Active Living Services
A new era dawned on Jewish Care’s Active Living Services with the opening of Gita Smorgon Family Active Living Centre at the Holckner Family Senior Living & Community Precinct and commissioning of Anne & Eric Active Living Centre adjacent to Gary Smorgon House.
These vibrant, bustling, light-filled spaces have created connection centres for the community to get together, while enjoying a range of allied health, social support groups, respite programs and wellbeing programs to support independent living. We were delighted with many clients accessing our services seeking social connections and activities, until they were profoundly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Some of the most frequented programs were art and craft groups, storytelling, current affairs, excursions, in house entertainment and exercise sessions, and we continued to deliver vital services during the lockdown period via online virtual groups and limited one-to-one services in people’s home, including our new podiatry service.
In Home Care
We focussed our efforts on supporting the growth of in home care services and actively sought out ways to better support the needs of our clients. As a result, BlueStar support workers, registered nurses and personal care attendants were recruited to meet the additional demand for personal care, domestic assistance and community access. Our goal is to help people age well in their homes.
The number of clients with home care packages grew by 33% and has been most substantial in the level three category reflecting the increase in health complexities as they age. This year, our BlueStar team has supported over 1,100 people in their homes.
Supporting our Holocaust Survivors
Holocaust survivors living in Victoria continue to access Claims Conference funding through Jewish Care for a range of health and social welfare services to live independently in their own homes. We assisted over 950 survivors to access services such as personal care, domestic assistance and nursing care, while 400 accessed non-home care services which include the provision of financial assistance towards hospital admissions, medical consultation fees, allied health services, hearing aids, spectacles, medical equipment, COVID-19 related medical supplies, minor home modifications and dental care.
Our partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women Australia helped survivors to remain in good health and socially connected by engaging in group discussions, excursions and Jewish celebrations. In addition, our funded partnership with C Care continued to provide support to those experiencing food insecurity and social isolation by engaging volunteers to deliver fresh meals and packaged foods, while, more importantly, making social visits.
Another key highlight was the visit of Greg Schneider, Executive Vice-President and CEO of The Claims Conference. During his two-day visit, Jewish Care and other communal organisations were able to discuss matters related to supporting Holocaust survivors living in the Victorian Jewish community. Mr. Schneider also visited a few of the approximately 1,350 Holocaust survivors we support, the Jewish Holocaust Centre and attended briefings with Jewish Care and partner agencies; including NCJWA Victoria Branch and C Care.