ELIZABETH Schmidt heard whispers around Christmas that the home and community care program was in for a change.
It was a change that had worried the Wodonga resident.
“I just think that aged care’s getting a real hit on the head everywhere,” she said.
Mrs Schmidt has had home care for her husband, Ray, over the past three years.
“They’ve been excellent, very professional,” she said of the workers who visit her home.
“My husband’s not good, he’s had a heart attack, and he just doesn’t really do anything any more.
“They vacuum my house, make the bed if I can’t make it because I’ve got a heart problem, too.”
Mrs Schmidt said she simply did not know what was going to happen.
But Wodonga Council community lifestyle manager Deb Mackinlay said the new provider’s service contract would guarantee clients continued to get more of the same.
“The Department of Health has a set of guidelines about home care and how that should operate,” she said.
“That won’t change with a new agency that provides those services, they will be bound by those same regulations.
Ms Mackinlay said it was important for the council to have a “positive age focus” rather just a focus on service delivery.
“We’re not about just taking people aside and sticking them in a corner,” she said.
“Old people like to go out and have a coffee, for example, to be part of the community, to go do some tai chi or go to Carnivale or any of our events throughout the city.
“They want to be connected to their community, rather than just sit at home.”
That meant the council wanted to spend more time on a whole-of-city approach to services for an ageing population, rather than be hamstrung for time and cost by the HACC program.