|ERA Ageing strategy
An ERA Ageing Strategy was developed to cater for the changing needs of older people in the eastern region. The strategy was informed by a range of consultations and focus groups that were conducted with local residents, regional service providers and local community groups and associations.
As an outcome of that strategy the ERA Ageing Portfolio Group has been focusing on three main areas:
Volunteering in the East Project
The ERA Ageing Portfolio Group undertook a collaborative project including:
- An audit of current ERA volunteers systems and practices with a view to identifying opportunities for regional alignment and efficiency;
- Research into opportunities to better utilise online volunteer management systems;
- Identification of innovative strategies to address emerging volunteer needs.
The project has resulted in a report outlining recommendations for future direction of volunteering in the Eastern regions. The Portfolio Group will work on the report’s recommended actions which include:
- Explore and develop a shared philosophy to volunteering in the east;
- Assess the degree to which volunteer systems are incorporated into the over-arching risk management and HR systems of ERA Councils;
- Explore the potential benefit of a regional ‘umbrella’ volunteering software platform;
- Develop a community of practice to implement ERA volunteering initiiatives;
- Explore the possibilities of piloting the Time Banking model of volunteering.
Aged Care Reform
In April 2012, the Commonwealth released the aged care reform package Living Longer, Living Better. Amongst other initiatives, this package includes the development of an integrated Home Support program which brings together HACC and related respite and support programs. The Portfolio Group has been collaboratively working through the changes to aged care services as a result of the Commonwealth Aged Care Reforms. These changes impact all aged care providers nationally, including Local Government. The Portfolio Group has supported the SA Local Government sector with the changes by leading discussions, sharing information and keeping the sector up to date.
There will be changes to the Home and Community Care funding from July 2015 that mean local Government has had to prepare for structural and service changes over the last year. The Portfolio Group is working with the LG Professionals Community Managers’ Network and the Local Government Association to ensure continued and stronger collaborative work across the sector.
Eastern Metropolitan Community Passenger Network
The Ageing Portfolio Group was approached by the State Government and offered funding to scope a Community Passenger Network for the Eastern Metropolitan Region. During 2013/14 the project scoping phase was completed and the actual service was established and became operational in March 2014.
Community Passenger Networks (CPNs) play a key role in providing a central point of contact for the transport needs of local communities. They primarily provide a transport information and referral service; however, some of the CPNs also offer last resort transport for the transport disadvantaged. CPN services are available to those who are frail, elderly, isolated or have a disability; do not have access to transport; do not have family, friends or neighbours to help with transport; or cannot walk to the bus stop.
Appropriate community centres and facilities will be important in the future as they provide a hub around which programs and services can grow and volunteer roles can develop.