The West Wimmera Shire is launching a new meals program, where eligible clients are provided with a meal vouchers booklet which can be redeemed at many participating businesses and sporting groups within the shire.
Jo Grant, Community Services Team Leader at the Council, said that the support from the businesses and sporting groups for this program has been incredible. She added "It reflects what a caring community we live in, with so many local businesses and sporting groups excited to provide an opportunity for a hearty feed and social interaction for our meal recipients.
With the decline in people receiving meals through traditional delivered meals program, The West Wimmera Shire Council is at risk of losing part of their funding to provide meals. "We feel that providing an additional meals program to complement our existing meal service it a great way to increase the uptake of meals while giving individual's choice around what, when and where they enjoy their meals," Jo added.
With the move toward consumer-directed care, this new meal program is also a step in the right direction in the new Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) aged care environment.
Consumer Direct Care gives the service recipients more choice and flexibility around the services they receive and gives them complete control on what service provider they wish to access the services from - now it's their choice. Clients no longer have to go with a particular provider just because they have an aged care package with them.
People who have previously received or are currently receiving delivered meals or meals at social support groups or Senior Citizens groups will be eligible to receive a booklet of vouchers for them to use at participating businesses and sporting clubs throughout the whole of the West Wimmera Shire. It is then entirely up to the client if, when or where they use the vouchers when they go out for a meal.
People who do not receive a voucher booklet in the mail, but feel that the program could benefit them or a family member in staying independent at home can apply to receive meals by registering with My Aged Care. All request for new services must be made through the My Aged Care system. My Aged Care can be accessed by either their website- www.myagedcare.gov.au or by telephone 1800 200 422. My Aged Care is the way that all CHSP service providers must receive new referrals.
"We understand that this new way of requesting services may be daunting to some people. The Community Services team at the West Wimmera Shire Council are more than happy to provide assistance and support for anyone wanting to access the My Aged Care system," Jo said.
"The most important thing is that no one within our community misses out on assistance that can support them to remain in their own home safely and independently. We are happy to help people register and request the services they need."
Our currently delivered meal program will stay as it is now. We will continue to provide meals to client's homes with the fantastic ongoing support of our many wonderful volunteers. Our delivered meals program could not run without the volunteers, and we would also like to recognise them and everything they do for our community. The existing delivered meals program is still a valuable service, and the meal vouchers will not replace this. For people with limited mobility or health conditions that make leaving the house difficult the delivered meals program is a way to provide them with nutritious meals and a visitor to have a chat.
If you would like any further information on the West Wimmera Shire Meal Voucher program, please call the Community Services Team on 5585 9900 or 5392 7700.