The Mirror News

Age positively with new SGH service

• South Gippsland Hospital Community Health Centre’s Positive Ageing Service team members are, standing from left, Social Worker Marijana Mirak, and Dietician, Christopher Duff, with, from left Positive Aging Advocate Harriet Devlin and Exercise Physiologist Tammy Dawson seated.

South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) in Foster is offering a new service designed to allow people over 65 years to age positively and to maintain their overall health and independence with grace and confidence for as long as possible. 

The Positive Ageing Service (PAS) has just begun at SGH and is accessed through the Hospital’s Community Health Centre in Station Road.

Positive Aging Advocate Harriet Devlin heads the PAS team, which also includes a social worker, a dietitian and an exercise physiologist. 

“PAS is a free Advocacy and Allied Health service available to anyone over the age of 65 years, and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50,” she said. 

“It is even more than that, being a very responsive and flexible service.

“PAS focuses on supporting people with the transition into their senior years.

“It is a private, confidential service for older people to improve their quality of life in a safe and supportive environment, including here at the Community Health Centre and in their own homes, with in-person visits and telehealth calls available. 

“PAS can assist people in several different ways, such helping them to understand and to access aged care, health and community services like My Aged Care or by linking people in with more socially orientated opportunities such as local sporting or service clubs,” Ms Devlin said.

“First and foremost, PAS is people-centred, and all participants are offered assistance to confirm their needs and to achieve their own goals.

“Everyone who takes part in the service will be able to be referred to health professionals to meet their health needs.

 “For example, the team can help people with their balance and increase their range of movement if that’s what’s required, but the PAS team are really there to encourage and support.

“For some it may be about maintaining a healthy diet and to understand what their individual nutritional needs are, while for others it may be something else that’s important to them.”

“We can also support people to maintain or establish social connections and arrange for them to take part in activities that interest them,” she said.

 “We can provide information about other allied health and community services that may be of benefit, and to connect people to these services.” 

“As the Positive Ageing Advocate, I am available to help people four days each week, alongside our social worker, dietitian and exercise physiologist,” Ms Devlin said. 

“And, PAS is free to anyone who is eligible for the service”

SGH Director Community Care Samantha Park said the introduction of PAS followed extensive community consultation, including a series of workshops and forums, which identified the need for such a coordinated and practical support service.

“PAS is in effect an early intervention initiative that is aimed at helping older people to navigate the health system and to get the services they need,” she said.

“With the support of the Gippsland Primary Health Network, SGH is proud to be able to make this Positive Ageing Service, one that has been developed with local input, available to this community.”

PAS information sessions

SGH is conducting a series of community information sessions about the Positive Ageing Service (PAS) in townships throughout the Corner Inlet district, including Welshpool, Sandy Point, Foster, Toora, and Fish Creek.

The first PAS information session will be held at the Welshpool Rural Transaction Centre (RTC), 14 Main Street, Welshpool, on Thursday April 13, at 1 pm, for anyone who would like to come. Afternoon tea will be served.

The next PAS information session will be held at the Sandy Point Community Centre, Church Parade, Sandy Point, on Tuesday May 9, 2023, at 1 pm.

Foster’s session will be held on Wednesday May 17, with the venue and time still be to be confirmed.

The details for the Toora and Fish Creek PAS sessions will be announced when they become available.

For more information about the Positive Ageing Service contact the South Gippsland Hospital Community Health Centre on 5683 9780.


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