We have proposed the creation of an Age Well Community Centre to provide a new community space and additional integrated services and a multidisciplinary model for the local Chinchilla community and the region. It’s an innovative, community-based, collaborative model that holds a solution not just for aged care, but a comprehensive community health solution, and will be delivered alongside our Illoura Village aged care home.
Co-locating resources older Australians need to age healthily in place, alongside our aged care home, and together with services the wider community can access, addresses various challenges that regional and rural communities face as one.
We’re calling on the Federal Government to help us keep the Chinchilla community and region connected and we need $3.22m to help us deliver this vital community service, which will include:
– recreation activities, including a gym
– covered hydrotherapy pool
– day respite care and transport
– home care services
– space and access to allied health professionals such as mental health, exercise physiology and massage therapy.
These at and near home options would assist members of the community to age in place where they have established connections and a sense of belonging.
Connection keeps our communities strong, and our vision is that it will be a place of connectivity, to support the social fabric of the community. It would create connection points that are critical for families in crisis, to enable people to come together and so that services are accessible locally, when they are needed most.
And, it would generate new jobs and investment by drawing in new services the locals need, as well as creating new additional training and education opportunities.
There is an opportunity to double-down on infrastructure that is already in place, making it work smarter and better for the community in which it is based and to address access to care, and where issues of loneliness and isolation are more prevalent.
This is about delivering more than just space. It’s about combatting loneliness, isolation, mental health and access to allied health to help the whole of the community.
This solution has been developed with the local community.
Support is broad and strong with the Western Downs Regional Council Mayor McVeigh, together with leaders from business groups including Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise Group (TSBE), Goondir Health Services, Southern Queensland Rural Health and the Chinchilla Community Commerce & Industry Inc. are all backing the proposal.
Beyond this, it would also provide a framework for older people to age in a place that could be replicated across other regional, rural and remote areas in Australia.
We need to make systemic change to improve outcomes for older people and their families in regional Australia, and that means looking at the delivery of care holistically.