to be in touch with us on 8470 8828, we will offer support and information to assist you.


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    Homeshare Australia and New Zealand (HANZA) is the peak body for homeshare in Australia. HANZA supports organisations seeking to establish a homeshare program through the knowledge and experience of those who have developed and worked in homeshare programs and through the provision of policy and procedure manuals, consultancy advice and supporting a network of homeshare programs in Melbourne and across Australia. HANZA commends Darebin Council for its draft strategy and particularly welcomes the reference to Homeshare in the recommendations. We look forward to working with council staff should they seek to 'facilitate the establishment of a Darwin Home Share and co-housing program in partnership with an NGO with established homeshare systems and processes.

    Heather asked over 1 year ago

    Dear Heather

    Thank you for your feedback on the Age Friendly Darebin Draft report. We are currently in the process of collating community feedback - your comments will be forwarded on to the Panel members as they prepare for their final version of the Age Friendly Darebin Report. 


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    Is there a service which connects residents who are unable to regularly walk their dogs with volunteers. My teenager loves dogs but we aren’t allowed pets where we live so volunteering to walk dogs in the community would help both sides.

    Lisa81 asked almost 2 years ago

    Hi Lisa, thank for your contribution.

    If you or your family are on social media we suggest looking into the Good Karma Network. The initiative manages networking groups for a few different suburbs in Darebin. The members exchange skills, support and “good energy”.

    Another option is to contact some of the pet rescue groups in Darebin. If your family would like to become a pet foster carer or a volunteer – these initiatives could point you in the right direction.

    If you would like to support an older person in the community, you could put a note on the notice board of one of Darebin’s Senior Citizen Centres.

    Good luck!


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    Are there any council or volunteer groups operating a transport system in Darebin whereby elderly residents can get picked up from home in a mini bus taken to a shopping centre and then brought home after a couple of hours? This enables socialisation . What I have found in Darebin is you have to be unable to use public transport or drive a car to access services. I lived for many years as a senior citizen in Yarra Ranges and found their services far easier to access and in turn this enabled me to socialise more. I am a 78 year old living in Reservoir and although I drive I find it hard to find parking spots these days and this service would be fantastic. There was also a bus operating out of Belgrave community house where we were taken out every week to different locations, could have lunch or coffee, and then brought back after about 3 hours - fantastic service!

    Pat asked about 2 years ago

    Thank you for your enquiry and comment. It’s true that transport and parking are important factors in people being able to socialise.

    Council offers a community transport service along the lines of what you have suggested. It picks up older residents from home and for a low fee takes them to various destinations in the municipality such as shopping centres, the market, health centres, and social groups. Phone 8470 8296 to find out more and access the service.

    Another local option is Community Link transport which offers other destinations and services for people needing help with transport. Phone 1300 546 528 find out more and access the service.


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    Dental services in Darebin (Community Centre) has a 2 year waiting list. For Seniors the cost of private dental treatment is excorbitant . I would like to see this addressed as part of the funding model for Seniors who wish to stay in their home as long as possible.

    dina33 asked about 2 years ago

    Thank you for your contribution to the Age Friendly Darebin Review.

    Access to affordable dental care is a vital aspect of being able to age well. Dental services in Victoria are funded by the state and federal governments.

    Your comments have been noted, however we would also encourage you to make your concerns known to your local MPs and candidates for the upcoming election.


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    We are sensitive to the numerous and complex issues relating to the Darebin Council running the Aged Care program with a significant shortfall in Commonwealth funding. The way forward may be clearer when the expert consultants submit their report and engage in increased consultation with Dareibin residents and ratepayers, both online and in face to face discussions. An increasing number of Darebin residents look to Council to be much more proactive in looking at creative ways to deliver a new and innovative Aged Care Model and advocating that model to the Commonwealth Government and the the community. We suggest that Darebin Council look at partnering other Councils in a strong marketing / media push to raise awareness of funding issues. Bendigo and Moonee Valley have already taken a proactive position There is also a need for Councils to collaborate with each other to challenge the Commonwealth Government on its current policy focus, its obsession with treating citizens and residents as consumers and customers. Darebin Council could lead the way in changing the language around Aged Care. Council has already led in the way it uses language around refugees. Language has the power to change policy from negative and exclusive to positive and inclusive. At a local level Council has changed the Commonwealth rhetoric from inferring that refugees are unwanted and illegal (queue jumpers and iIllegals) to welcome and valued (Refugees, Asylum seekers). Language is powerful, it is the voice of attitude, policy and practice. Many examples exist showing that most private/public companies have their focus on profits, cost minimisation and make promises which they fail to deliver. We would like to see Council funding priorities reassessed in a way that enables Council to continue funding Aged Care. Is it a part of the brief given to the expert consultants that they reconsider Council funding priorities in a way that would enable Council to continue to fund Aged Care Services? Not-for-profit charitable organisations are struggling to survive as the government decreases its funding, at the same time expecting them to carry bigger and bigger responsibilities as the charitable dollar/ donation shrinks. The failure of regulatory bodies to hold service providers to account is constantly apparent. Under-funding or self-regulation has been largely responsible for poor standards of service in the private sector.

    Sam and Jen asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your considered interest in the Age Friendly Darebin Review. 

    Services and support for older people in Darebin is a significant topic in the current reform environment.  It is indeed part of the brief for the independent panel to include consideration of funding priorities and possibilities with regard to existing, expanded or adapted aged care services.  The panel will explore all possible avenues to make sure that Council continues to meet the needs of older people in Darebin now and in the future. 

    As you have indicated, part of the review process includes further opportunities to contribute feedback in coming weeks with the public release of a discussion paper. In addition, early next year when the panel produces the draft report and recommendations after considering the evidence, research and community input. We invite you to participate in these activities.


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    As a senior citizen without a car the 86 tram is my main means of transport. However the no. 52 tram stop at cnr Plenty Rd and Tyler St only operates for journeys to the city. On return journey passengers have to alight at stop 51 or 53. This adds nearly 10 mins extra walking time and uphill with shopping trolleys etc. I am concerned when I may need a walking stick or walker as my arthritis gets worse. I contacted Yarra Trams but their reply indicated that the new trams stopping would prevent traffic flowing and they had no intention of replacing it. The tram stops ok on the north side of Plenty Rd at the remaining city bound 52 stop. The traffic has to stop then. I don’t see why a tram stop cannot be build on that side of Plenty Rd so that trams stop in the centre of the road similar to tram stops in Northcote and Westgarth. Instead passengers, including the elderly and disabled have to walk an extra kilometre or so uphill. It is also dangerous not just to our health in inclement weather but in the past there have been assaults and attacks on elderly people and a past rape on an elderly woman alighting at stop 53. I would appreciate any persuasion Darebin Council could give to the necessary authorities to restore stop 52 or build a new stop on the northern side so people especially the elderly and infirm don’t have to walk so far with heavy parcels etc to their homes.

    Alexandra Irini asked almost 3 years ago

    Hi Alexandra, thanks for your question!

    Council’s understanding is that the changes at this location were undertaken to allow the longer e-class trams to be used on tram Route 86. Council requested at the time that a solution be found so that the tram stop on the south side could be retained, but was told this wasn’t possible. Unfortunately, public transport is managed by the State Government, and Plenty Road is an arterial road managed by VicRoads, so Council has very little influence.

    It may be worth contacting Public Transport Victoria, along with your local MP (Robin Scott I assume) and the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan, as this matter falls within their responsibility:

    Robin Scott, State Labor Member for Preston

    T: 9478 5611

    robin.scott@parliament.vic.gov.au

    Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Major Projects 

    T: 5443 2144

    http://www.jacintaallan.com/Pages/Contact.aspx

    Council’s Aged and Disability Department will also be adding this issue to the list of concerns older residents have made regarding public transport through our advocacy to Government.



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    I know there must be a lot of older people who would appreciate the Community Buses that pick up people at home, go to Northcote Plaza, and Northland but hardly anyone knows about this service. When I first found out a couple of years ago, rang up transport at council, told I had to go through My Aged Care and given a 1800 number and go through hoops - now I am 82, with it and could navigate my way through these people who ask a lot of questions - OK - it came to where was I born = London England, next question was I an Aborigine or Torres Strait Islander - no I repeated London England and she said she guessed that question was for Australians. Who when they are faced with this farce would continue and as it is not advertised by Council they are missing out plus Council could be putting bums on seats and picking up extra money. I love this service and only found out through my elderly cits club and speaking with the women there. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT LIKE THIS SERVICE WHICH IS BRILLIANT AND ALL POWER TO THE WONDERFUL DRIVERS WHO DESERVE A MEDAL. Angela

    almost 3 years ago

    Firstly, thank you for your positive feedback about our transport staff, we will pass it on to them.

    We have recently undertaken a large community consultation exercise with older people in Darebin about what they need to age well, and Transport is evidently a very important issue. Being able to access Public Transport is a strong concern, as was being able to get around safely, and being able to come and go when and where you need to, such as offered by the convenience and security of taxi and ride-sharing services. Council services are a small part of the big picture, offering to eligible clients the community bus as you mentioned, or escorted shopping.

    Promotion of our services is done via several channels. All new clients are provided an information pack that outlines all of our services and they are talked through. Flyers are handed out at community events, community groups and clubs. The Darebin Council website has all the service information, and when residents call with queries information is given over the phone. Our services are all listed on the My Aged Care system. We are happy to hear about other effective ways to promote services.


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    I am a pensioner and have health issues which requires me to have home help I have now been receiving home help for a while but the past year since all the changes came in have been so disruptive to my home care . I no longer have a regular carer I have anybody turning up for my care and when i complain am told that as of next week so and so will be your carer ,can I say I am so annoyed and angry at being told that every time I call the council to ask where is my regular carer I feel like I am being taken for a joke . Its not fair that I should open my home to people that i dont know have to explain every time what to do and it never really gets done .Some weeks I am left without a carer because they want to come at the most inconvenient of times , and so very unfair to the carers themselves being shoved from pillar to post not knowing who they are going to care for on the day . I truly feel let down by the Darebin Council and I feel like as a residents with needs am not listened too . Please listen to your residents

    Maria asked almost 3 years ago

    I am very sorry that your experience of our service has left you feeling let down and not listened to. That is definitely not what we want to be the case for you or anyone else. There has been a period of disruption causing concerns for some clients with regard to some services. This has at times affected the regularity of staff, and our communication, both of which we have been working hard to fix. We realise it has not been improved quickly enough in some areas. I am glad that you have been calling to tell us your concerns because whilst we do not want things to go wrong, if they do go wrong, it is better that we know about it and can try to correct it. You are right that we can always improve how well we listen and respond to residents’ concerns.

    You are of course entitled to make a formal complaint, whether it is about the service itself or about the way your concerns were handled.