THE North-East is well poised to become a mecca for older Tasmanians and has an opportunity to capitalise on the employment-generating aged care sector, the head of the state’s peak ageing service says.
Aged and Community Services Tasmania chief executive Darren Mathewson said on Saturday the region faced “enormous opportunities” when it came to aged care.
His comments came as Presbyterian Care Tasmania winds down Aminya, its 32-bed, low-care facility at Scottsdale, while the Dorset Council facilitates discussions with other providers in a bid to keep the site open.
Mr Mathewson said while there was an immediate need to deal with the community’s anxieties, there was an opportunity to improve the region.
“All the community gets exposed to is feeling like they’re losing stuff where they could build something that’s innovative and sets them up for the next 30 years,” he said.
“For Dorset, the challenge is how do we build something that’s going to be sustainable, innovative, and allow old people to live where they’ve lived all their lives – and create employment?”
Mr Mathewson said the answers lay in community development with appropriate footpaths, walks and facilities required to make the dream a reality.
He said capitalising on the opportunity required input from all levels of government.
“It’s definitely something that it’s time all levels of government took a bit more seriously,” he said.
Workforce demographer Lisa Denny agreed the opportunities were out there.
“Some regional areas are embracing ageing and are seeing it as a growth area and saying ‘OK, we are ageing, let’s make sure people stay here to age’,” Ms Denny said.
Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson said the situation with Aminya should prompt a re-evaluation of the way aged care was delivered.
“What that shows is that we’ve got a system that doesn’t support people living in their local communities; we’ve got a system that relies on major providers setting up shop and this does highlight the fact that we need to have a re-look at the way that we structure our aged care system into the future,” Mr Jacobson said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.