News in brief

A round up of industry news including an environmentally friendly retirement village, food alert, research, and educational events.

Compiled by Yasmin Noone

  • Alzheimer’s Australia celebrates the memories of loved ones as it campaigns for more research funding this Valentine’s Day.
  • Older workers and employers will benefit from new flexible work arrangements, says COTA Australia.
  • Home Instead Senior Care has released two new free tools to encourage families and seniors to talk about their health plans and desires.
  • New Blue Care centre for Lockyer (Gatton, Queensland)
  • The Southern Cross Care Community Foundation is launching tonight
  • New appointment at Vasey RSL Care
  • Catholic Healthcare has begun the construction of its new retirement community, The Brighton, in Croydon (New South Wales)

Melbourne’s Federation Square was awsh with Alzheimer’s Australia V-day campaign cards this afternoon

Alzheimer’s Australia has used today’s Valentine’s Day angle to call on the public to show a bit of ‘love’ for their Fight Dementia campaign and sign up as a dementia champion.

The nationwide event will showcase six-foot memory trees, designed to ‘come to life’ as people customise leaves with their favourite memories of a loved one and pledge their support for the cause.

The Fight Dementia campaign aims to convince the federal government to earmark $200 million over five years in the upcoming 2013/14 budget.

For more details, visit

The Commonwealth has announced plans to amend federal workplace laws by extending the right to request flexible working arrangements to include workers who care for parents, employees with disability and mature age workers.

The advocacy organisation representing the interests of older people, COTA Australia, has issued its support for the move, stating increased workplace flexibility would allow many in the community to better juggle the responsibilities of work and care.

CEO of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, said amending current legislation would benefit not only employees but employers and the broader community because it makes “good business sense”.

However, he added, “we are disappointed that under the announced leglistaiton, employers will still be able to refuse requests and that employees will have nowhere to go to get that decision reviewed”.

“COTA will be monitoring the take up of flexible arrangements to see older workers and carers are indeed getting access to these new provisions.”

Home Instead Senior Care has released two new free tools to encourage families and seniors to talk about their plans and desires in the event of emergencies, such as hospitalisation or illness.

The Home Instead Senior Care In Case Of Emergency (ICE) App is designed as guide to help seniors and their families prepare in case of a medical emergency.

The app allows for contact details to be added for as many individuals as desired including medical conditions, medical contacts, allergies, and medications etc. for each individual.

Once entered, this information can be readily accessed including automatic dialling functions to desired contacts.

The second tool, the Discussion Prompter Brochure, highlights areas for discussion such as leaving a will, legacies and care directives. 

Both tools are designed to encourage families to talk about and plan for scenarios such as what kind of care they might like if they were unable to communicate in the future.

Visit for more details of these free resources.


Turning the sod: (L2R) Blue Care Lockyer Community Care service manager, Elaine Horrocks; Blue Care director of services north/west Michelle McKay and Basil Reif; life member of Blue Care Lockyer who has been volunteering for over 23 years.

Construction of the new Blue Care Lockyer Community Care centre in Gatton (QLD), worth $3.3 million new, will begin next week.

The Lockyer community’s fundraising efforts have aided iconic not-for-profit organisation Blue Care’s efforts to develop a highly-anticipated new centre at Dawson Drive, Gatton.

The new venue will replace the former community care quarters which has been in operation since 1982.

Blue Care executive director, Robyn Batten, said the new building was expected to open about September.

The new facility for our community care and centre-based respite was made possible by support from the community, local council, Queensland Department of Communities, Blue Care Auxiliary and Committee, and all Blue Care volunteers and staff.

For more information about the centre’s services, call 07 5462 1834.

Southern Cross Care (SA&NT) will officially launch a new ‘Care Community Foundation’ to raise money for aged care research support projects and programs that benefit older people, later tonight, in the company of 300 guests and the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR.

The 45-year old organisation will set up the foundation to enhance the quality of life of older South Australians, create communities of care, encouraging and support people to look out for each other wherever they are and in whatever way they can.

The foundation, Southern Cross Care (SA&NT) said, will have a number of functions. For example, it will conduct targeted research that has practical application for everyday life and healthy living and collecting and organising access to much-needed items such as buses, computers, gardening tools and sheds to enhance the lifestyle of older people.

Southern Cross Care will support the administration of the Foundation, ensuring that every dollar raised goes directly to programs and research.

For more information please contact Juliette Graham on mobile 0478 879 665 email

New appointment: Community, independent living and residential aged care provider, Vasey RSL Care, has announced the appointment of its new chairman of the board, Hon Michael J R MacKellar AM.

Mr MacKellar succeeds Dr James E Breheny OAM, the inaugural chairman of Vasey RSL Care since its inception in 2004.

The Hon MacKellar is an agricultural scientist and former Commonwealth Minister in a number of portfolios, including health.

He works with various Medical Research Institutes and is a director of the National Ageing Research Institute.

Mr MacKellar was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for services to the parliament of Australia and to the community through contributions to a range of research and health organisations in the 2011 Australia Day Honours.

Catholic Healthcare has begun the construction of its new retirement community, The Brighton, in Croydon (NSW) with a sod turning ceremony.

The Brighton will feature 101 units designed by internationally acclaimed architect Leo Campbell of Campbell, Luscome and Associates, and is expected to open its doors to new residents in December 2014.

Registrations of interest in ‘The Brighton’ are now being taken.

For more information or to register interest in The Brighton, call Jenny Thomas on 0408 763 996. 

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