Co.As.It. physiotherapist, Leonie, will be running an exercise group suitable for people aged 65 years and over. The program will be aimed at optimizing strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. Enhance your overall wellbeing and delay age-related stiffness. Ideal for those able to mobilize without the use of a walking aid, walker or wheelchair.
Co.As.It. Community Services was one of
many aged care providers that attended the annual Care Expo at the Brisbane
Convention and Exhibition Centre in South Brisbane (BCEC) on the 4 and 5
October. The expo was aimed at providing an opportunity to discover and connect
with providers from aged care, disability and in-home support through to
education, mobility, mental health, social and recreational services.
Michelle Calabro from Co.As.It. Community
Services was a guest speaker at the event – ‘How to Navigate Aged Care Services
– Choosing the Right Provider’. Her presentation was delivered to an
enthusiastic audience with standing room only. Many attendees asked questions
during the presentation, indicative of a significant need for knowledge on how
to access aged care services. Michelle spoke openly on accessing a program
called Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). CHSP is an entry level home
help program for older people who are mostly – but not completely – able to
live and cope on their own.
Michelle explained that the “CHSP is
interim funding for low needs care services, often when an individual is on the
waitlist to be assigned a Home Care Package (HCP). The CHSP is considered an
‘entry-level’ program as it provides (low intensity) small amounts, or single
service or a few services to a large number of older people who need only a
small amount of assistance”.
The HCP program provides the second tier of
support in the aged care system. The idea of the program is to provide a
coordinated and tailored service to help older people with more complex care
needs to continue living independently and happily at home. There are four
levels of Home Care Packages, with each level providing a different subsidy
amount dependent on the individual’s care needs.
The Home Care Package holder will have to
choose a provider to host their package, who will develop a care plan and
individualised budget that will be used to deliver the care and services the
“With a HCP you get your own funds to use
and can decide how to spend it, rather than choosing from a menu. A ‘Care
Coordinator’ helps you understand the system and work out a Care Plan that
suits your individual needs and preferences. Once you have a package, it stays
in place for the long term. Your eligibility is assessed by the Aged Care
Assessment Team (ACAT).” Said Michelle.
Michelle mentioned that “many organisations
will ‘broker’ services to another provider because they do not have the organisational
mix to deliver services across the board like Co.As.It. does. The benefit of
going to an organisation that has its own workforce of allied health
professionals, nurses, occupational therapists and of course Community Care
Workers (CCWs) all under the one roof means consistency of care for
the client. An organisation like Co.As.It. has more control to deliver the same
worker to the client minimising changes. This is one of the benefits of
choosing an organisation like Co.As.It.”
The presentation detailed the new Aged Care
Quality Standards and Charter of Aged Care Rights that the Government launched
on July 1. These standards make sure that clients receiving services have
rights and a high quality of life right through to their twilight years.
The Care Expo was attended by a mix of
families, seniors and people living with a disability. Many exhibitors specialised
in aged care and NDIS services and it was a fantastic event across the board.
Co.As.It. Community Services organized a
combined trip with North and South clients to the Central Gardens flower show
in Toowoomba. The trip took place on 26 September 2019.
An early departure was set for 7.30am with
many clients arriving early and full of enthusiasm. The groups listened to
Italian music on the bus ride heading up the highway – some sang along to the
Italian songs and others cheerfully listened. The two groups met for morning
tea at the Coffee Club in Plainlands at 9am for a morning tea break.
Coffees and cakes were served by
an enthusiastic staff and there was a lot of catching up with friends and
relatives during the morning tea break. The groups then boarded the buses again
heading to Central Gardens in Toowoomba to attend the annual Flower Show. The
Flower Show was a highlight – enjoyed by all – with time spent observing,
identifying and admiring the gorgeous flowers.
One of the gardens had parsley growing as a feature in between the
flowers! The group discussed how the parsley could be used to make crumbed “cottoletti”
for dinner that night!
The weather held out to allow all to enjoy the beautiful
surrounds. The groups were then picked up by the bus and taken to The Cube Hotel were everyone
experienced a lovely sit down lunch with an alternative drop of chicken and
mushroom crepe and crumbed fish and chips. A delicious desert of either ice cream
and waffle or cream puffs and strawberries was then served.
Back on to the bus with the final
stop being at Point Lookout that had the most stunning views of the mountains
and valleys below. The aerial view of
the flower show was breathtaking. Some clients had afternoon tea, some went for
a short walk and others just sat around and enjoyed each other’s company.
At 3.30pm the buses departed for home
and again the groups enjoyed Italian music – some clients had a snooze and
others discussed the day. All clients shook hands and thanked Co.As.It. Community
Services for such a great day. Most clients asked during and at the end of the
trip about the next outings as they were wanting to book again.
As part of Co.As.It.’s regular social outing program, in September, over 60 clients from both Brisbane north and Brisbane south enjoyed a stunning viewing of Brisbane from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs before driving out to the Greenbank RSL Club for a delicious lunch.
The day dawned clear and
bright and a wave of enthusiasm embraced the groups as they boarded their
transport to go to Bar Spritz for morning tea. This café is located in a pivotal position on
the Brisbane River and is highly elevated to afford patrons outstanding views
of the city skyline. On arrival, the clients were met with genuine delight by
owner Sam and his vigorous grandfather Salvatore who at 93 yrs old continues to
be an active member of the business.
The group was treated like
royalty with a delicious morning tea of jumbo-sized cannoli, nutella doughnuts
and a lovely array of other delicious
Italian sweets. The ‘best coffee in town’ was served by
young Italian speaking staff who charmed the group while providing great
The resident large
Australian lizard who is a regular guest at many tables soon ambled along for
his cut of crumbs and left overs fascinating
many patrons who took photos of the special attendee.
Two energetic ladies dared
to walk down and back up the 107 steps to the river and proudly returned to
crow about their extensive climb.
Following the skyline
experience, the group feasted on a generous seafood lunch at Greenbank RSL –
the Grange Buffet has a reputation for providing an exceptional dining
With laughter and food, the guests revelled in each other’s company and some were lucky to walk away with some extra pocket money after winning on the pokies.
At the end of January 2019 our physiotherapist Allison visited a new client by the name of Bert who had an acute episode of low back pain at the end of 2018 which landed him in Wesley Hospital to determine the cause and to help manage his symptoms. “By the time I met with him he had rested for a few days but he was afraid of moving” said Allison. He was missing his walk to the shops and there was still some pain. The original goal was to help him progress his wellness so he could go back to the gym. After 5 physio visits, Bert was back to walking to the shops and back from his home. The round trip was nearly 2 kilometers and the driveway is quite steep. In June this year, Allison heard from Bert’s family again as he was a little unsteady during a recent walk to the shops. Some of the symptoms pointed to an episode of mild vertigo and the plan this time was to get Bert a walking stick. After 3 visits Allison’s goal was to walk to the shops with Bert to make sure he had made a full recovery. On the walk she was inspired by his recovery and the distance he covered. He walks to the shops and back up to 4 times a week. Bert recently celebrated his 91st birthday
During Senior’s Week in August 2019 Co.As.It.
Community Services orgnised two trips to the Ginger Factory and Buderim Tavern in
Yandina on the Sunshine Coast. The southside clients
went on Monday 19 August and the northside clients went on Thursday 22 August.
An early departure was set for 7.45am with many clients arriving early and full of
enthusiasm. The day was warm and sunny and the groups listened to Italian music on the bus ride heading up the highway. There
were 46 clients from the northside group and 24 clients from the southside group.
The groups travelled
directly to the Ginger Factory
where they had morning tea
of ginger scones and coffee. The iconic Ginger Factory
offers fun rides, fascinating tours, a unique retail precinct and cafe
surrounded by beautiful sub-tropical gardens for all to enjoy. Free entry and
open seven days
a week –
it was the perfect location for a trip.
Whilst on the train, the groups
became child-like and enjoyed the adventure. The train ride goes through 9 hectares of lush sub-tropical gardens on the
historic train called “Moreton”. Now over 100 years old, Moreton was an original sugar cane train working at the Moreton Sugar Mill in Nambour, and now
spends its days taking people on tours of the Ginger Factory grounds.
The groups departed
around 11.30am for the
Buderim Tavern where they had a delicious lunch with great service and an even
greater view of the ocean. After lunch, some clients played a game of
cards, others ventured to the
main street to enjoy
shopping and a short walk. At
3pm the groups departed for
home listening to music and many
clients sang songs. The groups arrived back to base at 5pm.
On Wednesday 21 August 2019 Co.As.It. Community Services hosted a
Health & Technology Forum for Senior’s Week thanks to support from COTA
(Council on the Ageing). The event was geared towards people in the community
who are over 65 years of age, wishing to learn more about technology, social
connections, staying active, electrical safety, POA’s (Power of Attorneys) and
how to arrange an advance health directive plus much, much more. In essence,
the topics were specifically designed to share knowledge that is vital to our
community. Good timing, given the current state of the health system and our ageing
The forum was attended by over 140 guests and was held upstairs at
the Gaythorne RSL from 10am until 12.30pm, followed by a lunch in the banquet
room until 2pm. The guests were welcomed by eMcee Sharon Smith who is the Team
Leader Care Services Coordination at Co.As.It. Community Services. The event
had special guest speaker Brett Harrison, HSE Business Partner from Energex who
shared information on how to ensure appliances are replaced and the importance
of safety switches. Homes that are over 15 years old may not have safety switches
installed. A safety switch is an electrical safety device specially designed to
immediately switch the electricity when electricity ‘leaks’ to earth at a level
harmful to a human. These devices offer a high level of personal protection
from electric shock.
Electrical security and safety has been a long-term concern for the welfare of the
culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) clients Co.As.It. supports. It is
not unusual for our community support staff to visit homes where there are
multiple adapters attached to one power board, wires
snaking over floors and appliances often doubled up and running through
multiple power boards. Fundamentally, it has been identified that in this
target group there is a limited understanding of electric safety i.e. circuit
breakers and other safety devices.
special guest speaker, Antonio Palella, Principal
Solicitor from PHV Law shared examples of what may happen if legal matters are
not put into effect prior to the death of a loved one. He discussed POA’s, and
described the importance of having a Health Care Directive. A health care directive is a document that
decisions that a patient has asked to be followed if they become unable to
communicate or make decisions for themselves.
Other topics included keeping active, how to
maintain social connections by Laura Panarello Counsellor/Dementia Support
Officer, how to access aged care by Stefania Di Lione, Regional Assessment Service
and Michelle Calabro, Home Care Package Intake Leader, how to stay active by
Diana Barreto, Allied Health Assistant, navigating technology and how to avoid
scams by Cintia Paolino, Community Services Officer.
The event ended with generous applause as the guests were
appreciative of the valuable information. Another highlight was the delicious meal
of alternate offering of fish and chips and salad, or roast with vegetables,
with traditional Italian music compiled by Cintia Paolino. The guests enjoyed
the extra time for socializing and the Gaythorne RSL team ensured each person
enjoyed their day.
For more information on electrical safety, social connections,
staying active and/or how to navigate aged care services, please contact email@example.com
If your home was built over 15 years ago and you would like
information about safety switches please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
attend FREE technology classes in Newmarket or Carina please contact
more information on advanced healthcare directives please contact
On Sunday June 2 over 400 people gathered at Holy Spirit Church, New Farm to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the Italian Republic.
The event was organised by the Italian Consulate in conjunction with Com.It.Es Queensland and NT and Co.As.It. was represented by its CEO Dina Ranieri and its Community Services Officer Alex Favali.
The Archbishop of Brisbane celebrated the Mass in Italian, attended by representatives of several Associations and other distinguished guests, among whom The Hon Grace Grace MP, the Italian Consul for Queensland and NT Dottor Salvatore Napolitano and Cr Vicky Howard.
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends, create new acquaintances and promote our activities to potential new clients.
Services is a key member of the PHN Brisbane North Consortium
PHN Brisbane North launched the Healthy@Home website on Wednesday 22 May at the PHN’s Lutwyche office, at a function hosted for board members and executive managers of the consortium, of which Co.As.It. is a member.
Representing Co.As.It. Community Services
was the President Cav. Nereo Brezzi, Vice
President Cav. Antonio Palella and Antony Brown accompanying CEO Dina Ranieri.
Healthy@home is a
consortium of 19 leading organisations committed to providing high quality
community aged care services in Brisbane North and Caboolture to help older
people maximise their independence and remain living at home.
includes community aged care service providers, government and non-government
agencies, peak bodies and advocacy groups. Our workforce exceeds 1000 clinical
and non-clinical support staff across all member organisations.
Each of the 13 service provider
members has over 20 years’ experience and is fully accredited under the aged
care quality standards. Healthy@home delivers Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
services. This is a government-funded program that supports older people
who are still managing well at home, but could benefit from some extra help to
continue living independently in the community. The goals for service delivery
is re-ablement, giving consumers the supports to return to wellness.
is delivering a national rollout of the Active at Home Program which is a care-worker led home
exercise program to help older people regain mobility for independence.
For more information about Co.As.It. Community Services or Healthy@Home please call 07 3624 6100 or visit our Facebook Page @coasitbrisbane
Co.As.It. Community Services was proud to be acknowledged as one of only four State Finalists in the Organisation Award on Thursday 14 March 2019 by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA). The award ceremony took place at The Star, Gold Coast and was proudly supported by HESTA & McCullough Robertson Lawyers. The ‘Excellence in Age Services Awards’ recognise the outstanding achievements of the age services industry and many rising stars from the age care industry in Queensland participated in the event.
The awards celebrate the passion and achievements of organisations, teams, and individuals in the service of older Australians. Co.As.It. Community Services was nominated on the strength of their initiative and innovation of recent programs. The most notable has been the ‘Adopt a Nonna or Nonno’ Volunteer Program that connects the wider community and alleviates the isolation and alienation of older people. People without grandparents have made inter-generational connections and older, isolated clients now have an injection of new friendships, companionship and social contact. The improvement made on the lives of older people is identical to the benefits derived from volunteer visits under the CVS (Community Visitors Scheme) program.
Co.As.It.’s Allied Health team members innovated the LASER Program (Library of Assistive Specialised Equipment Register), a free service where clients can trial medical aids, specialised equipment and other technology before purchasing. Medical aids and equipment are expensive and the team were very concerned about the number of gadgets and devices regularly abandoned by clients. Disadvantaged, they could not return the devices nor afford to re-purchase something else. The equipment is also available for short-term needs obviating an outright purchase. Clients have continually valued the initiative, making more informed decisions, empowering their right to choose well without risk and expense. The equipment is also available for short-term rehabilitation, obviating an outright purchase.
The award night was attended by Co.As.It.’s CEO Dina Ranieri, Tony Brown and Nella Alba. A framed certificate was awarded to Co.As.It. Community Services in recognition of their excellent achievements.