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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4324 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

With this responsibility in mind, the review recommended consolidation of centres to ensure more specialised services were available and to focus on best practice and better outcome for clients. Extended hours of operation were recommended as well as the development of a multidisciplinary approach to care.

Another positive outcome of the consultation around the relocation of these centres has been an agreement between carers and ACT Community Care to establish a carers reference group. The group will commence in March or April next year and will assist ACT Community Care with ongoing program planning for aged day care. The consultation process has highlighted the need for this group and I am pleased that carers will now provide ongoing input into the development and management of dementia and respite services. The decision to relocate the day-care centres from Narrabundah and Dickson was taken to ensure that these changes could be made and that an improved service to older people could be provided.

The relocation of clients from Narrabundah and Dickson community care aged day-care centres to Tuggeranong and Belconnen will certainly be unsettling for some older people. We know that. It is unsettling, it is confronting, particularly for people who are older and frail and uncertain. But every effort has been made to work with these clients and carers to ensure their individual needs are addressed and to facilitate a smooth transition to their preferred centre. An enormous effort has been put in by staff at Community Care to ensure a smooth transition.

An extensive consultation process has been carried out with every client and with each of their carers from Narrabundah and Dickson aged day-care centres. This consultation was carried out in group or individual sessions, depending on what the client and carer asked for.

There are 29 clients and their carers at Narrabundah and 35 clients and their carers at Dickson, and they are all being supported-each and every one of them-through this transition process. Clients attending aged day care at Narrabundah and Dickson centres have been assured that they will continue to have access to services at Tuggeranong or Belconnen aged day-care centres.

Some clients from Narrabundah and Dickson who have attended these centres for social support may choose to access aged day-care services provided at the northside and southside community services. These services are also part of this consultation process and have indicated their absolute willingness to accept these clients into their programs. Northside and southside community service aged day-care programs are part of a group of 12 aged day-care programs funded by both the ACT and Commonwealth governments through the home and community care program.

It is acknowledged that change is always difficult and that some clients and their families will be anxious about any move, and this particularly pertains to older people. Those of us who are at least of my age or generation and have had experience with our parents know that. My mother falls within this category and I know how unsettling change is for her.

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