In this story:

  • Cross-sector panel launches philanthropic projects
  • New Montessori resource launched
  • Report highlights transport issues for seniors
  • Fun day out: seniors invited to TV filming
  • New guide to managing social media accounts after death
Victoria's Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel
Victoria’s Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel

Cross-sector panel launches NFP projects

Victoria’s Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel, which brings together key agencies from the three sectors, celebrated its first anniversary with a forum in Melbourne on Monday, and announced four projects ready for philanthropic investment.

The State Trustees Australia Foundation helped establish the panel last year in recognition of the major reforms happening across the sectors and the challenges facing service providers.

On Monday, the panel unveiled four projects that were ready for philanthropic investment to help create opportunities for cross-sector collaboration.

The projects would be implemented by National Disability Services Victoria, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, VicServ and Carers Victoria, the panel said.

State Trustees general manager client services and outgoing panel chair, Melanie Lewis, said creating the panel was a new approach for State Trustees Australia Foundation, which had previously looked at more traditional granting models for organisations.

“We could see what might be possible by creating the panel and, thanks to the commitment by the many renowned and in-touch experts involved, it has been a great success in its first year,” Ms Lewis said.

Ms Lewis said there was enormous potential for philanthropic investment in the projects to help people who were marginalised by age, disability or mental illness to participate in social, economic and family life.

Purposeful activities

New Montessori resource launched

The success of a pilot project that evaluated Montessori-based activities on engagement of people living with dementia has resulted in the launch of a new video resource, Purposeful activities for dementia.

The resource is based on principles developed by pioneering Italian educator Maria Montessori in the early 1900s that have been adapted to the needs of older adults. The approach recognises the importance of engagement that is tailored to the interests and abilities of the individual.

It followed the positive results from a pilot project that evaluated the impact of Montessori-based activities on the engagement of people with dementia attending planned activity groups at two sites in metropolitan Melbourne, which was implemented by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic last year.

Researchers from the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (ACEBAC) at La Trobe University undertook the evaluation that revealed an increase in positive engagement among participants.

Senior research fellow Dr Jo-Anne Rayner said that during the investigations they saw an increase among participants in constructive engagement, in pleasure and in helping others, as well as a reduction in non-engagement.

“When visiting the two facilities involved, we observed a palpable change in atmosphere as the project progressed, each of them becoming a hive of positive activity,” Dr Rayner said.

Click here to view Purposeful activities for dementia

National Seniors' report
National Seniors’ report

Report highlights transport issues for seniors

New research on the transport issues facing older people has highlighted the need for more car parking spaces for seniors, as the majority are dependent on their cars.

The need for taxi concessions for people aged 70 or more was also highlighted, as was the upgrading of footpaths.

The research conducted by the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre also proposed increasing the accessibility to public transport stops, especially in suburbs with a high number of seniors.

The research was conducted among 285 National Seniors Australia members in Adelaide.

The car was the dominant mode of travel for seniors, accounting for 53 per cent of all trips. Seniors used public transport (bus, train and tram) for 24 per cent of all trips and walked 16 per cent of the time.

The share of public transport trips had increased over the last four years, possibly because of the free off-peak tickets offered to seniors by the South Australian department of planning, the report noted.

“Overall, as people became older they relied more on public transport than their younger counterparts. Older people tended to drive less and their reliance on other modes of transport such as ‘car as passenger’ and public transport increased,” it said.

Click here to access the full report

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Fun day out: seniors invited to TV filming

Television production company Shine Australia is offering aged and community care providers the opportunity to bring their residents and clients along to a filming of its new television show, The Great Australian Spelling Bee, hosted by Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan.

Jess Cribb from Shine Australia, which produces Masterchef and The Voice, told Australian Ageing Agenda that the filming would be a “nice outing and a bit of fun” for clients and residents.

“The spellers who are involved are ranging in age from 8 to 14-years-old. They are very bright and lovely characters who will provide a wealth of entertainment,” she said.

The show will be filming on weekdays at Fox Studios, Moore Park, Sydney from 1 to 19 June. There will be two sessions a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and each session will run for three to four hours. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Aged and community care providers interested in availing of free tickets to take their residents and clients to a filming should contact Jess Cribb, email spellingbeeaudience@shineaustralia.com or call 0414 214 998.

Guide to a social media afterlife

New guide to managing social media accounts after death

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) has launched a guide to preserving, memorialising or deactivating online and social media accounts after the account owner has died as part of National Palliative Care Week initiatives.

PCA CEO Liz Callaghan said the guide encouraged all Australians to consider the future of their social media accounts and put measures in place to ensure their online self was protected or memorialised.

“There are stories of people’s pages having their personal data stolen after they have passed away or people breaking into accounts. This is not just an issue for those facing the end of their lives, everyone needs to consider what might happen to their accounts if they are suddenly no longer here,” Ms Callaghan said.

Only 12 per cent of Australians have planned what would happen to their social media accounts in the event of their unexpected death, according to a new PCA survey of 1,000 respondents. However, 55 per cent of survey participants said a terminally ill person should put account protections in place.

Click here to access the guide (pdf)

Have we missed something? Send your news to: editorial@australianageingagenda.com.au

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