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Home-grown help for Elders

Staying at Home Giving Back Health Industry Residential
20 August 2018
  • A joint project between IRT Group and Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services
  • Recognises connection to country and desire to age in place
  • IRT Academy to train Indigenous people to provide home care services to Elders
  • IRT at Home, IRT Academy and IRT Foundation all involved in the project
Home-grown help for Elders
Home Care Coordinator Yvonne Stewart, from Katungul, and Project Manager Clive Freeman.

A project supporting Indigenous people to stay in their home as they age is being driven by IRT Group and Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services.

Supporting Indigenous people to stay in their own homes as they age is the aim of a joint project launched in Batemans Bay.

The culturally sensitive seniors home care project recognises that Aboriginal seniors have a connection to country and a desire to age in place.

The Aboriginal Booraja pilot is a joint initiative between IRT Group and Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services, funded by a $1.4 million Australian Government grant.

“At the heart of our philosophy of Koori Health in Koori Hands is the health and wellbeing of our Elders,” Katungul CEO Robert Skeen explains.

“By our Elders maintaining their lifestyle and connection to culture and country, we will be able to keep them independent and at home for longer.”

IRT at Home, IRT Academy and IRT Foundation are all involved in the project, which aims to improve access to government-funded home care, provide a new choice in culturally sensitive care, and create new job pathways for young Indigenous people.

IRT Academy will train Indigenous people to provide home care services to their Elders.

Mr Skeen and IRT Group CEO Patrick Reid signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the project on Monday 9 April.

“We’re proud to partner with Katungul, which has been working for the last 25 years to enable Aboriginal people to live healthy lives, enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.”
Patrick Reid
IRT Group CEO
IRT Group CEO Patrick Reid and Katungul Chair Uncle Graham Moore.
IRT Group CEO Patrick Reid and Katungul Chair Uncle Graham Moore.

“Through IRT Foundation, we aim to provide equity in aged care service provision to all seniors in the community,” Mr Reid said.

“We’re proud to partner with Katungul, which has been working for the last 25 years to enable Aboriginal people to live healthy lives, enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.”

After the MOU was signed, the project’s steering committee met for the first time. It will guide the community-based and community-led approach to Indigenous aged care over the next three years.

A couple of weeks later, Home Care Coordinator Yvonne Stewart, from Katungul, and Project Manager Clive Freeman led a workshop to co-design the new culturally sensitive home care traineeships.

“We went through a range of real-life, person-centred scenarios to ensure both trainees and Elders will receive the support they need,” IRT Foundation Manager Toby Dawson explains.

“Given this is the first project of its kind we don’t have any existing guidebooks to rely on. We’re testing these ideas at our community Yarn Ups.”

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