IT was all about exploring the questions around aging when Glenorchy City Council teamed up with Linkages, a Glenorchy network for older adult and disability service providers, to host a Community Connections forum.
In particular, the forum focused on the decision making process of staying in the family home or moving elsewhere.
Alongside professionals working in several sectors, a panel of community members who have had to make choices regarding where they should live presented their views on the choice to stay in your own home or move into retirement or assisted living.
Sessions included in-home services, connecting to the NBN, falls prevention, in-home modifications and safety and elder abuse.
Community groups that attended included Legal Aid, Palliative Care Tasmania, Migrant Resource Centre, Glenorchy LINC and Advocacy Tasmania.
Glenorchy City Council positive ageing officer Elisa Ryan said more than 80 people and nearly 40 professionals attended throughout the day.
“More than 75 per cent of the attendees rated their knowledge had improved significantly about help they could access, which is a fantastic result,” she said.
“This was an inaugural event that was identified as needed during the consultations held in the development of the Successful Ageing Strategy.
“The aim of the forum was to give older people choice over their own lives and have the ability to do that by acquiring information from services that provide supports to stay in your own home or making the choice to leave home.
“Another hopeful outcome was to provide a warm and welcoming environment where people could have informal chats and make new friends.”
Panel member Vicki Harrison said she and her husband moved into one of the first independent living units at Barossa Park.
“It was an easy decision but there was a lot to go through,” she said.
“Divorcing yourself from your house is hard and we downsized a lot so maybe get storage or use a garage so you don’t have to get rid of everything all at once.
“You are making a lifestyle decision, not a financial decision.”
Phillip Stevens funeral director John Sargent presented at the forum on funeral choices.
He said the more information that was available for the elderly, the better prepared they were for talking about life matters.
Jan Kilmartin, of Moonah, said she had never been to a forum like this, but she wanted information and to share her experiences.
“My husband had Parkinsons and it was very difficult to get information and to make things happen,” she said.
“It was about two years that I battled with finding information for myself.
“There’s a lot more information today and bringing everyone together at a forum is great and they were all very good speakers.”
The forum was supported by the Commonwealth Bank, Glenorchy.
Caption: From left, forum attendee Shirley Rowbottom, Monica Moore from Carers Tasmania, Elisa Ryan from Glenorchy City Council and Tom Jefferson from LINC.