STAR Community Services is a finalist in the 2018 HESTA Aged Care Awards
A not-for-profit organisation, STAR provides aged care and transport services to the community.
Recognising that loneliness and social isolation can have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of ageing Australians, STAR developed a number of programs to promote social interaction for its patrons. These include a Senior’s Lunch Club run by volunteers that encourages people to socialise and make new friends.
Similarly, STAR’s Companionship Program matches people to volunteers who take them out to activities they may otherwise not be able to participate in.
"STAR is a unique community organisation that is run by the community, for the benefit of the community," says General Manager Patsy Wilshire.
"We are supported by more than 150 volunteers in our vision to nurture an inclusive community.
"STAR Community Services invests a considerable amount of time and resources to ensure the elderly in our community are well informed and educated about the aged care services available to them and how to access them.
"We host regular aged care monthly information sessions where our aged care experts answer queries, discuss aged care services available to people and how to navigate the My Aged Care System. The sessions are free for those aged over 65 and their families to attend. Last year (July 2017- June 2018) more than 300 elderly attended the sessions.
"STAR also holds complimentary information sessions to inform and educate the elderly in remote communities about the aged care services, for example the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in South East QLD. Last month we held a full day of info sessions and workshop at Russell Island in Brisbane. Next week we are hosting aged care info sessions at Macleay Island.
"To ensure that the elderly make the most of their Home Care Packages, STAR goes the extra mile. We are proactive in developing and nurturing partnerships with local community organisations so that the clients receive services from within their communities and the local organisations receive the benefits as well."
Partnerships include a social enterprise called Wonderful Services to provide home maintenance services in the Logan area of Brisbane. An initiative of Canefield Clubhouse Beenleigh Inc., the group offers meaningful employment opportunities to adults experiencing mental illness. Through Wonderful Services STAR has been able to assist the elderly in the local community to stay in their own homes, independently and safely.
STAR also has a number of volunteering opportunities for people aged 65 and over, helping people find a sense of purpose and contribute to the community in their retirement.
Through these programs STAR aims to ensure that one day, all older Australians are socially active and connected to their communities.