As the population continues to age, the need for comprehensive social support programs for the elderly becomes increasingly important in Aged Care. In Victoria, Australia, organisations such as Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA) are working towards expanding aged-care community services to meet the growing needs of seniors.
This article explores the need for social support programs within an aged-care setting and examines how a reverse mortgage can aid in financing an expanded aged-care programme.
ERA Casts a Wider Net
The ERA Victoria’s recently announced that its Community Visitors Scheme will assume a new, expanded form on 1 July 2023 as the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme. The initiative involves certain qualified volunteers who can accompany an elderly person into various social activities. The weekly or fortnightly visits may involve a one-to-one visit or a group visit to an elderly patient. The Department of Health and Ageing is financing the project, which is being expanded to cover the state of Victoria, with up to 785 matches being considered.
The revamp was based on findings from the Aged Care Royal Commission assessing the risk of abuse by aged-care home residents from home staff. The Commission stated that the abuse partly stemmed from staff who might not have enough time to attend to a patient in need of companionship and unruly incidents take place.
“There are a raft of reasons where isolation and loneliness is occurring for so many older Victorians. They may have limited contact with friends or relatives, they may have lost connections with their culture or heritage, or their health challenges may prevent them from taking part in social or leisure activities.
Therefore, it is fundamental that ERA continues to take a proactive approach in supporting those who need friendship, conversation and connection the most,” said ERA CEO Debra Nicholl.
Social Support Programmes for the Elderly in Aged Care
Many seniors face social isolation and loneliness, which can have detrimental effects on their mental and physical health. Social support programs provide opportunities for social interaction, companionship, and engagement with others, helping combat social isolation among the elderly.
Aged-care support programmes contribute to the overall well-being of seniors. Activities such as group outings, hobby clubs, and exercise classes promote physical and mental health, increase self-esteem, and improve quality of life.
Social support programmes often provide access to information, resources, and advocacy services, helping seniors navigate the complexities of the aged-care system and ensure their rights are protected.
Aged-care support programmes can offer respite and relief for family caregivers, allowing them to take a break while knowing their loved ones are in a safe and supportive environment.
Expanding Aged Care Community Services
- Collaborations and partnerships. Organisations like ERA can collaborate with government agencies, community groups, and aged-care providers to expand their services. Leveraging partnerships, resources, and expertise can reach a wider audience and provide a more comprehensive range of programs.
- Volunteer visitor programmes. Expanding community services can include initiatives such as volunteer visitor programs. Trained volunteers can regularly visit seniors in their homes or residential care facilities, providing companionship, emotional support, and engagement in activities.
- Transportation services. Lack of transportation can be a significant barrier for seniors accessing social support programmes. Expanded services can include transportation options to facilitate seniors’ participation in group outings, medical appointments, and community events.
- Multigenerational programmes. Multigenerational programmes that bring together seniors and younger generations foster mutual understanding, companionship, and the sharing of knowledge and experiences. Expanding aged-care services can involve developing programmes that encourage interaction between different age groups.
- Advocacy and information services. Strengthening advocacy and information services within community programmes can ensure that seniors are informed about their rights, entitlements, and available resources.
Reverse Mortgages for Aged Care Programmes
Expanding aged-care support programmes is necessary to meet the growing needs of the elderly population in Victoria, Australia. Leveraging financial options such as reverse mortgages can aid in financing these expanded programmes, tapping into home equity while seniors remain in their homes.
A reverse mortgage is a financial product that allows seniors to borrow against the equity in their homes. It enables older adults to access funds without having to sell their property, providing a potential avenue for financing aged-care programmes.
With home equity release options, seniors can allocate the funds to expand and enhance community services, such as increasing staff, offering additional programmes, or improving facility infrastructure.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
It is important for seniors to carefully consider the implications of a reverse mortgage, including potential impacts on their estate and eligibility for government benefits. Seeking financial advice is significant to making sensible decisions.
If you have enquiries regarding the available options for equity release we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at 1300 002 724 or reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, you can use the provided tool below to assess your home equity.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. The Australian Seniors Advisory Group has no business relationships with any Victoria-based support organisation.