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Since our February COTA Connects, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety have held their first hearings and two community consultation forums in Bankstown and Bendigo. At the Adelaide hearings, consumers and peak bodies spoke about issues of dignity, safety, staffing ratios and what impacts on the care of residents and people living at home. Ian Yates, CEO of COTA Australia, spoke on what was needed to improve quality in aged care.

I also attended the first Community Forum in Victoria on 5 March. Commissioner Lynelle Briggs AO chaired and listened to 20 people who spoke about their experiences as recipients or family members of people who had received care, or as community advocates.

COTA Victoria is encouraging people to tell their story to the Commission. Our staff are organising a submission writing workshop on 28 March and community information sessions. We will keep you updated on our website with times and dates. If you missed COTA Victoria’s information session on the Royal Commission on 8 February, you can watch this on COTA Victoria’s Facebook page.

COTA Victoria is also pleased to be hosting three of the Aged Care Navigator trials sites, with funding announced by Minister Wyatt on the 25 March. A state-wide telephone service run by COTA volunteers will provide assistance with navigating the aged care system, an information hub in the Dandenong area will reach out to people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and a community hub based in Pakenham will support local older people with information about aged care and activities that promote healthy ageing. For more information read Aged Care Navigator Service or call 1300 13 50 90.

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