Aged care boost for NW

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Fund­ing has been se­cured for an am­bi­tious project to im­prove aged care across the North West, with com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion set to be­gin next month.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Aus­tralia’s Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley branches and Lot­tery­west have part­nered to de­velop the North West Aged Care Strat­egy, a project aimed at de­vel­op­ing a long-term vi­sion for aged care ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties in both re­gions.

Lot­tery­west com­mit­ted $60,000 to the project last month, with RDA Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley pro­vid­ing the rest.

Bank of I.D.E.A.S. di­rec­tor and ex­pe­ri­enced com­mu­nity sec­tor con­sul­tant Peter Kenyon will start con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions across the re­gions next month.

The project is dif­fer­ent from the Pil­bara Re­gional Coun­cil’s pro­posed Re­gional Age­ing Strat­egy, which is ex­plor­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment sup­port.

RDA Pil­bara chief ex­ec­u­tive Diane Pentz said the rel­a­tive lack of ser­vices avail­able for el­derly peo­ple in the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley, es­pe­cially in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, was of se­ri­ous con­cern and de­served a broad strat­egy that looked at both re­gions.

She said she be­lieved aged care had his­tor­i­cally been a ne­glected area in the Pil­bara be­cause of the high cost of liv­ing but, with costs com­ing down, now was a good time to chal­lenge the as­sump­tion peo­ple did not want to re­tire in the North West.

“I think it’s im­por­tant that peo­ple are able to keep their par­ents or grand­par­ents close,” she said.

“And of­ten peo­ple will make the de­ci­sion to stay or leave based on the ser­vices avail­able for age­ing fam­ily mem­bers.”

East Pil­bara In­de­pen­dence Sup­port chief ex­ec­u­tive Deb Stock­ton, whose or­gan­i­sa­tion is the lead­ing provider of aged care in the in­land Pil­bara and West­ern Desert, said there was a se­vere lack of cul­tur­ally ap­pro­pri­ate aged care fa­cil­i­ties in the Pil­bara.

Con­sul­ta­tions will be­gin on Fe­bru­ary 14 and cover main towns and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties in the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley as well as Fed­eral, State and lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

If you are in­ter­ested in be­ing in­volved, con­tact Ms Pentz at ceo@rdapil­bara.org.au.

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