Se­nior mo­men­tum

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - By KYLIE WIL­SON

PRO­MOT­ING DIS­CUS­SION: Yackan­dan­dah Health CEO An­nette Nuck (se­cond from right), pic­tured with res­i­dents of Yackan­dan­dah Health (from left) Ju­dith Brind­ley, Phyl­lis Heiner, Pepita Hod­getts, Julie Scott and Hazel Fox, is look­ing for­ward to fos­ter­ing com­mu­nity dis­cus­sion on age­ing at an up­com­ing event she has or­gan­ised.

WITH a steadily age­ing pop­u­la­tion, fos­ter­ing con­ver­sa­tions on what that means for so­ci­ety, the planet, and our com­mu­ni­ties has be­come more es­sen­tial than ever.

Dis­cussing and putting the many is­sues re­lat­ing to age­ing front and cen­tre is the aim of an up­com­ing com­mu­nity event cen­tred on Yackan­dan­dah, which has been in­sti­gated and or­gan­ised by the CEO of Yackan­dan­dah Health, An­nette Nuck.

The week­end event, be­ing held in Novem­ber, will fea­ture a pre­sen­ta­tion on Age­ing Well: In­no­va­tions From Around The World by in­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion on Age­ing in Canada sec­re­tary gen­eral Dr Jane Bar­ratt (fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion); a Com­mu­nity Cel­e­bra­tion fea­tur­ing Aus­tralian iden­ti­ties Jackie French and Costa Ge­or­giadis; and a Yackan­dan­dah The­atre Com­pany per­for­mance based on the sto­ries of Yackan­dan­dah Health aged care res­i­dents, Liv­ing Mem­ory.

An­nette said she is pas­sion­ate about the event and said has been fol­low­ing the work of Dr Bar­ratt for some time.

She was in­spired to get in touch with Dr Bar­ratt when she re­cently vis­ited Aus­tralia and made an ap­pear­ance on panel dis­cus­sion show The Drum.

“She has such an over­view on how the global com­mu­nity is tack­ling the age­ing pop­u­la­tion,” An­nette said.

“It’s re­ally great to learn about things on a world stage.

“We want to open the con­ver­sa­tion we hope will con­tinue.

“You can’t look at one is­sue with­out look­ing at the big is­sues.”

An­nette said that in the wake of the an­nounce­ment of a Royal Com­mis­sion into Aged Care Qual­ity and Safety, she be­lieved aged care mod­els need to be ex­am­ined and re­vised by their com­mu­ni­ties.

She said the key to im­prov­ing qual­ity in aged care is fund­ing, as well as find­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate bal­ance with staffing lev­els and proper staff in­come, but said that it was a com­pli­cated is­sue, with no one-size-fits-all ap­proach.

“I think the Royal Com­mis­sion will be a good thing,” An­nette said.

She added that the in­dus­try needs to shift away from a purely health­based ap­proach, as there are many facets to pro­vid­ing aged care.

“For too long, the aged care fo­cus has been on ill­ness,” she said.

“Older peo­ple are older than the rest of us, not nec­es­sar­ily sick.

“Be­ing old is a stage of life.

“Dr Bar­ratt’s work is heav­ily fo­cused on a well­ness model, where we sup­port older peo­ple to en­joy their life and do the things they want to do.

“The older peo­ple have con­trib­uted to this coun­try, and need the ab­so­lute best care that we can give them.”

An­nette said she was also look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from au­thor Jackie French dur­ing the event. “She shares so many of the val­ues that we talk about in Yack, es­pe­cially sus­tain­abil­ity,” she said.

Just as it takes the prover­bial vil­lage to raise a child, An­nette said that ru­ral towns like Yackan­dan­dah can play an in­te­gral role in en­sur­ing el­derly peo­ple re­main a vi­tal part of the com­mu­nity.

“Our fo­cus is on con­tin­u­ing to con­nect to the com­mu­nity and valu­ing these won­der­ful peo­ple,” she said.

“Age­ing has to be in­di­vid­ual.”

The events are sup­ported by spon­sor­ship from WAW Credit Union, YCD Co, Joss Group and In­digo Shire Coun­cil.

The Yackan­dan­dah Health In­ter­na­tional Speaker and Com­mu­nity Cel­e­bra­tion will take place on Novem­ber 9 and 10.

More in­for­ma­tion on the var­i­ous events in­volved, in­clud­ing book­ing de­tails, is avail­able on the Yackan­dan­dah Health Face­book page.

◆ HIGH PRO­FILE: Dr Jane Bar­ratt, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion on Age­ing in Canada, will share her ex­per­tise with lo­cals dur­ing the event.

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