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COTA life

Advancing the rights, needs and interests of Queenslanders as they age

Edition 22

10 May 2016

Get involved and make your voice heard this election!

The federal election is coming soon, on July 2 and COTA is developing its election priorities.  Given that your priorities are our priorities, we need to hear from you.  We want your voice to reach the candidates and the best way to do this is for us to join together to identify the things that matter most to older Australia.


To do this COTA is talking to older Australians through a number of channels.  One opportunity to give feedback on policies and issues that matter to you is to join in a two hour small group discussion (a focus group) at COTA. 

If you want to express interest in joining in a discussion and voicing your views on election issues, please contact us by 13 May in one of the following ways:

COTA Queensland
3316 2999 or

Also ask about other ways you can influence and then support the COTA Election Platform.  

The more people who join in the conversation the surer we are that we will get the messages to politicians, candidates and media right.

Budget 2016: Some great news, some missed opportunities, and some concerns

COTA Australia has labelled the overall effect of the 2016 Federal budget a mixed bag for older people with some great measures around superannuation but missed opportunities in aged care, housing and mature age employment.


COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates said he welcomed the initiatives which put superannuation back on the path for which it was originally intended and ensured women and low income workers had more opportunities to save for their retirement (see separate COTA media release on the superannuation reform package).


Mr Yates said older Australians will be disappointed that the next steps in aged care reform had been left out of the 2016 Budget with no timeframe for ensuring people can access the aged care they need, when they need it.


"Unfortunately, aged care is still a rationed system which means people who have been assessed and approved as eligible for care don't get it because of the rationing.


"This means thousands of older people still languish on long aged care waiting lists or may have to move to inappropriate care or care far from loved ones.





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13th Global Conference on Ageing


Only six weeks until we are joined by the world’s leaders on ageing issues for the 13th IFA Global Conference on Ageing at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre. The Conference is being co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation and supported by the Australian and Queensland Governments.


The 2015 WHO World Report on Ageing and Health discusses how healthy ageing is more than just the absence of disease, but the maintenance of functional ability.  New ways of thinking about long-term care is required to shift to the main objective of optimising functional ability but also focusing on: Fully integrated systems for long-term care Creating and sustaining a workforce prepared to provide long-term care Promoting the rights of older people and their caregivers.


Register Today!

National Volunteer Week


National Volunteer Week, 9 - 15 May 2016, is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia, and provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our community and to say thank you.


It is through the generosity of COTA Queensland’s volunteers that we are able to connect with the community, facilitate peer education sessions, plan and coordinate events, bring about changes in policy, and have effective governance in our organisation.  All of which supports us in building an Age-friendly Queensland.


To this, we are dedicating Radio COTA episodes 10 and 11 in recognition of the many services, support and contributions of volunteers.


On behalf of all us at COTA Queensland, we thank you.


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COTA Queensland volunteer Community Ambassadors

To support seniors advocate for their rights, needs and interests COTA Queensland  is developing a new volunteer network called COTA Community Ambassadors.


Launching the program COTA Queensland Chief Executive Mr Mark Tucker-Evans said COTA Community Ambassadors, who will be seniors themselves, will inform COTA’s policy and advocacy by researching what is happening in their community and how it impacts on seniors and their community. 


“We will collate this information, support it through research before sharing it with their communities and then developing solutions with older people” said Mr Tucker-Evans.


For more information  visit COTA Queensland volunteer Community Ambassadors


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Queensland supports Age-friendly Communities

COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland has welcomed the release of Queensland: an age-friendly community Strategic direction statement by the State Government.


COTA Queensland has been a strong advocate for age-friendly cities and communities since the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched this initiative in 2007.


Queensland’s population is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility (despite an increase in births in recent years), increasing life expectancy and the movement of the large baby boomer cohort (those born between 1946-1965) into the older age groups. In 2013 the expected remaining years of life for Queenslanders aged 65 years was 19.0 years for males and 22.1 years for females.


"It is essential that older people are engaged in the process of creating an Age-friendly Queensland and COTA welcomes the opportunity to work with the Government, business and community on this initiative.” said COTA Queensland Chief Executive Mark Tucker-Evans.


“A growing number of cities and communities worldwide are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents. Designing communities with older people in mind creates accessible and inclusive communities for people of all ages” Mr Tucker-Evans said.


WHO are co-sponsoring the 13th Global Conference on Ageing which will be hosted by COTA Queensland at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre 21-23 June 2016. The Conference will bring leaders in Age-friendly Cities and Communities together in Brisbane to share lessons learned in creating cities to meet the needs of all ages.


COTA Queensland is the Seniors Peak giving older Queenslanders a voice on issue which affect them.

Peer Education Sessions for Older Queenslanders

Alongside the current rollout of Aged Care reforms, COTA Queensland is offering free information sessions for seniors’ groups and groups of future or current consumers of home care services. The sessions aim to increase the skills and knowledge of older Queenslanders to maintain control of their own life by making the most of consumer directed care (CDC) through the new aged care reforms and introduction of the new Home Care Packages system. The sessions also aim to equip attendees with more information to be active partners in their own health care and support needs with their service provider. Sessions run for about an hour and are conducted by a trained COTA Peer Educator.

Peer Education is an informal way of delivering information where a Peer Educator is invited as a guest speaker to an existing group that meet regularly or as a speaker at a ‘one off’ special session with seniors and carers. The sessions are designed to enable consumers to speak freely about their concerns and ask questions about the current reforms to home care packages.

Please note the session is not designed for staff training.

If you are interested in hosting a session complete the Expression of Interest form and email it to or phone our toll free number 1300 738 438.

If you have any questions about the sessions, phone 1300 738 348 or email


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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

May is Domestic Violence Month.  All over Queensland, in our workplaces, schools, sporting clubs, neighbourhoods and communities, people are taking up the challenge to put an end to domestic and family violence.

Every Queenslander can play a role in changing the culture and attitudes that underpin violence in our community.

During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May take up the challenge by supporting domestic and family violence prevention activities in your workplaces, schools, sporting clubs, neighbourhood and community or planning your own.


In an emergency call the police on 000 (triple zero).


DVConnect Womensline - 1800 811 811

24 hours, 7 days a week (Queensland)


DVConnect Mensline - 1800 600 636
9am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week (Queensland)


Elder Abuse Helpline - 1300 651 192 (Queensland)
07 3867 2525 (rest of Australia)

9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday


1800 RESPECT - 1800 737 732
24 hours, 7 days a week (Australia)


Kids Helpline - 1800 551 800
24 hours, 7 days a week (Australia)




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Participants Needed

The Groups 4 Retirement project are looking for people who are willing to take part in a research study looking at the role that social networks make to retirement adjustment and well-being.


Over 3 million Australians are currently retired from the workforce, and while we know financial planning is important in this process about a third of people still fail to adjust well despite this planning. Research is now pointing to the importance of social networks, and our study investigates the contribution that these relationships make to retirement adjustment. 


The study is being conducted by researchers at The University of Queensland, and has been reviewed and approved by the Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee (Approval Number: 2015001736). Taking part will involve you answering some questions in an online survey about your workplace, retirement preparation, social relationships, and sources of support and well-being.


If you are retired or about to retire and would like to be involved, please select one of the following options:


For those who are approaching retirement:
If you are about to retire please click on the following link:

After completing this we will contact you at retirement and a few months after retirement, to see if you are willing to answer similar questions. The purpose of this is to track your experience in the transition to retirement. These surveys will each take the same amount of time to complete.


For those who have already retired:
If you have already retired please click on the following link:

The Groups 4 Retirement project is part of the Groups 4 Health program ( The project is being led by Professor Catherine Haslam, Polly Fong, and Ashleigh Kelly, B.Psych.Sci.(Hons I). If you have any questions about the project please get in touch with us via the following email:

The NDIS and the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS)

The NDIS will result in some changes to the way taxi services are funded for people with disability who become NDIS participants. This is because NDIS participants will likely access their transport assistance, including taxi services, via NDIS funding. In doing so, the majority of these participants will book and pay for a taxi directly out of their NDIS funding.


TSS members who become NDIS participants will access their transport assistance via the NDIS when it is introduced in their location. Drivers may not be aware that these customers are NDIS participants – most will book and pay for their taxi directly via NDIS funds. 


NDIS participants will NOT be eligible for TSS membership once they start receiving NDIS-funded support.


It is important to note that TMR will continue to provide the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for TSS members who ARE NOT eligible to participate in the NDIS (for example, those aged 65 years and over, or those under 65 with a temporary impairment) in the future. As such, the scheme will continue to operate as usual for these members.




Don’t Shhh Shingles



Shingles can lead to painful and long lasting complications. The Don’t Shhh Shingles campaign aims to improve recognition of the risk of shingles and help people better understand its impact, as it is far more than ‘just a rash’. 


Up to half of adults over the age of 50 affected will go on to experience longer-term nerve pain, which can be debilitating, long lasting and difficult to treat.  This can have a considerable effect on sleep and mood, and can lead to withdrawal and social isolation for those affected.


Shingles can be recognised by an outbreak of a painful rash or blisters on the skin which are isolated to one side of the body.


A common yet little known complication of shingles is post herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a debilitating form of nerve damage pain.


For further information about shingles, including prevention and treatment options, speak to your doctor.

Save your retirement, from scammers

ACCC analysis reveals $229 million in scam losses in 2015

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) analysis of data reported to Scamwatch and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), together with losses detected through scam disruption work, estimates scam losses in excess of $229 million in 2015.

Losses reported to ACCC’s Scamwatch alone climbed to almost $85 million, $3 million more than last year. Much of this was reported by older members of the community. Of the 49 500 reports to the ACCC with an age provided, almost 20 000 were provided by Australians over the age of 55, with over 21 million dollars lost by this group.

The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) holds an annual Fraud Week. The event aims to raise awareness about scams and alert people about how they can identify scams and avoid becoming a victim.

This year, the ACFT is asking everyone to ‘wise up to scams’ and the focus of Fraud Week is on scams targeting over 55s. In 2015, these include investment scams and dating and romance scams. There are many other scams which affect older members of the community but reports to the ACCC show that these two account for half of the money lost by over 55’s in 2015. 


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Message from Department of Social Services - Have your say on a new integrated carer support service system

The Australian Government is developing an Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services to better support and sustain the work of unpaid carers.


The first stage of the Plan included design and implementation of Carer Gateway that commenced in December 2015.

Carer Gateway consists of a national website and contact centre that provides carers with practical information and support and helps them connect with local support services. An important second stage of the Plan involves developing a new integrated carer support service system through a co-design process.


The purpose of the new carer service system is to deliver supports that reduce carer strain, increase carer well-being and support them to continue in their caring role.


Join the Sunshine Coast Multicultural Conversations today

The Sunshine Coast has a diverse and growing multicultural population with one in every five people born overseas representing 156 countries, 45 faiths and 96 languages.

The Multicultural Conversations project provides an opportunity for the Sunshine Coast Council and partners to understand and address issues experienced by the multicultural community. The project also has a strong focus on highlighting the benefits of living in a multicultural society.


The purpose of this survey is to gather information that will be used to inform the development of a regional multicultural action plan.


Responses to this survey will remain confidential and no personal information will be shared with any other parties.



Do you use Queensland Community Care Services or care for someone who does?

Queensland Community Care services are being reviewed to consider people’s needs, now and into the future. Are there any changes you would like to see?


Survey closes 27 May 2016


What are Queensland Community Care services?

  • available to eligible people aged under 65 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged under 50 to support them to keep living independently in their homes and participating in their communities
  • includes services such as home care, personal care, transport, meals, respite, social support, care coordination, home maintenance, allied health care, and counselling support
  • funded by the Queensland Government


Want more information? Email:

Radio COTA

Radio COTA is a weekly podcast hosted by Andy Neil for COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland. Each week we will be exploring topical and relevant information for older Queenslanders and we will be out in the community speaking with Queenslanders of all ages to gather their opinions on a wide range of topics.


In the past few weeks we have explored;
• World Health Day and Healthy Living
• Seniors Safety and Digital Inclusion
• And a very special episode commemorating Anzac Day with  interviews from the Young Diggers, which highlight the importance of supporting our troops, past and present


We invite you to listen to the latest Radio COTA Podcast -


Do you have something to day?

We encourage you to provide feedback about what you’d like us to cover in future podcasts by contacting us on 1300 738 348 or email us at

Support Our Work and Get Involved

Our aim is to help create a more just, equitable and caring community in which older people are actively involved and have access to appropriate support, services and care. You can assist by:

• Leaving a bequest in your Will to COTA Queensland;
• Donating today through PayPal or by shopping online with Shopnate;
• Joining as an individual member and receiving a wide range of  benefits through the COTA Rewards and Savings program;
• Joining as an organisational member and contribute to our information exchange, policy development and service development;
• Joining over 600 Queenslanders in our Consumer Reference Network to enable you to contribute your knowledge and experiences to the development of our submissions in response to those issues impacting on people age they age in Queensland


See more at:
o Leaving a bequest in your Will to COTA Queensland
o Donating today through PayPal or by shopping online with Shopnate
o Joining as an individual member and receiving a wide range of  benefits through the COTA Rewards and Savings program
o Joining as an organisational member and contribute to our information exchange, policy development and service development
o Joining over 600 Queenslanders in our Consumer Reference Network to enable you to contribute your knowledge and experiences to the development of our submissions in response to those issues impacting on people age they age in Queensland


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Level 1, 25 Mary Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
PO BOX 15525, City East, QLD 4002
Office: +61-7-3316-2999
Toll Free Number (within QLD): 1300-738-348
Fax: +61-7-3316-2900