Project to help seniors stay in regional communities

Northam’s Bethavon aged-care home.
Northam’s Bethavon aged-care home.

The Wheatbelt Development Commission is managing the project, which will provide a profile of aged care in each of nine non-metropolitan regions.

By 2050, more than 3.5 million Australians will access aged care each year, with almost 80 per cent of the services delivered in the community.

The project aims to develop regional services to help ageing residents remain in their communities for as long as possible.

Commission chief executive Wendy Newman said aged care in regional WA had hit a critical point.

‘This process will enable the regional communities to have confidence in an integrated solution for the delivery of aged care services within their region, in turn enabling their residents to age well in the communities they have lived all their lives,’ she said.

York Shire President Matthew Reid said the level of aged care in the Wheatbelt was superior to aged care in the city.

‘My experiences with aged care around the Wheatbelt have always been very good,’ Mr Reid said.

York’s at-home aged care services are provided by Home and Community Care, which is managed by York Health Services.

‘They provide care for people who meet the criteria, which are set by the Department of Health,’ Mr Reid said.

‘They help with gardening and cleaning support and nursing. I think it’s a fabulous project.’

Mr Reid said the service gave ageing people independence and meant they could continue their social lives where they lived.

‘As they age they have a network around them, so they can keep up their social interaction,’ he said.

Shire of Northam chief executive Jason Whiteaker said the town had several residential homes for the elderly, out-of-home respite and in-home respite.

He said in-home respite was provided by a number of agencies that provided home and community care as well as social support.