Darebin is progressing well toward becoming an Age Friendly City.

In 2019 an independent panel presented the Age Friendly Darebin Report to Council. It included 98 recommendations on how older residents can be better supported to live well in our community. The recommendations encouraged new initiatives and services. They also saw improved Aged Care Services, increased advocacy, and Age Friendly principles embedded in Council’s plans and strategies.

In 2020 the Supported and Connected Living Department presented the Age Friendly Darebin Year One report to Council. A ‘Snapshot’ of this progress report was designed in co-operation with a group of community members. It reflects some of the new programs and services, trials and initiatives that Council started to support older people in 2020. It also describes the challenges that came along with the COVID-19 pandemic and Council’s response to limit the impacts on our community.

You can find the full Age Friendly Darebin Year One report in the document library. It shows how the new projects have already made a difference for older people in Darebin.

Making progress toward an Age Friendly Darebin

  • Since 2020 our clients have been experiencing improved choices and services through our delivered meals provider Merri-bek Council.
  • In 2020 council rolled out a Lawn Mowing Service Trial. This program provided a subsidy for older people to get their grass cut.
  • In 2021 council conducted a Digital Learning Program trial as phase one of the longer-term Age Friendly Darebin project "Bridging the Digital Divide".
  • Since 2021 our clients were offered to participate in BUDS, Darebin's intergenerational gardening and social support program. Participating clients are being matched with a young helper to socialise with and work alongside in their garden.
  • If you have a computer or a smart phone, Council staff can help you to connect with others locally or overseas, using Zoom or other video tools. Send us an email on Agefriendly@Darebin.vic.gov.au or call our staff on 8470 8063 to get connected.

Age Friendly Darebin initiatives - watch the video

Next Steps

Council will continue to support the community to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To stay up-to-date with Darebin becoming an Age Friendly City, you can subscribe to Darebin’s Older and Active Newsletter.

Age Friendly Darebin – project history

Council commissioned the Age Friendly Darebin Review in May 2018 in response to the Federal Government’s planned changes to Commonwealth Home Support Program funding. The independent panel appointed to conduct the review, Dr Rhonda Galbally AC and Peter Allen, released a discussion paper and led a large community consultation which took place over October – December 2018.

After reviewing the community feedback and other information, the Panel prepared a draft report for further community input. The Panel then finalised and presented their report to council in July 2019.

Council unanimously endorsed the implementation plan.

Council policy overview

Council has taken the following policy positions and advocated to Federal and State Government for:

Block funding of Commonwealth Home Support Program services should be extended and continued beyond 2022.

Council will continue to provide existing Commonwealth Home Support Program services for as long as the Federal Government provides block funding for those services.

The My Aged Care intake and assessment system is experienced by many older people as unhelpful and a barrier. It should be improved.

Future changes to create a national assessment service as part of My Aged Care should still allow for the possibility of local councils to provide locally-based assessment services.

The Victorian government should grant a National Competition Policy exemption to Council-run home support services. This is relevant if, at some point after June 2022, the Federal Government goes ahead with previously planned reforms and discontinues block funding of Commonwealth Home Support Program services. The National Competition Policy exemption would allow local governments in Victoria to choose to continue providing those services.

Council currently spends about $6 million per year subsidising services to older people in the Darebin community. Council has committed to continue this annual budget into the future.

Council has also made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

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