Senior Victorians have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom to share.
There are more than one million Victorians over 60. While people are generally living longer and well, older people carry 41 per cent of the disease burden and have specific care requirements that need to be considered when planning aged care.
Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians, and the number of Victorians with dementia is expected to increase. And while loneliness can affect anybody at any time, isolation and loneliness are significant issues for Victoria’s ageing population.
For more information on Concessions and benefits on the Services website.
Protecting vulnerable Victorians
In response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Victorian Government is investing $6 million over four years to ensure older Victorians who are victims of elder abuse have greater access to services and support and $1.2 million for elder abuse prevention and community awareness.
Elder Abuse is a form of family violence that is under reported within the service system. It is often unrecognised as family violence by older people and their families. We want older Victorians to be able to access high-quality response services, when they need them, and where they need them.
Family violence and other services must be responsive to the diversity of older Victorians, recognising that their needs can be complex and that they are among the most vulnerable of people in our communities.
For more information on the Preventing elder abuse page on the Health.vic website.
Promoting health at every age
We support and enable high-quality services that allow older Victorians to remain independent, and keep healthy and well for as long as possible. These include the Geriatric Evaluation and Management service and Residential In Reach and Transition Care Program, which allow older people to receive care in settings that support their independence.
We offer grants so seniors stay active and connected to their community, and able to celebrate their culture.
Actions and outcomes
Elder abuse is a form of family violence which has no place in our community. We’re helping frontline staff better respond to cases of suspected elder abuse, and offering better support to victims.
Action: We’ve invested $6 million to tackle elder abuse by extending the trial of an integrated model of care – offering specialist clinical advice, family and financial counselling, and mediation services.
Outcome: Services across Melbourne are implementing workforce training, elder abuse liaison officers, and referral pathways to family counselling and mediation, and financial counselling.
Elder abuse prevention networks have also been established to raise awareness and to establish policies, procedures and protocols between agencies.
We’re celebrating our seniors and acknowledging the valuable contribution they make to our state. We’re making it easier for them to get out in the community and stay connected with friends and family.
Actions: Our Seniors Card program offers public transport concessions and free travel, and incentives in partnership with the private sector to make it more affordable for seniors to get out and about.
Outcome: Each year, more than 60,000 people join our Seniors Card program, and more than 155,000 seniors participate our Victorian Seniors Festival.
We also recognise outstanding older Victorians through the annual Victorian Premier’s Senior of the Year awards.
Ageing is everyone’s business, a report by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians confirmed that isolation and loneliness are significant issues for Victoria’s ageing population, and made suggestions to improve inclusion.
Action: Initiatives include Age-Friendly Victoria – providing grants to local government and encouraging councils, businesses and other agencies to sign on to the Age-friendly Declaration to improve quality of life for older Victorians. Also the CALD Seniors Participation small grants program, to address loneliness and social isolation experienced by Victorian seniors in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
Outcome: Sixteen grants of $100,000 each have been provided to councils in regional Victoria. Approximately 50 small grants are provided annually to local community organisations to tackle isolation and loneliness. To date 42 councils and 20 organisations have signed the declaration to create welcoming communities for older people.
Older Victorians and their families need appropriate, accessible residential aged care, and we’re working with communities to provide culturally appropriate facilities.
Action: We’ve committed $2.5 million for a site to build a non-profit Chinese residential aged care facility in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs.
Outcome: Being cared for by someone who understands your culture and background, can make all the difference to comfort and happiness. Our new aged care service will prioritise the language, cultural and dietary needs of its residents.