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Blue Care tackles rural aged care issues

Blue Care has begun work on a strategy to redress issues affecting the elderly in rural and remote areas of Queensland, Blue Care Principal Adviser of Rural and Remote Services Damien Conley said this week.

“The Blue Care Rural and Remote Strategy will address issues confronting older people in the bush who experience extra challenges accessing aged care services in their local community due to geographical isolation,” Mr Conley said.

“Isolation causes issues with transport, workforce and assessment, as well as difficulties in adapting mainstream policies to smaller communities with diminishing infrastructures.”

The strategy will build on work already carried out by Blue Care where 42 rural and remote community profiles were developed covering 166 statistical local areas. The profiles identified demographic growth, existing service providers and types of services offered, and gaps in the care service area.

“The Blue Care strategy will be developed over two years with the first phase of the project focusing on an intensive consultation process engaging a range of stakeholders as well as research into existing projects and best practice examples,” Mr Conley said.

“The second phase will propose alternate service options which could be considered for implementation in rural and remote areas.

“The strategy will provide governments and key stakeholders with a more comprehensive understanding of services gaps and flow-on affects for ageing people residing in rural and remote areas.”
With more than 10,000 staff and 3000 volunteers throughout Queensland and in many rural localities, Blue Care is often the sole community care service provider in the bush, Mr Conley said.

“Our aim is to develop and promote more innovative service delivery models that may enhance the quality of life for older people in rural and remote Queensland.

“Blue Care wants to continue providing quality care in rural and remote communities and we are committed to pursuing service delivery options that influence policy and lead to improved services, access and resources.”