Improved access to My Aged Care for seniors

Improvements to the My Aged Care website have been made to provide easier access to the online portal for older Australians.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the My Aged Care website and it’s helpline were key resources for delivering care to those who need it most.

“The helpline has a strong record of answering calls quickly with unanswered calls dropping below two per cent in 2019-2020,” Mr Vasta said.

“With improvements to our helpline and online portal, we’re now exploring opportunities for further face-to-face support.”

Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck MP said the department was also exploring new support opportunities so there was no wrong door to access aged care services.

“In 2018-19, over 440,000 face-to-face assessments were completed to support older Australians, so we’re exploring opportunities for further face-to-face support to be provided through a wider range of community organisations,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Elderly and senior Australians deserve the highest possible standards and practices when it comes to delivering care and offering families’ peace of mind.“We will continue to implement changes and remain focused as the important work of the Royal Commission continues and anticipate its final recommendations on November 12.”

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Bonner Senior’s Expo bigger and better than ever

The third annual Bonner Senior’s Expo is set to bigger and better than ever with exhibit spaces now completely booked out and hundreds of local seniors expected to attend.

The free Senior’s Expo is on Thursday, October 31 and will include over 50 stallholders from government services and community organisations right through to legal aid and real estate agencies.

Information sessions on issues such as the National Broadband Network rollout to services provided by the Department of Human Services will be held throughout the day.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the annual expo was always a great opportunity for local seniors to have face to face access with the services they use and community groups there to support their needs.

“It is a big day out for all our wonderful seniors to gather information and enjoy a locally sourced morning tea,” Mr Vasta said.

“Even though I will be at the United Nations for this event, I have made sure all the relevant resources will be available to our local seniors just like past events.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to help, we’re here to provide and we’re here to listen to the unique concerns of the seniors in the Bonner electorate – that’s what this expo is all about.”

The Bonner Senior’s Expo will be held from 9am to 1pm on Thursday, October 31 at the Wynnum Manly Leagues Club.

Stall holders will include:


Piccardi Legal

Department of Health


Carers QLD

It’s a Bloke Thing

Vision Australia

Brisbane City Council


Cancer Council

and many more.

For more information call the office of Ross Vasta MP on (07) 3893 3488.

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Last Monday I had the pleasure of hosting the Minister for Aged Care in Bonner. There were many important visits and announcements on the day. I wanted to focus on two events that were particularly significant for my older constituents.

The first event was a Seniors Forum I hosted in Mt Gravatt. It was another great turnout: over 70 Bonner locals attended!

The Minister’s news of our record $5 billion investment in aged care, and the extra 20,000 home care places we’re providing, was very well received. Wishart local Muriel Mitchell said she learned a lot of useful information about residential and home care. She feels a lot more confident about her options to look after her husband at home for longer.

Carindale local Paul Williams brought his father Victor along to hear what the Minister had to say. They appreciated the Minister’s passion for finding new ways to improve aged care services. They also appreciated the range of stallholders at the forum, which included My Aged Care and Brisbane South PHN.

The Minister also spoke about how we’re investing over $100 million in mental health funding for older Australians. This is the largest ever single increase to mental health funding for older Australians. I’m proud to be part of a Government that is delivering for older residents in Bonner.

The second event was a meeting with a local Wynnum group that is doing great things for people living with dementia. The Dementia Awareness Advocacy Team is a wonderful group of people that is striving for a more dementia friendly community.

It advocates for people living with dementia and their care partners. It also aims to raise awareness of dementia and reduce the stigma and stereotyping of this condition.

The team provides dementia awareness training that has benefitted many local businesses, including my own office. This training gives people a thorough understanding of what dementia is and how to relate to people living with dementia. It’s a fantastic initiative and I thank them for their great work.

I’m also pleased to see $5.3 million in the Budget for dementia innovation which will benefit people living with dementia.

I thank the Minister again for his visit and speaking with my senior constituents about their experiences with aged care and mental health support.

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Over 70 locals from across Bonner attended a Seniors Forum in Mt Gravatt hosted by Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta on Monday.

Mr Vasta was joined by Minister for Aged Care the Hon Ken Wyatt at the event, who spoke on what the Government is doing for people in aged care and took questions from the audience. Stallholders from My Aged Care, PHN Brisbane South, Office of Fair Trading, Queensland Rail, NBN Co, and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed also took part on the day.

“I thank the Minister for coming out here today to chat with people about their aged care options and hear about their aged care experiences firsthand,” Mr Vasta said.

Minister Wyatt told attendees the Government was delivering the biggest reforms to aged care in years.

“The Coalition is investing a record $5 billion over five years for aged care. We’re delivering an extra 20,000 home care packages and an extra 13,500 residential places,” Minister Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt also spoke on the importance of meeting the mental health needs of older Australians.

“We’re providing the largest ever single increase to mental health funding for older Australians, at over $100 million,” Minister Wyatt said. 

Minister Wyatt also set out the scope of the new Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, and asked people with family members in aged care to contact him and share their experiences dealing with the aged care system.

Paul Williams from Carindale and his father Victor thanked Mr Vasta for holding the Seniors Forum and said it had been a good opportunity to learn useful information.

“We appreciate the opportunity to meet the Minister and Department representatives. The Minister has a great depth of knowledge about the issues people face. It’s clear he’s passionate about finding new ways to improve services,” Victor said.

Muriel Mitchell from Wishart said it had been a great forum and that the Minister had explained things very well.

“I learned a lot of useful information today about residential care and home care, and how I can look after my husband at home for longer,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“I’m very grateful to Ross for holding this forum and everything he’s done for us.”

Mr Vasta thanked attendees for coming along and sharing their views with him and Minister Wyatt.

“I’m pleased to be a part of a Government that considers older Australians a top priority, and I’m proud that in the recent Budget we were able to deliver for older residents in Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

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Senior residents in Bonner and their families will benefit from significant aged care quality reforms announced by the Turnbull Government.

At the heart of these reforms, aged care regulation, compliance and complaints handing will be brought together in a new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

A new performance rating system against the quality standards will also be introduced providing Bonner residents with access to a comparison tool when selecting aged care providers. This will ensure senior Australians and their families have clear, concise information when choosing aged care options is also critical.

Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, welcomed the reforms and said they would bring Bonner residents much needed reassurance that everyone receiving aged care is being looked after properly.

“When I speak to people in the community, like residents I visited at Janoah Gardens today, their desire for reform in the aged care sector has been made very clear. They have been urging the Government to make the hard decisions and I’ve been advocating in Canberra on their behalf,” Mr Vasta said.

“This announcement is a significant reform in raising the bar on quality aged care, and sends a strong message to Australians that quality aged care is a top priority for the Turnbull Government.”

Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, said the reforms would bring confidence to older Australians and their families in deciding on aged care options.

“The new independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will give the more than 1.3 million Australians in Commonwealth aged care support and their families peace of mind that they will receive safe, quality care,” Minister Wyatt said.

The establishment of the Commission is in response to the Carnell-Paterson review into failures at South Australia’s Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service. The Review, commissioned by the Turnbull Government, found the current aged care regulatory framework does not adequately provide the assurance the community expects.  

The new Commission will start from 1 January 2019 and will bring together the functions of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, and the aged care regulatory functions of the Department of Health. 

The reforms will include development options, in consultation with the aged care sector, for a Serious Incident Response Scheme to ensure the right systems are in place to identify an incident and prevent it from occurring again.

“We recognise that the vast majority of providers give consistent, quality care to their residents. But, as we have seen, there can be failures. We must ensure that disasters like Oakden are never repeated,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Our senior Australians built the nation that we enjoy today. They have rightly earned the respect of the community and must be cared for with the dignity they deserve.”

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