Finding your way through the aged care maze

Aged care navigator trial
Volunteers are needed for an aged care navigator trial in Bundaberg.

An information session on the Bundaberg aged care navigator trial will be held on Wednesday, 21 August at the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre.

Imagine living in a community where everyone has access to the right support they need to live independently as they age.

Accessing aged care can be complex and confusing. Knowing where to start and how to access what you need can be a maze … but it doesn’t have to be.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland is the peak body helping to guide government legislation and policies to shape more supportive community attitudes towards ageing and older people.

COTA helps to foster social change by providing leadership and expert advice on ageing issues, working with other stakeholder groups across Queensland.

COTA Queensland will be in Bundaberg during Seniors Week.

“It’s important for people to access appropriate information about their aged care options, and the services they need,” COTA Queensland community and stakeholder engagement officer Paul Gabbert said.

“We are developing a community hub which will utilises trained volunteers to provide basic information about aged care support.

“The Australian Government recognises that not all people are comfortable or able to find the information they need.

“COTA Queensland is part of a national consortium led by COTA Australia who are delivering 56 Aged Care Navigator Trails across the country and Bundaberg has been selected as one of the locations.

“The Aged Care Navigator Trial in Bundaberg aims to assist people in making informed decisions in relation to accessing timely and appropriate support and care as they age, to enable them to remain living safely and independently in their own homes and connected to their community.

“In addition it will provide an opportunity to input into improving access to aged care services, in Bundaberg and across Australia.”

What makes this hub model so unique?

“COTA believes in empowering older Queenslanders through increasing people’s knowledge and understanding of matters impacting their lives,” Mr Gabbert said.

“We know that people benefit from the sharing of information through their ‘peers’ – other older people in the community who have information or experience in the matter.

“The hub will provide peer-led group information’s sessions, pop information stalls, seminars and individual one-on -one support through the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre.”

How do people get involved?

“We are looking for people to be part of the hub, to put their hands up to assist others,” Mr Gabbert said.

“It’s an opportunity for people to support their local community. All you need to do is attend a free information session, share that information with people that you know, and tells us how it went.”

The next information session will be held on Wednesday, 21 August from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre, 111 Targo Street. Free morning tea and lunch will be provided.

How long does the trial run for?

The trial will run until June 2020 with opportunities to explore funding models for the continuation of the community hub into the future.

For more information and to get involved in the hub visit,  phone 07 3316 2907 or email