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October 22


Celebrate Grandparents Day

Grandparents across Queensland will be honoured on their special day on Sunday 27 October 2013.

Grandparents Day is an opportunity for everyone to make their grandparent's day by thanking them for their love and support.

Community groups can get involved by organising a Grandparents Day event. Ideas for activities include morning teas, an intergenerational walk for grandparents and grandkids or exhibiting artwork by children showing why they love their grandparents.

Grandchildren and families are also being encouraged to do something special to make their grandparent’s day.

A range of promotional materials are available to support groups holding Grandparents Day events, including posters, postcards and downloadable cards and certificates of recognition.

Visit the Grandparents Day website to register your event and to order or download promotional materials.

The theme of Grandparents Day 2013 is ‘Make your grandparent’s day!’

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Assistive and Enabling Technologies for Home and Community

COTA is supporting a free workshop for consumers about how technology can help maintain your wellbeing, remain independent, and support your health. Guest speaker is Dr Kevin Doughty, Director, Centre for Usable Home Technology, University of York and Newcastle University (UK). It will be on Thursday 31 October 2013 from 12.30pm to 2pm at Lifetec, Level 1, Reading Newmarket, corner Newmarket and Enoggera Road.
Register online here or by phoning COTA Queensland on 3316 2999 or 1300 738 348.

There is also a workshop for policy makers and service providers on assistive and enabling technologies  with Dr Doughty on Wednesday 30 October 2013 from 1pm to 4pm at the Green Room, Punthill Hotel (40 Astor Terrace, Spring Hill), cost $115.83.
Register online here or by phoning COTA Queensland on 3316 2999 or 1300 738 348.

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Mental Health and Ageing

Many people – including older people – think that it is normal to become depressed as we age, but ageing does not itself cause depression and anxiety. They are common conditions for which effective treatments are available.

It is thought that between 10 and 15 per cent of older people experience depression and approximately 10 per cent experience anxiety. Rates of depression among people living in residential aged-care facilities are believed to be much higher, at around 35 per cent.
Unfortunately, many people over 65 still seem to feel there is a stigma attached to depression and mental health conditions, viewing them as a weakness of character rather than a health problem.

Older people are also more hesitant to share their experiences of depression with others, often ignoring symptoms over long periods of time and only seeking professional help when things reach crisis point.

The thing is, depression and anxiety are common. They affect three million Australians every year. There's no need for older people to feel they have to live with depression or anxiety. They are not a weakness of character – but common conditions for which help is available. Effective treatments exist for older people and the good news is, with the right treatment for depression and anxiety, most people recover.

If you do need help, call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 any time of the day or night – select from the voice menu or simply hold on the line to talk with a trained mental health professional. There are also web chat or email options available at: 

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St John Community Services - Go Card Project

St John Ambulance (Qld) Community Services have concession  ‘go cards’ available for pensioners (including Age Pension and Disability Pension) who require assistance on public transport in south east Queensland. Concession ‘go cards’ purchased through St John Community Services for $5 include $15 worth of travel credit (eligibility criteria apply).

Please contact the St John Office if you would like more information on telephone 3632 9932 or email or

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Queensland's State Budget affects you! Have your say in our new survey.

We ask you about a range of topics that affect your quality of life.
We  then use your responses along with other data to craft our submission to influence the State Government's 2014 – 2015 Budget. Your experience and opinion will help make a difference!

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What people said about Community Care

COTA Queensland’s community care survey asked:

“What kind of support is needed for you to keep living at home and participating in the community?”

And a total of 431 people let us know - in the survey, on postcards and by phone.

Transport, followed by help with garden, home and cleaning, was the support services most mentioned. Transport is a concern for many due to the reduction or loss of car use and the need to shop, bank, attend appointments and activities, or see family.

This was followed by an array of needs including physical access to home and the desire to keep contributing to society.

People are finding out about the support they need most frequently from their GP followed  by family and friends, Centrelink, existing services they receive, and community groups.

For care received there was a great deal of appreciation. Concerns included  a desire for continuity in staff, visits being at a regular hour each week, and avoiding conflicting hours between service providers.

“I know my assistor as a friend not just a worker and she can virtually do my shopping without a list.” said one respondent.

The survey results are rich in the experience of participants and provide an extensive list of issues and important considerations.

COTA Queensland is using the results of the survey in the following ways:

• Reporting to government. The Australian and Queensland Governments look to COTA to provide advice on how to improve current Home and Community Care (HACC) and Community Care services it funds, as well as suggesting new ones.

• Informing Brisbane Metro North Medicare Local on people’s needs and service quality. COTA Queensland is on the Management Committee of a consortium of HACC service providers organised by this Medicare Local. Our role is to provide consumer feedback to improve services.

•  To trigger further research especially around community based transport options.

• To inform submissions to state government including recommendations about the Queensland Budget.

• As a source of knowledge and individual stories to help when COTA Queensland meets  with government representatives, advisory groups, and industry members.

Many thanks to all who contributed. We hope to hear from you again in our new Budget Survey.

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  1. Celebrate Grandparents Day
  2. Assistive and Enabling Technologies for Home and Community
  3. Mental Health and Ageing
  4. St John Community Services - Go Card Project
  5. Queensland's State Budget affects you! Have your say in our new survey.
  6. What people said about Community Care

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Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland

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