Council commits to providing aged care services to community
Published on 18 October 2023
Mount Alexander Shire Councillors unanimously resolved to continue to provide and expand Council’s aged care services at a confidential meeting of Council on Tuesday 17 October.
Mayor, Cr Rosie Annear said the decision came following an extensive review of Council’s aged care services in response to national reform of the aged care sector.
“During our review, current clients and their families overwhelmingly told us how much they value the aged care services that we offer,” said Mayor Annear.
“Older residents told us they feel cared for and respected by our staff – and that’s really important to us.”
Council has approximately 50 staff members who deliver aged care services to more than 800 residents in the shire. These services include personal care, home care, shopping, delivered meals, respite care, social support programs and more.
“We’ve been delivering high-quality aged care services since I was first elected to Council in 1984," said Councillor Maltby, who also supported the Council resolution.
“Back then, people were telling me how our services helped them to recover from an illness or injury, provided companionship, and supported them to maintain their independence while living at home.
“I’m proud to say that it’s still the same story now. Almost forty years later, people who receive our services are talking about them in the highest regard," he said.
Councillor Christine Henderson said she was also pleased with the decision.
“Our staff are committed to the job and they look after our older residents really well – those factors contribute to making it an excellent service, and one that people can, and do rely on,” she said.
“For a long time, people have told me how much our aged care services mean to them, so it’s great that we’re in a position to continue to deliver that,” said Cr Henderson.
“There are many reasons for Council to stay in the business of providing aged care services locally,” said Deputy Mayor, Cr Matthew Driscoll, who also supported the Council resolution.
“The shire has an ageing population, which will lead to an increased demand for our services.
“We can also draw on the existing expertise of our staff, who do a magnificent job caring for older people.
“This provides Council with a unique opportunity to become a leader locally in the aged care sector,” said Deputy Mayor, Cr Driscoll.
Mayor Annear said Commonwealth-funded aged care programs delivered by Council will now transition to the new model of care called the In Home Support Program.
“For current clients, the service is not going to look any different in the short-term,” said Mayor Annear.
“Down the track, we’ll explore delivering extra services as well, and any expansion will be done in a sustainable way and in line with client demand.
“This decision is good news for current clients, Council staff, the organisation, and our ageing population.
“We’re confident and excited about the opportunities that await us, under our plan for aged care services in the shire,” said Mayor Annear.
Council will continue to keep current clients, staff and the local community updated as the transition to the In Home Support Program progresses. Letters have been sent to all clients with more information, and staff information sessions have been held to discuss the decision.
Mayor Annear said Council was committed to continuing to listen to its community on what they need to support them to age well, now and into the future.
For more information, call Council’s dedicated Home Support Hotline on 5471 1768 (business hours).
To find out more about the background to this decision, read our Frequently Asked Questions here or pick up a hard copy from the Civic Centre, Cnr Lyttleton and Lloyd streets, Castlemaine.
For details on Council’s aged care and home support services, visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/Community-and-Wellbeing/Aged-care-and-home-support-services or email email@example.com.
For information on the Commonwealth Government’s aged care reforms, visit www.health.gov.au/our-work/aged-care-reforms.
In brief – Review of aged care services in Mount Alexander Shire
- Council has approximately 50 staff members who deliver aged care services to more than 800 residents in the shire.
- These services include personal care, home care, shopping, delivered meals, respite care, social support programs and more.
- In January 2023, Council began a formal review of its aged care services.
- The review involved hearing from current clients and their families, consultation with staff and volunteers, benchmarking with other local government areas, financial analysis, risk analysis, and more.
- More than 350 current clients provided feedback with key findings revealing:
- 76% of respondents reported that the service they are currently receiving from Council fully met their needs.
- 86% of respondents stated their willingness to stay with Council for care services.
- The familiarity and professionalism of care staff was consistently raised as a key value proposition of the service.