Prior to the creation of MacDonnell Shire Council services had been operating for many years under the responsibility of local community councils in each community. At the time of the creation of the shires this responsibility was transferred to MacDonnell Shire. There are communities, within MacDonnell Shire area, that continue to operate their aged and disability support services independently. In most cases, they operate as independent local-aboriginal incorporated organisations.
The Aged Care services of Macdonnell Shire provide community based supports services for the frail elderly and people with disabilities at the following communities:
- Utju / Areyonga
- Apatula / Finke
- Kaltukatjara / Docker River
- Ikuntji / Haasts Bluff
- Ntaria / Hermannsburg
- Warumpi / Papunya
- Tapatjatjaka / Titjikala
The focus of the service is to support the inclusion and participation of the peoples most vulnerable into community life. Enabling them to live out their aspirations within their communities and on their country. Macdonnell Shire recognises that the only way to deliver this service in a culturally safe manner is to employ and support local people in this work. Anangu supporting Anangu.
The services provided to assist in achieving this may be seen in the form of meal preparation and delivery, laundry, house cleaning, personal care, shopping, transport, advocacy, service coordination, social support, wood collection and a range of other services that aim to promote each persons independent abilities while meeting their needs.
For elderly or vulnerable people and for families, the services provide an opportunity to find support, advice and referral to specialised support services.
What significant development/progress has happened since Aged Care services have been delivered by MSC?
We are in the process of developing systems that share lessons and support across communities. These plans still have much to be done before implementation, but planning includes: improved staff induction and skills development; Aboriginal mentor program; creation of service development and support positions; computer systems that enable video conferencing; team leader and senior staff workshops; staff training and resource DVD; a TV commercial to raise community awareness of services; more appropriate vehicles, including introduction of wheelchair accessible electric buggies; specialised training in wheelchair and assistive devices; short term equipment loan pool; access audits of clients housing; and introduction of software for client information management and reporting.
We are working hard to shift the control of services back to the community level. We have a significant way to go but hope that through reporting to local boards and informal community meetings we will gain meaningful feedback and input into our service development.