How, where, and when to learn about our aged care system
AFTER struggling to navigate the Aged Care System herself, Annette McNee has dedicated her life to teaching others about support available for the elderly.
As a part of the new Aged Care System Navigator Trial Program Mrs McNee will be leading an Aged Care information session here in Kingaroy.
Mrs McNee will be leading all of the programs rural Queensland sessions.
Mrs McNee said it was difficult to learn about the help and support available for elderly Queenslanders, especially in small country towns.
"I actually arrived in the aged care system in a crisis situation with my husband,” she said.
"So I know how bad and difficult the system can be to navigate when you're in a crisis and have no idea what to do, or where to turn for help.
"That's why I do this. Because there's a lot of help out there but it's not made readily known to everyone. It's not the easiest to find.
Mrs McNee said she would not wish her experience upon anyone.
"I don't want it to be that hard for anyone else. Especially in small country towns where it can be even harder to access the Government support that is actually there,” she said.
"You don't want to be 86 and struggling with your health, and then having to learn all of the information about how to navigate the aged care system.
"So my talk in Kingaroy will focus on how you navigate the aged care system in the hope the community will know where to turn.”
The OATS program was created to deliver localised information to Australians who aren't receiving Aged Care Services by educating, inspiring, upskilling, and raising awareness.
Mrs McNee will also be involving networks such as the Country Women's Association, service clubs such as Lions and Rotary, seniors groups, and the council.
"I also really believe in having the support of an association or service club. Especially for our elderly after the loss of a spouse, close friends, or other family members,” she said.
The session at the Kingaroy Library will begin with a talk from Mrs McNee. She will break down how to get the most out of the Aged Care System.
After a morning tea break she will then lead a workshop.
The workshop will include games such as trivia and bingo to help participants to fully understand what was covered.
In her absence there will be two local champions for the community to turn to, Dr Brad Butwell for Kingaroy and Mrs Anne Davoren for Nanango.
Mrs McNee will spend some time after lunch on Monday mentoring these local champions so they can rise to the challenge after she leaves.
"Hopefully in the 18 months that follow this session, we will be able to see a difference in the way the Aged Care System is used,” she said.
"It's very much a community-driven trial program, and I can't wait to see how it plays out in the South Burnett and across Queensland.
"I'm like a born-again Christian when it comes to aged care services. I just want to tell everyone about it. Because ultimately it does affect everyone in some way or another.”
This session is an Older Australian Talk Session (OATS) an will be held at the Kingaroy Library next Monday March 25, kicking off at 9.30am.