Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour - Issue No.: 846 Issue Date: 17 Feb, 2019

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Samantha Spiro, Business Development Manager Aged Care Division, MercyCare

Home and Community Support

Let’s face it, as Rotarians we all know someone who is over 65 or steadily progressing towards that milestone.  While many of us are familiar with that concept, it would be reasonably fair to say that we are not too knowledgeable on the services available in the aged care sector to those 65 and over.  That changed at last Tuesday’s regular breakfast meeting thanks to our informative guest speaker Mrs Samantha Spiro, the Business Development Manager for the Aged Care Division at MercyCare.

MercyCare is a leading provider of aged care, family, community, health and disability services.  Employing over 1000 staff and 175 volunteers, MercyCare delivers more than 40 programs and services from 35 locations throughout Western Australia.  MercyCare has an organisational vision for people and communities to thrive.  Part of Sam’s role at MercyCare is to raise the awareness of the programs offered and increase the profile of services which assist in improving the quality of life to over 65’s, a role she ably fulfilled.

Services which improve the quality of life include Home and Community Care to assist individuals to remain as independent as possible in the surroundings they are most comfortable – their own home.  Home Care Packages are also available to provide flexibility of care options and structured to meet individual needs.  Even though the current average age for entry to an aged care home (including respite services) is 84, it is forecast the average age will rise to 92 within the next ten years.  This means larger numbers of us will need home care packages to assist us in areas of community nursing, shopping, cleaning, transport, personal care and respite for carers. 

As humans, our own pride and/or guilt sometimes makes it difficult to seek or accept help.  Instead we should willingly seek the help needed (if warranted).  After all some of the services are free.  Sam provided an excellent overview on the Aged Care Assessments (ACAT) process and how you can arrange one.  The result of the ACAT will be used to make a recommendation for the type and level of care that may be able to be provided through Government funded services.  The needs are scaled from low to high priority and will ultimately determine what assistance can be provided.

Sam’s key piece of advice during the morning was to avail yourself of the offered services as soon as possible, because it will be easier to obtain the help that is needed when it is needed.  The Western Endeavourites present at breakfast certainly appreciated the sense of community that MercyCare and people like Sam are working for, thanks Sam.

Author: Byron Williamson

Published: 11 February, 2018


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