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‘Investing in a preventative approach’

Goodwin Aged Care Services has launched Canberra’s first wellness centre bringing together geriatric assessments, nurse practitioner consultations and allied health under one roof, as part of a new positive ageing initiative.

Goodwin Wellness Centre

Goodwin Wellness Centre

Goodwin CEO Sue Levy said the centre would help  improve access to specialist and allied health services to support clients to remain active and independent for longer.

Targeting Goodwin’s independent living and in-home care clients, available services include physiotherapy, podiatry, dietetics, occupational therapy and in the near future, Ms Levy hoped to add GP services to the list.

The centre’s wellness model has been coordinated and driven by the centre’s geriatrician and nurse practitioner, she said. And the centre was already showing strong demand from clients.

“The centre’s mantra is really about challenging some of the preconceptions surrounding the role of aged care providers. Historically we have been in a set mould that we manage residential care facilities and home care, but the wellness centre is about rehabilitation and investing in a preventative approach,” Ms Levy told AAA.

The wellness centre, which is located in Goodwin’s Monash village, was officially launched by ACT Minister for Ageing Mick Gentleman on Wednesday.

Ms Levy said clients can access bulk-billed geriatric services at the centre and other services “at no or low cost”. Clients with a chronic condition can access five Medicare funded allied health consultations per year, after which access will be via a user-pays service.

“The focus is to help clients stay healthy and active, enhance their health where possible and build resilience to prevent future events such as injury or illness,” she said.

“And for clients that are living with a chronic condition through timely access to specialist services, they can be assisted to remain living at home.”

Grants to support ageing rural Australians

Elsewhere, the recipients of the annual Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) grants have been announced, with 65 projects sharing in nearly $450,000 to improve the wellbeing of older Australians.

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) CEO Alexandra Gartmann said the foundation received an unprecedented number of applications for this year’s program – up some 300 per cent on previous years.

She said there was also a marked increase in requests for technology to be used by older people, either within their own homes as part of e-health and social connection programs or in residential care for both therapy and social connection.

Ms Gartmann said many of these applications sought to use of social media to keep older people connected with family and friends and reduce social isolation.

Some of the projects funded this year include an outback walking track, peer-led senior IT education and a directory of health professionals who speak a second language for ageing Australians from multicultural backgrounds. For a full list of the recipients visit the FRRR website

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