Need for aged care services growing

A DRAFT development proposal for a new aged care centre in Gloucester is imminent, council’s general manager Danny Green says.

Nambucca Valley Care will shortly submit its plans for a residential aged care facility and self-contained villas on council-owned land near the Gloucester Soldiers Memorial Hospital.

Mr Green said Nambucca Valley Care would seek Commonwealth support for the project ahead of the next round of federal funding in June.

Negotiations between council and Nambucca Valley Care commenced in July last year.

Council has also published the results of a survey on aged care services in the Gloucester Shire. 

“The survey generated an identified individual response rate of 43 per cent,” Mr Green said.

“Of those one third were aged 65 to 69, just over one quarter 75 to 79, nearly one quarter were aged 80 or more and the rest were aged 70 to 74.

“The survey asked a series of questions on accommodation and services used now as well as expectations for 12 months time and in five years. 

“Sixty-four per cent of respondents were pension-supported retirees while 23 per cent were self funded.

“All age groups responded positively that they would be likely to reside in a retirement unit or villa. 

“Sixty-eight per cent of those aged between 65 and 74 were looking for this type of accommodation over the next five years with a smaller house a strong second choice.”

At the last ABS census, there were 1258 persons aged 65 years and over residing in the Gloucester region representing 25 per cent of the total population. A further 16 per cent were aged between 55 and 64. 

“The survey was attached to the second instalment rate notice which, while not capturing all of this age demographic, was cost effective and provided valuable data concerning not only future accommodation demands but also data on services used,” Mr Green said.

“Council is also keen to gain an accurate picture of the current and future demand for aged services in the region. Naturally the demand for such services increases with age. 

“This is reflected in responses from those 80 years and over that showed individual services such as community aged care packages, HACC home care and HACC home maintenance were being utilised by between 20 and 30 per cent of the group.”

Mr Green said any facility could employ as many as 80 staff. Council has formed a steering committee which will be tasked with identifying what type of aged care service should be provided.

Gloucester Shire Council general manager Danny Green.

Gloucester Shire Council general manager Danny Green.