ASK FOR HELP: SB Care chief executive officer Cheryl Dalton said change of approach to care is necessary.
ASK FOR HELP: SB Care chief executive officer Cheryl Dalton said change of approach to care is necessary. Jessica McGrath

Change of mindset needed to cater for ageing population

THE people of the South Burnett will need to change their approach to care to ensure the region can accommodate its growing older population.

People over the age of 65 will make up the largest percentage of the South Burnett population in 2041 with the number expected to grow from 7266 people in 2016 to 11,367, an increase of nine per cent.

These numbers are according to the Queensland Government's projected population report based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statics.

According to SB Care chief executive officer Cheryl Dalton the community will need to change its approach to receiving care to ensure the region can cater for the growing number of older people.

"People in rural communities tend not to access services until later in life and quite often we will find people will have a fall and that will prompt them to access a service and rather than that we want to put in preventative supports,” she said.

Mrs Dalton said keeping people in their own homes was a priority for the government but for this to happen people in the South Burnett needed to change their ideas of what receiving care looked like.

"Rural people are very self-sufficient and they will need to change their mindset and see that it is sometimes better to look at a wellness approach,” she said.

"I think the approach is it is not doing it for them but it is doing it with them, for them to maintain their independence.”

To Mrs Dalton, this means accessing services such as Meals on Wheels for a short period of time while people get back on their feet after a hospital visit.

"We need to be proactive and show people ways to maintain their independence, that is going to be fundamental for us in the future,” she said.