Reserve bank official credits voluntary providers

An assistant governor of the RBA has highlighted the role of church and charitable aged care organisations.

An assistant governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia has highlighted the important role played by the church and charitable organisations that provide aged care.

Speaking at the inaugural Seniors Week Breakfast of the ARV’s Foundation for Aged Care, Malcolm Edey acknowledged that Australia has an ageing population.

He noted that the proportion of citizens aged 65 and over is projected to reach 21 per cent by 2050.

“Governments have put a lot of thought into how to meet that challenge but we have to realise that governments can’t do everything” he said.

“The voluntary sector has a very important role to play as well.”

Mr Edey also spoke about the effects of the global financial crisis, saying that the Australian economy would suffer further setbacks this year.

The breakfast event was held to celebrate NSW Seniors Week and to generate support and funds for the Foundation for Aged Care’s work.

The foundation was established in 1984 and initially it provided financial support to the organisation’s building projects but since 2007 it has shifted its focus away from bricks and mortar towards care initiatives.

“The work of aged care is becoming increasingly complex, challenging and expensive,” said the foundation’s company secretary, Ross Pendlebury.

The foundation’s current initiatives include the establishment of two Better Balance falls prevention centres in Sydney and a program to provide art therapy to ARV’s 5,700 residents and clients.

The ‘Dream Create Believe’ art program particularly targets nursing home and hostel residents.

This week the organisation has held its first ever art exhibition at its seniors living complex in Castle Hills.

“The people involved in this program have discovered new passions, new connections to new people and a new place both within the ARV community and the community beyond,” said Mr Pendlebury.

The foundation is also supporting the development of ARV’s palliative care program.

“Of all our initiatives this is the most compelling because it will impact on each one of us in one way or other at some stage,” Mr Pendlebury said.

“Palliative care is so much more than a cold clinical process. It extends beyond physical care and encompasses emotional, social and cultural issues.”

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