June 13 - 19, 2021: Issue 498

First insights from the Serious Incident Response Scheme

June 4, 2021
Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) indicates that aged care residential providers have been working hard to implement and fine-tune their approach to incident management.

In the first six weeks of the scheme (from 1 April to 12 May 2021), the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has received 1,876 notifications which fall into the Priority 1 reportable incident category - that is, an incident in a residential aged care service that has caused, or could potentially have caused physical or psychological injury to a consumer, requiring medical or psychological treatment.

Each of these notifications is assessed by the Commission for the purpose of identifying whether further information is required from the service and/or regulatory action is warranted by the Commission.

The most common type of reported incident was unreasonable use of force, followed by neglect.

Commissioner Janet Anderson PSM said “The notifications received to date indicate that providers are responding actively and swiftly to their new reporting obligations under SIRS.”

A key part of SIRS is the requirement for providers to have in place an effective incident management system to reduce injuries and other incidents impacting consumers, and to respond appropriately to incidents if and when they occur.

Ms Anderson said, “An aged care organisation which has an effective incident management system is well-positioned to collect and use incident data to build a learning culture, helping staff to prevent similar incidents from occurring and to better protect the health, safety and wellbeing of aged care consumers.”

This is the first in a series of insight reports on SIRS that will aim to reflect back to the sector relevant data and information drawn from serious incident notifications and the regulatory treatment of these notifications. Information from incident notifications informs the Commission’s broader regulatory actions and also indicates areas where the Commission can clarify and build on its initial SIRS guidance.

SIRS is a new initiative that aims to help prevent and reduce the risk of abuse and neglect of older Australians in residential services. It complements existing provider obligations under the Aged Care Act and strengthens responsibilities for providers to prevent and manage incidents. It requires providers to use incident data to drive quality improvement, and to report serious incidents. Providers notify the Commission of reportable incidents by completing a notification form on the My Aged Care Provider Portal.

The SIRS Insight report is available on the Commission’s website. Detailed guidance about SIRS and the new reporting obligations is also available on the Commission’s website.

COTA NSW/Challenger research highlights age discrimination in the workforce

June 10, 2021
New research into the treatment of older workers shows that many mature-age employees report experiencing discrimination in the workforce due to their age, and believe they are not receiving the same opportunities provided to other workers.

Experience, Knowledge and Commitment: Valuing Older Workers examines the employment challenges facing people over 50. The research found there are more instances of older employees having been laid off compared to their younger colleagues, while a stigma remains around their competency with technology and openness to change.

Older women in non-managerial roles, working part-time or on a casual basis, are more likely to report experiences of aged-based discrimination.

The research is part of a joint initiative by COTA NSW and Challenger and is aimed at addressing the underemployment of people over 50. Importantly, the research considers the issue from the perspective of both Australian employers and employees.

“Australia’s mature-aged workforce is skilled and able – and older people are healthier than at any other time in history,” said COTA NSW CEO Meagan Lawson. 

“But due to stigma and discrimination, there are fewer employment opportunities for people aged over 50.”

Key takeaways from the research include:· 
  • Many employers are unaware of age discrimination in the workforce but are willing to do something about it once it’s been identified.
  • Businesses need support to understand how they are tracking, and the steps they can take to improve employment of mature workers.
  • Older workers believe a change in attitude by employers would help them financially and emotionally.· There’s a great diversity within mature aged workers.
Ageing of the workforce is a critical challenge for the economy. In 1976 there were seven working people for every non-working person. In 2016 that had fallen to four to one, and according to the NSW Intergenerational Report, it will be two to one by 2056.

The benefits to individuals and the community go well beyond finance. Workforce participation is linked to better health outcomes and other positive well-being indicators. But the research shows many mature age workers feel they don’t get a fair go, with excuses ranging from over-qualification and younger managers feeling threatened, to poor cultural fit and bad for the corporate image.

“There is significant value to individuals, the community and the economy in supporting older people to work as long as they wish,” 

Challenger Chief Executive Officer Richard Howes said. “Increasing workforce participation for older Australians will not only help improve overall wellbeing but also contributes to financial security for a better retirement.”

Half the employers surveyed for the research thought they were doing enough to support older workers. While most employers have general workplace bullying, discrimination and equal opportunities polices in place, only a minority had specific policies that covered age discrimination in detail.

“Older workers should be more valued for the expertise, skills and experience they bring to the workplace, and building awareness around the issue of age discrimination with employers and employees of all ages is a key opportunity,” Ms Lawson said.

COTA NSW and Challenger are developing a toolkit to help employers implement age friendly practices. It includes improved education for managers to address unconscious bias and improve hiring practices, as well as programs to help promote flexible working arrangements and anti-age discrimination policies.

The toolkit will be available later in the year and will include initiatives: to forge stronger connections between workers of all ages within an organisation and; how to better train mature age jobseekers.

“While not all older workers are the same, some uniform initial steps should be taken to address the issue of age bias,” Ms Lawson said. “There needs to be better education and training, more rigorous internal policies and structures, greater cross pollination among workers, and better access to job opportunities for older workers.

NSW Government’s Cost Of Living Service

June 9, 2021
The NSW Government’s popular Cost of Living Service is being expanded as part of the 2021-22 NSW Budget. $6.6 million in funding will help customers right across the state to access the full range of benefits available to them from the service and a further $7.6 million from the Department of Customer Service will be redirected towards upgrading the service. Service NSW will also hire extra staff, which will allow for up to 500 customers a day to benefit from the service.  

This means that potentially every minute someone will save up to $600 per appointment.

This support will make it easier for customers to find and apply for government rebates and savings, access personalised support with face-to-face appointments gradually resuming from 1 July 2021.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said easing the cost of living for households remains a top priority for the Government in the 2021-22 NSW Budget.

“There are up to 70 savings offered by the Government, and more than $4 billion has been collectively saved by families since the program commenced in July 2017,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Service NSW is a one-stop shop that takes the hassle out of finding savings by putting all the relevant information under the one roof.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said this year’s Budget would continue to drive our economic recovery from COVID by ensuring more people had money in their pockets to spend on the things that matter most to them.

“This increased investment will give more people the support they need to help them create a better future for themselves and their families,” Mr Perrottet said.

“A simple appointment could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Whether it is Active Kids vouchers, energy rebates or Toll Relief, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth of savings out there to help make life that little bit easier.”

Minister for Digital and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said specialised staff are on hand to do the heavy lifting for customers.

“Gone are the days of having to visit multiple websites and waste time calling different agencies. Our specialised one-stop shop staff can help customers identify their eligibility for savings and help them claim them,” Mr Dominello said.

“There have been 70,000 cost of living appointments since July 2018, with the average saving per appointment almost $600, which means more money being spent on the things that matter most.

“As the popularity of this program continues to grow, Service NSW will ensure more staff are made available to best support NSW residents.”

Examples of other savings available include pensioner travel vouchers, Low Income Household Rebate and the Regional seniors travel card.  

The following are savings among different Service NSW Centres for cost of living appointments: 

Centre                         Savings         Highest Individual Saving
Penrith                             $138,000    $4,738
Central Coast Centres $2,524,000 $14,000
Macarthur                 $937,000         $1,793
Armidale                         $1,400,000 $10,000 

For more information, and to find out what you may get savings on, visit www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/cost-living

COTA Australia: Policy Alert No 18 Federal Budget 2021

June 10, 2021
Aged Care Reform was the centrepiece of this year’s Federal Budget, both in policy and financial terms. Responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety the Morrison Government announced a comprehensive package of reforms with a total additional expenditure over four years of almost $18 billion. This was the largest increase in any portfolio of government in this Budget.

Apart from aged care there are not huge gains in this Budget. There are a number of welcome measures in retirement income policy, and some small steps on increasing workforce participation. However, there is no substantive new support for mature age employment and support for vulnerable groups like pensioners and Jobseeker recipients who rent is still missing. Long-term solutions are still needed to ensure vulnerable older Australians are adequately supported. 

COTA Australia have examined the aged care reform package in detail later but will start with some of the measures in other areas.

New research: Having a say in aged care co-design

June 9, 2021
Older Australians overwhelmingly want a seat at the table when it comes to designing a new era in aged care following the Royal Commission, according to new research by National Seniors Australia.
The survey by National Seniors of 4,562 older Australians found that:

Australian seniors are passionate about older people being involved at all levels of aged care system reform.
Seniors currently feel that opportunities for them to be involved as co-designers of age care are minimal.
Seniors are wary of tokenistic gestures of engagement such as consultation processes that invite contributions but do not act on them.
Seniors are not just aged care recipients - many have valuable experience and expertise they can contribute in making changes to the aged care system.
National Seniors CEO and Director of Research, Professor John McCallum says the response highlights the risk of inherent ageism if it’s left to just bureaucrats alone to redesign aged care.

“The Royal Commission presented us with a once in a generation opportunity to get this right. We have no choice. We must listen to the voices of the people who will be most impacted by the new Aged Care Act.”

The research was co-released with the EveryAGE Counts campaign which said that co-designing aged care reform with older people tackles ageism at its root.

"Of course older people can and must be co-designers of the aged care system. The reason they have been largely excluded to date can be put down to ageism, pure and simple," said EveryAGE Counts Director Marlene Krasovitsky. 

"Older people bring perspective, insight and in many cases valuable expertise to the design process. They must be around the table.”

National Seniors has also suggested this research be used in the Federal Government’s search for a Council of Elders in helping reform aged care as recommended by the Royal Commission.

Nurse-led home blood transfusions highlight new trend in healthcare

June 9, 2021
A trend from hospital to home-based care, accelerated during COVID-19, looks set to continue with the first evidence in Australia that regular blood transfusions can be safely performed in residential homes and aged care facilities.

The joint study, undertaken by the University of South Australia, the Royal District Nursing Service and SA Health, investigated 1790 blood transfusions involving 533 patients in South Australian homes and aged care facilities over a 15-year period.

Key findings included:
  • The system used to deliver blood products to the patients was efficient and safe;
  • There was less than one percent of adverse reactions, with these reactions not being serious and able to be managed by a registered nurse;
  • The gender and age of the patient and their setting (including aged care facilities) was not a barrier to receiving a blood transfusion at home, and did not influence the risk of an adverse reaction. 
The study overwhelmingly supports home blood transfusions for medically stable patients, according to UniSA lead researcher Dr Rebecca Sharp.

“Hospitals can be alienating and strange places for older people, especially those who have dementia,” Dr Sharp says. “It is better for eligible patients if a trained nurse can go to their home and perform the blood transfusion, following strict procedures.”

Study co-author and RDNS National Nursing Director Ms Lisa Turner says the research highlights RDNS meeting the growing trend of health care being delivered at home, not in hospitals, and leading the drive for the evidence base to support future care.

“Blood transfusions are not straightforward procedures, and our nurses are highly trained and specially skilled to conduct the transfusions safely in people’s homes,” Ms Turner says. “The RDNS is one of very few providers in Australia able to do this at any sort of scale, which is testament to our nurses’ expertise.

“Because we’re able to perform blood transfusions in homes safely, it has the added benefit of reducing the burden on our hospitals and public health system by freeing up beds and resources that can redirected towards other critical care.”

The study authors welcome the shift in healthcare from hospitals to homes in recent years as it cost effective, preserves, hospital beds, and better supports patient wellbeing.

“Treatment delivered at home is continuing to grow in importance – even more so during COVID – and our study shows that blood transfusions for stable patients could move in this direction too,” the authors say.,” the authors say.

“Adverse events associated with home blood transfusion. A retrospective cohort study” is published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing

Photo: Registered nurse Daniel Allmand giving a blood transfusion to RDNS client, Hartley.

If I could go anywhere: the dizzying spectacle of Gaudí's Basílica de la Sagrada Família

John Willsteed, Queensland University of Technology

In this series we pay tribute to the art we wish could visit — and hope to see once travel restrictions are lifted.

We hadn’t packed bags yet, but it was about all that was left to do. I had compiled playlists to keep me diverted, amused, energised on the long flights. We’d pored over pictures and hopeful descriptions of poky little apartments in the right places, or spacious, sleek pads too far away from the action.

It took us three months to get the accommodation and the flights just so. The right amount of layover; the right seats for me and the kid and my sweetheart; the menus, the access options for my travelling companions and their idiosyncratic needs.

All the while, Antoni Gaudí’s dream cast its evening shadow over the park across the Carrer de la Marina. Darkening the playground, the streets of the Eixample and their endless cars; blurring the faces of the crowds that ebb and flow past and through the structure, dwindling at day’s end and disappearing into the larger tide of Barcelona at night.

Inside cathedral view up
Inside the Basilica. Unsplash/La Partida Eterna, CC BY

Since builders broke ground for the Basílica de la Sagrada Família under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar in 1882, the site has seen several architects and project managers. But Antoni Gaudí remains its creative heart.

Read more: Cathedrals of light, cathedrals of ice, cathedrals of glass, cathedrals of bones

An otherworldly mix of styles

When Gaudí turned his attention in 1909 to del Villar’s original neo-Gothic design, he mixed it with the organic flow of the Art Nouveau.

Using intricate upside-down models, with weighted strings tracing parabolic curves, reflected in mirrors, Gaudí created his own style.

Gaudí sculpted rather than drew, creating apartments and parks and public buildings whose undulating lines and unexpected textures weren’t really seen again until Frank Gehry’s iconic structures, such as the Olympic Fish Pavilion and the Bilbao Guggenheim, both in Spain. Like the Sagrada Família, these buildings are otherworldly, seeming to exist outside both time and gravity.

hanging chain sculpture
Gaudí used hanging chain models, like this one of the chapel in Park Güell, reflected in mirrors for his architectural designs. Allen Gathman/Flickr, CC BY

Read more: If I could go anywhere: Florence's San Marco Museum, where mystical faith and classical knowledge meet

A stop on tour

The first time I saw the Basílica, it was a grey afternoon in late August, 1988. I was on vacation from touring as bassist with The Go-Betweens and fled London with a dear travelling companion to saunter/stagger through southern Portugal, then Lisbon and Spain.

Brisbane friend Peter Loveday was “our man in Barcelona” and graciously led us through the town, cracking open each day as a fresh delight. I loved a wine, back in those days, and a beer. Prawns, vodka, gin and mussels. Barcelona was made of such treats, but the greatest treat was Gaudí.

We lingered in the wonder of Park Güell, where architecture and nature entwine, and the view stretches south across the city to the blue of the Mar Balear. On the clearest of clear days you can see the mountains on Majorca.

colourful tiled benches and curves
A place to rest on a summer’s day of sightseeing at Park Güell. Denise Jones/Unsplash, CC BY

We were tourists visiting Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, dumbstruck by the extraordinary colours and finishes (lots of murals and tiles, cool to the touch on a hot afternoon), the bespoke furniture and fittings, and the opulent, sensual design of the facades and interiors.

Towering scale

The Sagrada Família stood apart from these architectural treasures. On that August afternoon, the scale of the cathedral was staggering. Not just in size, towering over this five-storey city, but in the depth of detail.

view of city
Under construction. Alex Reiss/Unsplash, CC BY

The Basílica is based on a crucifix, with the two facades — the Passion and the Nativity — at the ends of the transept or crosspiece. Each of these facades is dense with sculpture — flowers, plants, animals, angels, saints and scenes from the Bible — and from each rises four belltowers.

The spiral staircase inside the eastern belltower of the Nativity facade was worn smooth, a fractal path tracing the interior of a Nautilus shell. The towers are just over 100 metres tall (the central tower will top 170 metres when completed sometime after 2026). With little room for passing on the stair and no handrail, the experience was dizzying.

We emerged into the afternoon high above the city, on a little bridge between the towers; the beginnings of the cathedral below us. We saw colourful glazes of the cimborio (domes or cups) capping the belltowers. The sight, as I later noted in my diary, brought tears. I’d been triggered by the vastness of the idea, the astonishing detail and the knowledge that Gaudí didn’t live to see it finished.

aerial view of gridded city
Barcelona Eixample’s grid residential district. Shutterstock

God’s architect

In June 1926, at the age of 73 and after almost two decades of working on the Basílica, Gaudí stepped into the path of a tram a few blocks from the cathedral. “God’s architect”, the Catalan Modernist, was buried in the underground crypt of the Sagrada Família below the Basílica he designed.

I have returned to Barcelona a couple of times over the years but never to the Sagrada Família. Much has changed since the 31-year-old me climbed those stairs.

A century and a half in the making.

The nave has been built, with towering columns and stained-glass windows. More belltowers rise above the street, with more to come. It is within a handful of years of being completed, hopefully by the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death.

Our carefully laid travel plans would have seen us arrive in Barcelona early in July 2020. The pandemic put those plans (and much else) on hold. I enjoyed the quiet but ache for the trip we had imagined. I think I’ve waited long enough for a second visit to my favourite building.

Read more: If I could go anywhere: Japanese art island Chichu, a meditation and an education The Conversation

John Willsteed, Senior Lecturer, School of Creative Practice, Queensland University of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

assistance to pay your aged care costs

It’s now easier to get help if you need assistance to pay your aged care costs.
Services Australia have improved their Aged Care Claim for financial hardship assistance form and made changes to some evidence requirements. They’ve made these changes so it’s easier for you to get help.

You may get help if you can’t pay your aged care costs and you’re either:
  • in residential or respite care
  • getting a home care package.
You can claim for financial hardship assistance if all of the following apply:
If you get a Home Care Package, your care must have started on or after 1 July 2014.

Before you claim, you should update your income and asset details as well as your partners if you have one. You may also be eligible for other payments and services.

Next steps

2021 Seniors Card Directory

NSW Seniors Card is pleased to provide members with the 2021 Seniors Card Directory, your guide to the best discounts and special offers from thousands of participating businesses across the state.

Each year five directories are released, one for each region in NSW. The regions are: Sydney & Surrounds, Central Coast & Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

To download your copy, please click the links below:

Copies of the directory are also available for pickup from Australia Post Outlets, Service NSW Centres, MP Offices as well as participating local Councils and Libraries.

Live Life Get Active

Live Life Get Active is a registered health promotion charity that offers FREE outdoor activity camps and wellbeing and nutritional programmes to help address obesity, diabetes and mental health. The vision is to build fitter, healthier and happier communities right across Australia.

They work with government, health networks, commercial organisations, charities and council partners who help us fund our FREE camps, provide us with FREE use of land and supports and promotes their offering in their communities.

There's a great website with food recipes, classes and even an Active Aging exercise set of videos you can do from home.
Remember everything is FREE

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

Older Persons Advocacy Network offer free, independent and confidential services that focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with Commonwealth funded aged care services.

Older Persons Advocacy Network  seek to ensure that aged care consumers understand and exercise their rights and participate, to the maximum degree possible, in the decisions affecting their care.

Older Persons Advocacy Network achieve this through the delivery of individual advocacy support, information and consumer and service provider education.

Nine State and Territory based organisations form the OPAN network. Older Persons Advocacy Network is funded by the Australian Government to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP), providing a national voice for aged care advocacy.

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free aged care advocacy services that are independent and confidential

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations provide free information about aged care service provision, referrals and the rights and responsibilities of consumers

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free information and education sessions to consumers and providers of Commonwealth funded aged care services

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern Beaches

In line with the current Coronavirus conditions we cannot access the Tramshed or continue face to face, one on one training. That is a shame but will not stop us providing you with training online.  

Online learning can take several forms - for Apple users there is Face-Time and for PC/Windows users (and Apple users too) Zoom, Skype,  WhatsApp and other similar programmes. Our intention is to support both Trainers and Students learning, where needed, to navigate through these apps to reach a comfortable situation for both parties. New students wanting to learn how to use their Smartphone, Tablet, iPad, PC, Mac or any other current piece of technology should contact our Training Co-ordinator: Anne Matthews 9984 0604 or anne.computerpals@gmail.com

NSW Seniors Website: Crosswords, Puzzles & Games

Did you know that the NSW Seniors website has a range of games and puzzles for you to exercise that great grey matter upstairs?

Recently new items have been added in and now the list is:

Just click on the links we've embedded next time it's too cold out for a stroll and exercise that other great asset you have - your mind!

council has a Home Library Service Available for Seniors

For those unable to visit the library because of age or disability, the Home Library Service maintains a vital connection with all that the library offers. Your Home Library Service Officer will help you select items for reading or listening. Volunteers or staff will then deliver and collect your library items on a regular basis.

Register for the Home Library Service
If you or the person you care for is unable to visit the library or carry library items home due to age, frailty or disability, please complete Council's Home Library Service Application Form or call us on 9942 2393. 

A medical certificate or statement signed by a doctor may be required to assess eligibility.

What happens next?
After staff receive your completed application form, a Home Library Service Officer will contact you to arrange a time to meet and discuss the service details with you.

Staff or volunteers will then select your items according to your borrowing preferences and then deliver them to you. During this visit you can return any items that you have finished with.

Northern Beaches Jive is a social dance group. Our Modern Jive classes are held every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Narrabeen RSL.

Modern Jive is an easy partner dance with an emphasis on having fun and is great for all ages. Our experienced teachers always make the lesson interesting and fun. 

You can come along to class any time as we cater for new beginners every week. You don't have to sign up for a course - just come along when it suits you. First timers are only $10 for the first two weeks in total!!  You can even just come and watch for free to see if you think you'll like it.

There’s no need to bring a partner as we rotate you around to different partners during the class.

We start with a beginner class at 7:30pm for 45 minutes, followed by social dancing. At 9pm we have an Intermediate /advanced class for 45 minutes, and a concurrent 'refresher' class for the beginners, then social dancing until 10:30pm.  That’s right beginners get 2 classes every night.

Casual entry is $15 per night.  Students and seniors are only $12 per night.  We also have discounted prices, for all groups, if you buy a 5 class pass.  Great value for learning and dancing up to 3 hours per night.

If you're keen and would like to go to a class more than once a week, or go to a dance party in the weekend then check out www.ceroc.com.au where you'll find more classes and weekly dance parties.

Click here (http://eepurl.com/ciGHH1) to sign up for our weekly newsletter which will tell you who is teaching each week and any other venue news such as special events.

If you have any questions - email us at: info@northernbeachesjive.com.au

Heartmoves is a low-moderate intensity exercise program. Regular participation in Heartmoves will help to: Better manage weight, blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol; Improve fitness, balance, co-ordination and flexibility; Enhance your quality of life and meet other people. Ingrid Davey is a qualified Older Adult Instructor and accredited Heartmoves Leader who will guide you through an exercise program that is fun, safe and modified to suit you. Tuesday 9.30am and Thursday 10.30am at Nelson Heather Centre, 4 Jackson Road Warriewood.  The cost per class is $10.00 casual now and $17.00 for two classes. Phone Ingrid to secure your spot on 0405 457 063. www.heartfoundation.org.au

 Keep your Wits About You

A regular contributor suggests we all look at Lumosity to see if will suit keeping active mentally. Their website states: "improve Brain Health and performance. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity exercises improve core cognitive functions. Researchers have measured significant improvements in working memory and attention after Lumosity training. Dozens of research collaborations help improve the Lumosity training program and its effectiveness." You can visit their website to decide for yourself  at: www.lumosity.com/app/v4/personalization

2021 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on June 15th to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

On Tuesday 15 June 2021, Australia will join with the world in voicing its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on the elderly.

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

WEAAD was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011, following a request by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), who first established the commemoration in June 2006.

Access to Justice
Violence, abuse and neglect of older persons are the most hidden and underreported violations of human rights.

Not only are older persons at high risk of serious illness and mortality, but they continue to face disproportionate cases of age based  discrimination, stigmatization and subjected to multiple violations of human rights. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on reports of abuse and neglect of older persons, particularly in long term care institutions and the community.

This year’s theme “Access to Justice” serves as a reminder of the importance to fully address the needs of older persons who may seek recourse. Older persons who have experienced situations of violence, abuse and neglect often face multiple barriers in accessing judicial remedies such as issues of accessibility, affordability, reasonable accommodation, excessive delays and backlogs in judicial processes, impact of digitalization, cultural norms, gender bias, discrimination, and entrenched ageism in policy, norms and practices.

Access to Justice impacts older persons’ ability to fully exercise all their human rights including the right to health, adequate social protection and to live in dignity. The preservation or restoration of dignity and respect for older persons is crucial in such situations.

Access to justice is also a core element of the rule of law, a fundamental right in itself and an essential prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all other human rights. It encompasses the right to a fair trial, including equal access to and equality before the courts, and seeking and obtaining just and timely remedies for rights violations. This year’s event will address these issues and help explore standards for the protection of older persons against violence, neglect and abuse.

In many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. It is a global social issue which affects the health, well-being, independence and human rights of millions of older people around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of all in the community.

Individuals, communities, municipalities and organisations will come together across the globe to hold events on June 15th that raise awareness of elder abuse.

1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) is a free call phone number that automatically redirects callers seeking information and advice on elder abuse with the existing phone line service in their jurisdiction. The phone line has been established in collaboration with state and territory governments.

Elder abuse phone lines are not crisis support services, and operating hours and services vary across jurisdictions. If you require immediate assistance in an emergency or life threatening situation, contact Triple Zero (000)- external site.

For assistance with other aged care issues, visit My Aged Care or call 1800 200 422.

To raise concerns about your aged care support, visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

Making a complaint
Important update - 1800 number
2 June 2021 - We are currently experiencing intermittent technical issues with our 1800 951 822 phone number. If you experience difficulties you can submit a complaint using our online form or by emailing info@agedcarequality.gov.au. We apologise for the inconvenience and are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible. 

Making a complaint is not ‘being difficult.' Most aged care providers do their best to provide quality care and services for older Australians. However, issues can occur so we need to ensure that people can raise their concerns in a constructive and safe way.

If you have a concern about the care you or someone else is receiving, it is important that you talk about it.

Complaints are important because they can help service providers improve the quality of care and services they provide to you or your loved one. Your complaint can help other people too.

If you feel comfortable, we encourage you to raise your concern with the staff or managers of the service first as this is often the best way to have your concern resolved. All service providers are required to have a complaints system in place. In most cases, you will be able to resolve your concern with them.

If this doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable, we can support you to resolve your concern with the service provider. We provide a free service for anyone to raise a concern or make a complaint about the quality of care or services provided to people receiving Australian Government funded aged care. This may be aged care services people are receiving for help in their home or in an aged care home, including:
  • Residential aged care services, including permanent care and respite care
  • Home Care Packages delivered on a Consumer Directed Care basis
  • Flexible care where a person is receiving 'residential care' or 'home care'; this includes services provided through transition care, innovative care or multi-purpose services (MPS)
  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), and
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Programme.
Learn more about how you can Lodge a complaint by phone, in writing or online HERE.

$112 million boost to home support services for Senior Australians

June 11, 2021
The Australian Government is helping strengthen the delivery of entry-level aged care services with a $112.1 million investment via the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said the latest allocation will provide better access to a range of high demand care services, including meals, transport, social support, respite, gardening and cleaning for older Australians, their families and carers.

“The Morrison Government is committed to supporting senior Australians to remain living safely and independently in their own homes and communities for as long as they can and wish to do so,” Minister Colbeck said.

“This targeted investment will support communities identified as being most in need, including where there are aged care service gaps and high demand,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Support for aged care providers to deliver additional CHSP services to senior Australians will help address key demand pressures.”

Funding will be made available over two years to 141 successful applicants who applied through the CHSP Targeted Growth Funding Round 2020-21 and 2021-22. 

“This investment is on top of the $17.7 billion announced in the recent Budget to support a once-in-a-generation reform of aged care to deliver respect, care and dignity to senior Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.

“It includes more than $630 million to improve access to quality aged care services for senior Australians in regional, rural and remote areas including special needs groups.”

Service providers are required to be as responsive as possible to requests from senior Australians and their carers for short-term or ongoing CHSP services.

To access services, senior Australians, their family or carer can contact My Aged Care on
1800 200 422 and arrange a formal assessment of their care needs.

Transition to Practice program to attract and prepare nurses in aged care

June 8, 2021: Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services
The Australian Government is helping nurses receive the extra training they need to care for older Australians.

The University of Wollongong (UOW), the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) are being funded to establish Aged Care Transition to Practice (ACTTP) programs to attract and retain up to 740 new nurses to aged care.

The programs will guide new nurses in their first year of clinical practice through mentorship, professional development and specialist clinical training.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the aged care workforce was at the heart of quality care and supporting the growing workforce was a Government priority.

“This program is designed to directly support and provide guidance for newly-graduated nurses to join this expanding sector,” Minister Hunt said.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck said it was just the beginning of once-in-a-generation changes to aged care in Australia, with a particular focus on workforce.

“It will allow graduates to see the benefit and contribution they can make to the lives of senior Australians, and ultimately choose aged care nursing as a rewarding career of choice,” Minister Colbeck said.

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan, said the training component would include infection prevention and control, nutrition, falls prevention and wound care, which will be critical for ensuring safe and high quality care for senior Australians.

“Transition to practice programs are common in other parts of the health sector, and their introduction to aged care will go a long way to boosting the sector,” Prof. McMillan said. 

“Many graduates don’t realise aged care provides nurses with opportunities for rapid development and career advancement compared to other clinical settings.

“The critical mentorship component of this program will ensure graduate nurses see these opportunities for growth and make aged care nursing a career of choice.”

The ACTTP program was announced in the 2020-21 Budget and received a $1.1 million funding boost in this year’s historic aged care allocations in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s recommendations.

The successful organisations, UOW, ACN and ACSA, will start work immediately, with all programs underway from July 2021.

Drug for treatment of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease approved in U.S.

June 8, 2021
Dementia Australia has welcomed the announcement by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving the first disease modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) related to Alzheimer’s disease for almost 20 years.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said this was exciting news for the entire dementia community globally. 

“This announcement provides real hope for people who are developing symptoms and in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” Ms McCabe said.

“Importantly this will result in further research investment into more treatments for all forms of dementia.”

The drug will be available in the United States and is currently under review by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia with an announcement expected early in 2022.

“It may be some time before it is accessible in Australia,” Ms McCabe said.

“If or when that time comes it will be important for people to have access to appropriate information to enable them to make an informed choice about their treatment.”

Aducanumab includes antibodies designed to attach to and remove amyloid plaques. These plaques are thought to cause the damage in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisor Associate Professor Michael Woodward AM said sadly we do not yet have a cure for Alzheimer's disease, but through removing the toxic amyloid protein with this drug we can significantly reduce the rate of memory and other decline. 

“We can’t bring back brain tissue that has been damaged irreversibly but we can protect brain tissue by removing the toxic effects of this amyloid,” Assoc Prof Woodward said.

“The original trials were terminated when it looked like the drug wasn’t working – at that stage there weren’t many people on the highest dose of the drug. 

“When researchers examined more data that included more people who had been, for longer periods, on the highest dose they demonstrated a significant effect.

“Aducanumab should only be used in the early stages of dementia and may not work for everyone.

“It can also cause side effects and these need to be carefully monitored with regular MRIs. 

“It is possible that, if used very early in Alzheimer's disease, this drug will prevent the emergence of the symptoms of Alzheimer's, but there is still research to be done in this area.” 

Ms McCabe acknowledged the 100 Australians who have been part of the study. 

“I applaud them and all trial participants for their contribution to this research,” Ms McCabe said.

More information about aducanumab can be accessed by calling 1800 852 289 or emailing Medinfo-aunz@biogen.com.

The National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 is available for all Australians to call to discuss any questions they might have about this announcement.

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated half a million Australians living with dementia, and the almost 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available and the Helpline is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au 

AvPals 2021: Term 2 - april to june

Avpals are pleased to announce that our very popular group training seminars are resuming at the Newport Community Centre from the beginning of Term ONE in 2021. 

Details of these courses APPEAR HERE and we invite you to join up as soon as possible. You can also read much more about the term’s courses HERE. We now offer the option to reserve and pay online using our secure credit card facility. Due to the additional Covid 19 restrictions above and beyond the government’s requirements, we have severely rationed the numbers that can attend.

Find out more at: https://www.avpals.com/

Active and Healthy at any age

Staying physically active is the single most important thing you can do to stay fit and independent, as you get older. Age is no barrier, research shows that exercise, at any age, is worth the effort. If you are in any doubt about exercise, please talk to your doctor.

This website (https://www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au/) can help you find an exercise program in your local area and provides information and tools that can assist you to increase your physical activity.

Join Healthy and Active for Life Online!

Healthy and Active for Life Online is a FREE 10-week healthy lifestyle program for adults aged 60 years* and over.

The program will help you learn how to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle to improve your health.

The program covers lots of topics including healthy eating and physical activity.
No prior knowledge or exercise experience is required!
*Aboriginal people aged 45+ years can register. 
Registrations for the next program will open on Monday 3rd May 2021.

Healthy and Active for Life Online will help you to be active by:
  • Providing online exercise programs for you to complete in the comfort of your home
  • Providing you with an exercise manual and log to keep you on track
  • Helping you to create realistic goals and increase your fitness

Australian Government Dept. of Health: Hearing Devices for Seniors

Australian Government's Hearing Services Program (the program), offers the option of being fitted with a hearing device if a hearing assessment identifies you have a hearing loss and a hearing device may assist you. 

You will be given a recommendation for a fully subsidised hearing device, and may also be offered the option of purchasing a partially subsidised hearing device. These devices have been approved by the Office of Hearing Services.

You can find out more about this program on the Australian Government's Department of Health webpage on the program here

Media Releases concerning Seniors this week from National Seniors Australia

With around a quarter of a million members, National Seniors is Australia’s largest consumer organisation for the over 50s and fourth largest group of its kind in the world.

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE

 Australian Ageing Agenda

Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) is an independent and authoritative bi-monthly publication for people who work in or around the aged care and retirement sectors in Australia. It provides a broad range of news, education and opinion with an emphasis on knowledge sharing and research translation.

Each issue also contains regular updates on relevant business and financial issues along with a selection of well researched features on crucial systems and operations, clinical care, technology, built environment and other issues relevant to the ‘ageing sector’. AAA leads the way with the industry’s most comprehensive conference details and remains Australia’s number one source of news and information about ageing issues and aged care.

Have a look at their comprehensive website HERE

 MWP CARE (previously known as MWP Community Aid) is a local not for profit organisation that was founded by Daphne Elsworthy, a Collaroy resident, 52 years ago and we are still going strong! 

In 2019 our programs focus on assisting older people aged 65 years and older, we also assist younger people with a disability and their carers.  We are funded by the Australian Government Dept. of Health through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (known as CHSP). Pittwater Online News PROFILE

These services may be eligible for government subsidies. Call us on (02) 9913 3244 for a confidential discussion. Alternatively you may call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your needs. To access our services (and all other CHSP provider services) you must be registered with My Aged Care – the portal for all things related to Aged Care Services 

We provide services aimed at helping people to stay independently living in their own homes.

Our programs cover:

  • Transport – to medical and social appointments
  • Shopping – Escorted Shopping, Shop By List, Group Social Shopping
  • Visiting – a volunteer visits a client in their own home for social support
  • Individual Activities – visit a friend, the library, the beach, local garden, and nursery, go for a coffee & chat, attend community activities etc.
  • Social Group Bus Outings – our mini bus and experienced staff coordinate a calendar of bus outings to interesting venues
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) social groups/outings  – Chinese, Italian, Korean , Filipino, Serbian
  • Home Maintenance Modification Service – provided to individual home owners at reasonable cost. Services provided by trusted tradespeople can include Plumbing, Carpentry, Handyman, Electrical, Modifications (ramps, rails etc.)

Visit our website for more at: www.mwpcommunityaid.com.au  and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mwpcarelimited

Peninsula Bridge Club - Founded in 1967, we are a key community hub on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We contribute strongly to our community: with both social connectedness for those who need it and opportunities to learn and train for those with competitive sporting goals. 

The Club is a vibrant organisation hosting up to three bridge sessions a day. We have 37 permanently set tables – that’s 148 players. We host over 30,000 player sessions every year. This includes prominent tournaments and education events attracting players from across the region. 

We pride ourselves on the friendliness of the club and our strong community spirit. We support local charities but even more importantly we support community members by providing them with social connection and mental stimulus – irrespective of age and mobility.

Our clubhouse is at Warriewood.

We have a new Beginners Course starting the end of September.

Each 2-hour lesson focuses on learning by playing, with a break for tea and chocolate biscuits mid-way. The course runs for 6 weeks and costs $100, which includes text book and support materials.

After the lessons we offer “Help with Play” sessions to practise what you’ve learned; Mondays 7-9pm; Tuesdays 2.15-4.30; Fridays 9.15-11.30. ($7 for members & $12 for visitors – membership

We also offer more advanced lessons each month so you can continue to improve your game if you want. 

If you are keen to learn this great game, please call or email Cath Whiddon (Director of Bridge Ed at PBC): 9979 5752 or cwhiddon@live.com.

If you already know how to play, take a look at our website to see what’s on offer this month: peninsulabridgeclub.org.au

Peninsula Bridge Club Facebook page: www.facebook.com/peninsulabridgeclub

My Aged Care

If you need some help around the house or think it’s time to look into aged care homes, My Aged Care is here to help.
My Aged Care is the Australian Government's starting point on your aged care journey. Find and access the government-funded services you need.

Learn about different types of care
If you are just starting out on your aged care journey, this is your first step. You can see what services are available to help you stay in your own home, or what to expect in an aged care home.

Get assessed
If you’ve had a look at what services might be available and you want to know if you are eligible, this is your next step. Read about how to apply and what’s involved in the assessment process.

Find a provider
If you’ve been assessed and are ready to find a provider and set up your new services, start here. Find out what to consider and get information about service providers near you.

Manage your services
If you are receiving services and want to check what you’ve got in place or make some changes, head to this section.

Need some help?
If you need some help, the My Aged Care team can answer most of your questions over the phone. Call 1800 200 422

Community Connect

Need help on where to go to find the community information and assistance you need?

At Community Connect Northern Beaches, our professional staff and trained volunteers are knowledgeable, friendly and approachable and we will be only too pleased to help you find the service you want. We provide information and support, as well as advocacy and referral to other non profit community services and government agencies.

If we can’t help you we will get you someone who can. If you are newly arrived or do not have an English speaking background we can offer individual advice and support. Or Why not come to Specialist Community Support Workshops: Family Law, Power of Attorney plus Wills and Executors; Domestic Violence Support and Prevention; Positive Community Integration ; Crime Prevention; Or  Our Free English Classes. 

We also provide information on: Family Services: Child Care, Personal Support & Counselling; Health (Including Mental Health) ;  Material and Practical Assistance ; Advocacy to access state and federal MP assistance; Accommodation and Tenancy (help with form filling); Legal and Financial Matters ; Consumer Affairs ; Multicultural Issues; Conservation and the Environment ; Employment and Education; Accessing Community Facilities  -You are welcome to call in for: Brochures, booklets and fact sheets on a range of topics; Service Directories e.g. Council Guides and Migrant Directories; Publications e.g. The Senior newspaper and Nova.

Access to our community information data base, internet, email, fax and photocopying.(Please note there is a small charge for photocopying and use of the fax to cover the cost of paper, toner and fax call).  We also offer: A Legal Referral Program - Monday 1pm to 2pm at our 30 Fisher Road, Dee Why office.  Taxation Assistance for low income earners and pensioners from July to October. 

What does it cost?: Our services are free, however we are always grateful for a small donation where possible. The program is supported by NSW Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). CONTACT US: Phone: 02 99317777.

Know Your Bones

CEO of Osteoporosis Australia, Greg Lyubomirsky says “bone health is an important part of your general health and anyone with risks for osteoporosis should be investigated.”

He has urged people to try the online self-assessment, Know Your Bones developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. 

"Simply visit the website, complete the assessment in your own time and a personal report is generated which will outline potential risks and can be taken to your doctor if required.”

You can take the assessment here:  www.knowyourbones.org.au

 COTA – NSW - cotansw.com.au


The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) is the peak organisation for people over 50 in our state. We’re an independent, non-partisan, consumer-based non-government organisation. We work with politicians, policy makers, and service providers as well as media representatives to make sure your views are heard and your needs are met. COTA NSW works to empower and engage people over 50. For decades, we’ve shaped the policies and programs that change lives.

Since our beginning in 1956, COTA NSW has introduced policies and programs that make a real difference to peoples’ lives. We have proud record, having created: ■Meals on Wheels, ■Retirement Village Residents Association, ■Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, ■Seniors Clubs, ■Seniors Information Service, ■OM:NI – Older Men: New Ideas, ■Grandfriends, ■Grandparents, Relatives and Kinship Care Alliance, ■Medication Management for Older People, and the ■Mature Employment Line

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)
1842 Pittwater Rd, Bayview
Website: www.byra.org.au

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!
Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5 to 70 who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE


EasyLink (formerly Easy Transport Manly Warringah Pittwater) - medical appointments,  shopping trips, mystery tours and Saturday Lunch - this great non-profit organisation offers great ideas and solutions 

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On facebook


Avalon Computer Pals (AVPALS) helps Seniors learn and improve their computer skills. It is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. 

Started in 2000 it now has 20+ trainers and many hundreds of students. At a really low cost (about $50 a school term) they can provide one-to-one training on most matters connected with computing and related technologies like mobile phones and digital cameras. From the smallest problem (how to hold the mouse!) to much more serious matters, there is a trainer who can help.

We offer “one to one” personal tuition or special short courses in the training rooms under the Catholic Church in Avalon. Training is conducted Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. For more information visit AVPALS web site www.avpals.com or phone 02 8064 3574

Keep up to date on our Facebook page

Find out more at: www.avpals.com

Tech Savvy Seniors

Tech Savvy Seniors provides free or low cost digital skills training on how to use computers, tablets and smartphones to keep in touch with family and friends, access essential services, conducting personal business and discover more about the things you are interested in.

Join the thousands of people over 60 who have already completed this fun, practical training and made new friends in the process.

With over 150 training locations across NSW as well as resources online it has never been easier to build your digital skills and confidence, with training available in a range of languages. To find out more about training sessions available near you, visit the Tech Savvy Seniors website to find your local library or community college provider.

For here: 
  • Northern Beaches Council Library at Glen Street, Mona Vale, Warringah Mall 02 9976 1720 
  • Northern Beaches Community College Inc at Narrabeen, Brookvale, Mosman (02) 9970 1000 enquiries@nbcc.nsw.edu.au
The Tech Savvy Seniors website also contains a great range of ‘self-teach’ videos and free digital literacy training resources available to make it easy to learn at your own pace to develop your digital skills from the comfort of your home.

Tech Savvy Seniors is a NSW Government initiative in partnership with Telstra.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket: NSW Public Transport

Parents missing out on REAL face time? If they have a Pension Card, sign them up & they could get unlimited $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets*.
Call 13 22 32 to sign up.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket (CPE)
A Country Pensioner Excursion (CPE) ticket is an affordable ticket for eligible pensioners and seniors to travel by train in regional NSW and the ACT.

For $2.50 you can book an economy class seat on a NSW TrainLink 

Regional train service. You will need to book 7 days or less in advance

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 

Any person can make a complaint to the Commissioner, including care recipients, family members, friends, staff, volunteers, or professionals.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of services including care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment. The 1800 550 552 helpline is staffed 9am to 5pm (AEDST) Monday to Friday.

Out of hours callers can leave a message, or contact the Commissioner at anytime through the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner website.


In 2014-15, there were 10,924 contacts to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. 3,725 were assessed as a complaint, 3,812 ‘other’ contacts includes non-compulsory notifications, own motion investigations and compliance referrals. There were also 3,387 out of scope contacts which were not related to an approved provider or an approved provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act.

Learn Something New: Australia MOOCs And Free Online Courses

There is a full range of everything your heart, mind and body wants to learn more about, presented and conducted by Australia's best universities.

Seniors Toy Repair Group needs your help

Volunteers are sought to help out on Wednesday mornings (7.30am to midday) at the group's workshed in Ingleside. Volunteers need their own transport and be willing to sort and clean toys that are picked up at different collection points on the Northern Beaches. 

Prospective volunteers can email Mary Kitchen to arrange a visit to the workshed. To arrange a donation pickup please call Terry Cook on 0410 597 327 or email himFind out more about this great community group HERE


Northern Beaches Concert Band is looking for flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba and trombone adult players.  We cater for players from beginner to advanced and have a varied and exciting repertoire.  Come and join us during school term time at 7.30pm, Pittwater High School, Mona Street, Mona Vale. 
Details 9970 7131 or 0414 560 263.

Apply for the $200 Seniors Energy Rebate

A new rebate for independent retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to help with electricity costs. The Seniors Energy Rebate is available for eligible independent retirees to help cover the cost of their electricity.

To be eligible you need to hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
CSHCs are means-tested concession cards issued by Services Australia and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). 

The Seniors Energy Rebate is $200 per household, per financial year.
If your application is successful, the rebate will be paid directly into your nominated bank or Credit Union account.

Note: Gas accounts are not eligible for the rebate.

What you need
  • your valid CSHC from Centrelink or the DVA
  • the most recent electricity bill for your current primary place of residence
  • your contact details
  • your bank or Credit Union account details
How to apply
  • Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Select the 'Apply online' button.
  • Enter the required details.
  • Submit the application.
If you're unable to apply online, visit a service centre or call us on 13 77 88.
If your application is successful, you'll receive payment within 5 working days into your nominated bank/Credit Union account. Service NSW will contact you if there are problems issuing your payment. 

RSPCA's Community Aged Care Program

RSPCA NSW understands that to an elderly owner, a pet can mean everything. Our Aged Care program aims to keep pets and their elderly owners happy, healthy and together in their own homes for as long as possible. To do this, we assist elderly pet owners over the age of 65, Indigenous pet owners over the age of 50 and palliative care patients of any age.
  • services our Aged Care program offers include: temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
  • assistance with veterinary treatment
  • home visits to assist the elderly with basic pet care
  • assistance with pet grooming
  • assistance with transport to and from the local veterinarian
  • a volunteer network to assist with dog walking and short periods of in-home care if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
Please note that due to high demand for this program, we ask that pet owners first ask family and friends whether they are able to assist with their pet’s care.

This community program was previously known as Pets of Older Persons (POOPs).

For more information please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408.

The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays contact the RSPCA Contact Centre on (02) 9770 7555
Aged Care Program FAQs

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.