Is the mental health of older Australians living in care any less important than for everyone else?
Over 175,000 older Australians living in residential aged care are ineligible to access Medicare-funded mental health treatment through the Better Access to Mental Health Care program.
Please sign the petition calling on the new Health Minister to step in and fix it: www.healthforolderAustralians.org.au
The new Minister for Health needs to make this an urgent and early priority. We are calling on him to take it to Cabinet where the government must agree to reverse this so that nursing home residents have the same access to mental health services as everyone else.
Older Australians and their families are calling for him to support this; and the mental health community are also championing the need for change.
Our frailest older Australians deserve the best care we can offer.
SIGN THE PETITION www.healthforolderAustralians.org.au
From Monday 31 October 2016, Transport Canberra has partnered with Transport NSW to automatically validate ACT seniors' eligibility for concession travel in NSW. Transport NSW has also removed the 60 day expiry on ACT seniors' Gold Opal Cards.
“COTA ACT has been working with Transport Canberra for close to a year to make applying for a NSW Opal Card easier for Seniors Card holders in the ACT. The new process is just one example of how COTA ACT partners with government to improve services for seniors in the ACT.
“Seniors with an early ACT Seniors Card (ie one that has six numbers, as opposed to nine in the current cards) will need to apply for a card upgrade in order to apply for an Opal card. New, replacement and upgrade ACT Seniors Cards are available from the COTA ACT office in Hughes, at ACT Libraries and Access Canberra shopfronts,”
If you are over 60, a permanent resident of the ACT and working 20 hours or less each week, you are eligible for an ACT Seniors Card and a Gold Opal card, giving you concession travel capped at $2.50 a day* across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.
*Excludes Sydney Airport Station access fee
Elections ACT provides assistance to elderly voters and voters with disabilities in a number of ways.
If you can go to a polling place, you can nominate someone to help you vote, or a polling official can help you. If someone can drive you to the polling place, a polling official can bring voting material out to you in the car.
Polling staff are trained to be aware of voters who may require extra assistance, including voters who may need to be “fast tracked´ through the queue, or provided with a chair if standing to queue is not an option.
Someone can help you vote by post. They can assist you with applying for a postal vote or they can apply for a postal vote on your behalf if you authorise them to do so. Once the ballot material arrives, they can also assist you to complete the voting process if you wish. You may be able to register as a general postal voter. You will then automatically be sent postal ballot material for each federal and ACT election.
If you can't sign your name on postal voting material, someone can sign on your behalf as a witness to your mark.
For further information please visit: http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/2016_legislative_assembly_election/2016-postal-voting
General Postal Voter (GPV) status is available if you have a physical disability which prevents you from signing your name or if you live at home and you are too ill or infirm to travel to a polling place. General Postal Voters automatically receive a postal vote for every election, federal and ACT Legislative Assembly. You can ask someone to help you complete the form to apply and to complete the ballot paper when you receive it.
For further information please visit:
Mobile polling teams from Elections ACT visit many of the nursing homes and hospitals in the ACT in the week before Election Day to allow residents and patients the opportunity to vote.
For further information please visit: http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/2016_legislative_assembly_election/2016-pre-poll-voting
Electronic voting allows voters who are blind or have visual impairment to vote independently. Elections ACT provides electronic voting at all pre-poll voting centres for three weeks before the election, for the period 27 September to 14 October 2016, and at these same polling places on polling day.
Magnifying sheets, for use with ballot papers, will be available on request at all polling places.
All ACT polling places are assessed for disability access. The accessibility of each polling place is indicated on the list of polling places. This list is available from this website: http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/2016_legislative_assembly_election/polling-places-for-the-2016-election, in a brochure sent to all households, and in The Canberra Times the day before polling day and polling day itself. Polling places are also equipped with a voting screen for use by voters who are in a wheelchair. Polling staff can assist voters if help is asked for.
The information brochures that are mailed out to all ACT households provide information on enrolment and voting including key dates, electorate maps, instructions for voting formally, pre-poll and polling place locations and hours, and assistance for voters who can’t vote on polling day. These brochures, once distributed, are also available as audio files from the Elections ACT website at http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/2016_legislative_assembly_election/2016-information-for-voters and ACT Public Libraries to assist voters with a hearing disability.