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Helping older people regain their independence

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New approaches are emerging to help people over the age of 65 improve their health, independence and quality of life. The Australian Government’s Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme supports older people to reverse the short-term effects of illness or accidents, and improve their wellbeing.

In February 2017 the Federal Government’s Department of Health funded annecto’s Loddon Mallee and Orana Far West Regions to deliver a total of 16 STRC packages. Clients access the program for eight weeks at a time, which means that our 16 packages have the potential to support more than 90 clients and their families in a year.

Manager of Rural and Remote Development, Jason Minter, said that the STRC gives annecto an opportunity to provide a new type of support to our clients. “The program means we bring together a team of professionals to help improve our clients’ lives. It’s another way of working for annecto, and delivering this type of support is an exciting development for us”, explained Jason.

Once a client is assessed for STRC, annecto Case Manager Mary Hillier works with them to set goals to help them improve their health and regain their independence. Mary has assembled a multi-disciplinary team to support each client, comprising their GP as well as other health and wellbeing specialists, such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Each person’s ability to be self-supporting is evaluated before the program begins, and then re-assessed at the end of eight weeks. Over that time, clients are assisted to improve their self-management of personal care, nutrition, mobility and other aspects of daily life.