News & Events

CEO calls for age pension review

November 13, 2018

When I was asked recently for my suggestions about how the Australian Government can help reduce the cost of living pressures for senior Australians, it did not take me long to respond.

In my view, the government should either link increases in the age pension to a more relevant index other than simply the CPI or limit price increases, especially for utilities, for pensioners to a maximum of CPI.

I don’t make these suggestions lightly. As CEO, I am acutely aware of how difficult many of our residents find meeting their daily living costs, or saving up to go on holiday, or to simply have money for a rainy day. This need to access or growing personal finances was one of the many reasons why recently the OCAV Council decided to remove the clause that potential residents had to be retired before coming to one of our villages.

Reviewing the age pension is something we will be calling for in our Federal 2019 Budget submission, together with the crucial need to celebrate the skill base of older people and making it easier and financially more rewarding to continue working.

Our submission will commend the Government on providing home care packages which aim to improve quality of life. But many more packages are needed, and better more timely access to services is also vital.

Here at OCAV, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve our quality of care and the experiences that we offer our residents wherever they live and whether they are in independent, assisted living, or aged care.

We are delighted to have recently received a grant from the Ian Rollo Currie Estate Foundation to explore the extent to which Virtual Reality technology might contribute to addressing social isolation often experienced by seniors living in rural areas. With La Trobe University, we will also research the benefits that this technology has on encouraging positive ageing.

Liscombe House, our aged care home, recently hosted students from Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic as part of their month-long aged care placement. It is the second time OCAV has participated in the overseas student placement program, managed by La Trobe University, and the benefits are mutual, as you will read.

As usual our residents continue to amaze us with their energy and commitment to the OCAV community. Planning for our 150thanniversary is well underway, with a Garden Party planned for Rushall Park and open days at our other villages. These will be held in the second half of 2019, and will be a wonderful way to invite the community in to celebrate our heritage and contribution to Victoria.

We are also well underway, thanks to the efforts of each village’s ‘historians’, with mapping out stories for an interactive website timeline, and travelling exhibition. This research has seen us connect with several past residents’ families and friends. We hope you enjoy the charming story about the visit of Lorraine Egan to Rushall Park in late October.

We are always keen to hear from you if you have any information about OCAV, its founders, former residents and donors as it helps us to build a living legacy.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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