Kingston strengthens commitment to aged care services

Two ladies sitting at a cafe.

Kingston’s ongoing commitment to aged care has been further strengthened through the launch of AccessCare’s Social Links service.

Focused on helping older people build stronger social connections, the service matches AccessCare clients with dedicated volunteers who support them to participate in community activities.

This could be things like going out for a bite or a cuppa, taking a walk along the beach, or attending a class at the local community centre, with the scope only dependent on the client’s interests and mobility. Importantly Social Links fosters consistent and meaningful contact between the client and volunteer.

Kingston Mayor Jenna Davey-Burns said we know the devastating impacts of social isolation, particularly for our seniors who live alone or are the primary carer for a loved one, and through Social Links we are working to help people re-engage in our wonderful community.

“We are passionate about doing everything we can to support our treasured older generation and help everyone of them to feel valued, supported and connected,” Cr Davey-Burns said.

“Our dedicated AccessCare team have supported older people to get out and about in the community and socialise with like-minded people through programs such as our community bus, but following the pandemic, we knew we wanted to do more to help foster good mental health. That’s where Social Links started.

“Being able to spend time with another person, have a chat, and do something that brings joy, whatever that is, can be so powerful and we are already seeing the positive impacts it is having for both older people and volunteers.

“As leaders in this vital space, it is our absolute duty to invest in supporting our older residents, delivering high quality home care services and ensuring Kingston remains a city where people can age well into the future,” Cr Davey-Burns said.

In the wake of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Standards, and with the Australian Government announcing it will deliver its in-home aged care reforms by 1 July 2025, more and more councils across Victoria are choosing to end the provision of aged care services.

Bunjil Ward Councillor Steve Staikos underlined Kingston’s ongoing commitment.

“Kingston is the largest provider of aged care services of any local council in Victoria, and we remain dedicated to providing home care services for our community, a service our clients rely on for their quality of life,” Cr Staikos said.

AccessCare recently completed its annual customer satisfaction survey, which is sent to every Home Care Package client. Encouragingly the results showed that 98.6% of respondents said they can trust AccessCare, and 94.9% felt the service helped them to live their life as best they could.

Council employs approximately 200 staff members through AccessCare, which has been empowering older people to live independently and with dignity for nearly 30 years.

AccessCare currently supports more than 6,000 community members with home and community care services.

In addition to wellbeing services like Social Links, it also offers services including personal care, domestic care, delivered meals, respite care, assisted shopping, home maintenance, transport on our community bus and more.

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