Latest News & Updates Archives - Centacare Brisbane

Latest News & Updates

Latest News & Updates

Like family violence, elder abuse is about one person having power and control over another person. Older people may experience abuse in a range of settings including in their own home and relationship, from an unpaid carer such as a family member, friend or neighbour or within an institutional setting.

Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person. The abuse can be emotional, psychological, financial, physical or sexual abuse, or can take the form of neglect.

Many older people do not discuss their concerns with others because of feelings of shame, fear of retaliation, the involvement of family members or worry that they will be placed into care. Some people may not realise what they are experiencing is abuse, or feel that somehow it is their fault.

So how can you help? Understanding the many forms abuse can take and being able to recognise the signs that an older person is experiencing abuse is an important first step.

Elder abuse can include the following:

  • frightening the person by threatening to hurt their pet or break their belongings
  • intimidation, humiliation or harassment
  • threatening to evict or put the person into care
  • stopping the person from seeing family or friends
  • denying the person the right to make their own decisions
  • pension skimming
  • selling the person’s belongings without permission
  • misusing an Enduring Power of Attorney by taking money or property improperly
  • forcing the person to change their will
  • denying the person access or control of their own funds
  • blocking access to services and support
  • neglecting the person’s physical, medical or emotional needs
  • slapping, hitting, pushing or restraining
  • making unwanted sexual approaches or behaving indecently.

Signs that someone may be experiencing abuse

It’s important to remember that abuse may be occurring without any indicators or signs, and some signs may be caused by something other than abuse. 

However, some signs to watch out for include:

  • acting fearfully or withdrawn
  • showing signs of stress, anxiety or depression
  • bruising or other physical injuries
  • an inability to pay normal bills or having unpaid bills
  • marked weight loss
  • changes in sleeping patterns.

If you are experiencing elder abuse, or suspect that an older person is being abused, it’s important to know that help is available.

If you know or suspect someone is being abused, you can:

  • Let the person know that help is available
  • Invite the person to talk in a place where they are alone and safe, and listen
  • Let the person know it is not their fault
  • Respect their right to make their own decisions
  • Avoid being critical of the abusive person
  • Keep providing support, even if they refuse help.

How to get help

If you or someone you know is feeling threatened or unsafe, call 000.

If you require further information or feel you’d like some confidential advice or support, you can contact the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 651 192.

If you or your family has any concerns about your safety, Centacare offers a safe and supportive space for you to discuss your concerns.  

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For Kaye Clark, helping others and supporting the community is something she’s always loved to do. She recently joined the Moreton Bay Community Services team as a volunteer after moving to the Sunshine Coast, but for many years has given generously of her time to a range of community organisations across Tasmania and the Gold Coast. Kaye is one of 10,000 volunteers across the Archdiocese of Brisbane being celebrated this week as part of National Volunteer Week (17-23 May).

“I have been very fortunate in my life which makes me want to give back to the community, and volunteering is a great way to do this.” Kaye said.

Kaye has thoroughly enjoyed her time at Centacare so far and loves the variety her role brings and getting to know clients.

“Working with our clients is so rewarding, they’re all extremely grateful for the service we provide and have such interesting stories to tell about their life and day-to-day living.” Kaye said.

Not only does Kaye enjoy getting to know her clients, she also loves the support she gets from the team at Moreton Bay.

“The management team have been brilliant,” Kaye said.

“They’re so helpful and willing to spend time with me if assistance is needed which has enabled me to broaden my horizons in the role.

“No two days are the same – I get to assist with social outings, morning and afternoon teas, administration and transport.”

Kaye is one of 18 volunteers supporting clients across the Moreton Bay community. If you’re looking to give back to the community in a rewarding role, we welcome your contribution in any capacity across our regions. To express your interest, contact us via our Volunteering page or by calling 1300 236 822.  

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Hundreds of Sunshine Coast residents gathered on Wednesday night to pay their respects to victims of domestic and family violence in a moving candlelight vigil and community march at Maroochydore.

Centacare has partnered with the Sunshine Coast Council to host the event since 2003, as a key part of Domestic Violence and Prevention Month.

Centacare Sunshine Coast Area Manager Adam Beck said that the vigil was an opportunity to bring the community together and send a clear message that domestic and family violence would not be tolerated.

“It’s also a time to remember the lives lost and acknowledge the impact of domestic and family violence,” said Mr Beck.

In Australia, one in four women have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner and a similar number have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner. Of those women more than half had children in their care.

Centacare’s services across the Sunshine Coast focus on risk assessment, safety planning, advocacy, court support and strong collaboration with government departments and community agencies.

“We work towards women and children being able to stay safely in their homes where possible through collaborative system responses designed to address perpetrator behaviours and increase their accountability,” said Mr Beck.

In the last 12 months, Centacare’s Sunshine Coast Regional Domestic and Family Violence Service supported almost 3,000 clients impacted by domestic and family violence.

“Domestic and family violence is everyone’s business. It’s vital that, as a community, we do what we can to help families move toward a safer and brighter future,” said Mr Beck.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing (or is at risk of experiencing) domestic and family violence, contact your local Centacare service for support.

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Lifting of Greater Brisbane Lockdown and continued restrictions

In response to the end of the Greater Brisbane lockdown on 1 April 2021, we’re very pleased to be resuming our groups and centre activities as planned on Tuesday, following the Easter break. It’s wonderful that we have worked together to protect the health and safety of our community.

So we can continue to protect the health and safety of our community, we request that clients and employees abide by Queensland Health’s mask regulations that are in effect until Thursday 15 April. These include:

  • masks must be carried at all times
  • masks must be worn indoors, including in Centacare vehicles
  • masks must be worn outdoors when unable to socially distance

Exemptions to mask wearing apply in some circumstances such as:

  • children under 12
  • a person eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • a person with a particular medical condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a mask – for example, a person who has breathing difficulties, a serious skin condition on their face, a mental health condition or psychological impacts from experienced trauma
  • a person undergoing medical treatment – for example, a person receiving first aid
  • if a person is asked to remove a face mask for identity
  • if wearing a mask creates a risk to a person’s health and safety
  • in any circumstances where it is not safe to wear a face mask

We will continue to maintain our strict hygiene protocols, screening questions and temperature checks at all Centacare sites.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Visitor arrangements

In line with government directions, we are still unable to accept non-essential visitors to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses and Short Term Accommodation (STA) services until Thursday 15 April.

We understand regular contact is important to our clients and families, especially over the Easter period. We are continuing to support connection between our clients and their families via phone and video conferencing.

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government.

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Greater Brisbane Lockdown – update on service operations

As part of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Centacare continues to monitor the development of COVID-19. We continue to follow advice from public health authorities and are taking all reasonable and appropriate steps to support the safety, health and wellbeing of our clients, employees and volunteers.

Earlier this morning, the Queensland Government announced a three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane effective as of 5pm today until 5pm Thursday 1 April. Greater Brisbane includes Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands and Moreton Bay council areas.

In line with the latest announcement the following changes will be effective from 5pm today, Monday 29 March, until 5pm Thursday 1 April:

  • All community centres (respite centres, day centres, learning and leisure centres) will close
  • All Centacare-organised group outings and community-based activities will be suspended
  • We will work closely with short-term accommodation clients and guardians to ensure essential respite services continue
  • Centacare-organised outings and community-based activities operating out of Supported Independent Living accommodation will cease
  • Non-essential visitor restrictions will continue in Supported Independent Living accommodation in Brisbane and will be extended to the additional council areas included in the Greater Brisbane lockdown.
  • Our transport services will be limited to providing individual transport only, where this is essential to the health and wellbeing of the client. Drivers are required to wear a mask at all times when transporting clients.
  • All office-based employees will work from home

Mask use

As per the latest Queensland Health guidelines, everyone in Queensland must carry a face mask at all times and must wear masks while indoors except at home, or where social distancing cannot be maintained. Click here for more information on mask use across Queensland.

Safety and Hygiene Protocols

We continue to maintain strict hygiene protocols across all sites. This includes:

  • Regular sanitising of frequently touched surfaces
  • Signage outlining hygiene protocols and room capacity displayed where necessary
  • Hand sanitiser provided and regularly replenished at key touch points
  • Sign-in and sign-out logs kept for all visitors
  • Temperature checks and screening questions conducted on arrival at all sites

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government.

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Please note: The following update is applicable to services only in our Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan areas, effective 22 January 2021.

In response to the Queensland Government’s easing of restrictions across Greater Brisbane on 22 January, we have made some changes across our services in the Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan regions.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Visitor arrangements

As of Friday 22 January, personal visitors will once again be permitted to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses.

Personal visitors are considered to be friends, family and children. Our standard booking and screening procedures will remain in place, and visitors are asked to contact their local Service Delivery Manager on 1300 236 822 to arrange a visit.

No other service providers are to enter a SIL house, with the exception of therapists (e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists).

Centres

Our centres will revert back to the rule of one person per 2 square metres, with physical distancing guidelines of 1.5 metres enforced.

Performers and other providers are welcome back to our centres if they have a COVID Safe Plan.

Dancing is now permitted providing physical distancing guidelines are adhered to.

Community Groups

There is no limit to the number of clients permitted in a group, however activities must follow government guidelines. All activities will have risk assessments conducted prior to commencement and will follow COVID Safe Plans.

Short Term Accommodation

Short Term Accommodation services are operating at 100% capacity and restrictions on visitors have been lifted.

Regular cleaning protocols are being strictly adhered to across all sites and screening requirements remain in place.

Transport

Drivers are required to wear masks when transporting our clients.

One-to-one support services

One-to-one support services are continuing both in homes and out in the community.

Mask Use

Our employees will wear masks when social distancing is not possible or when transporting clients.

Safety and Hygiene Protocols

We continue to maintain strict hygiene protocols across all sites. This includes:

  • Regular sanitising of frequently touched surfaces
  • Signage outlining hygiene protocols
  • Hand sanitiser provided and regularly replenished at key touch points
  • Sign-in and sign-out logs kept for all visitors
  • Temperature checks and screening questions conducted on arrival at all sites
  • Employees staying home and not attending work if they are sick

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government.

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Please note: The following update is applicable to services in our Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan areas. Services across the Gold Coast, Beaudesert, the Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast and Kingaroy will remain fully operational.

Centacare continues to monitor the public health response to COVID-19 and follow advice from health authorities. 

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Visitor arrangements

On Thursday 7 January, the Queensland Government declared all disability accommodation services across the Metro North, Metro South and West Moreton Hospital and Health Service regions closed to all visitors, with the exception of essential workers.

In response to the above directive, we have made the decision to restrict visitors to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses in the affected areas. This change is effective immediately and will be reviewed in line with official public health advice.

We understand regular contact is important to our clients and families. We will continue to support connection between our clients and their families via phone and video conferencing.

Centres, group, community access and transport services

On Friday 8 January, the Queensland Government announced a three-day lockdown, effective from 6pm Friday 8 January until 6pm Monday 11 January, in the Greater Brisbane region.

Throughout this lockdown period, all Centacare centres, group programs and community access in the Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan areas will be closed. We are working to notify affected clients.

Transport services will only be delivered where essential, for example if clients need to attend a medical appointment.

Short Term Accommodation

Short Term Accommodation services in affected areas will continue as usual. However, clients who live outside of the Greater Brisbane area must follow necessary restrictions upon their return home from an STA.

Home Safety Services

 All Home Safety Services in the affected areas will be suspended during the lockdown period.

One-to-one support services

One-to-one support services will continue, however will only take place in the home and not out in the community during the lockdown period.

Safety and Hygiene Protocols

We continue to maintain strict hygiene protocols across all sites. This includes:

  • Regular sanitising of frequently touched surfaces
  • Signage outlining hygiene protocols and room capacity displayed where necessary
  • Hand sanitiser provided and regularly replenished at key touch points
  • Sign-in and sign-out logs kept for all visitors
  • Temperature checks and screening questions conducted on arrival at all sites

Additionally, we have reintroduced the use of masks for all support workers in affected areas. Office-based employees are being encouraged to work from home and if this isn’t possible, they are required to wear a mask throughout the lockdown period.

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government.

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The end of 2020 was a time of significant celebration for Winn Stehbens and her family, with the much-loved Imbil local marking her 100th birthday.

On Friday 18 December, Winn was joined by family and friends – including members of Centacare’s Gympie team – for a full day of celebrations.

The celebrations were a chance to reflect on Winn’s accomplished life which began in Brisbane’s Kelvin Grove on 18 December 1920.

Winn’s faith was a large part of her upbringing, and her work at Kelvin Grove’s local Sunday school saw her attend an Easter Rally in Gympie in 1939 where she met Rob, who she went on to marry in 1945 shortly after his return from World War II. Despite the distance between them during this time, Winn and Rob’s relationship blossomed, with Winn receiving almost 400 love letters from him – all of which she still has today.

Since moving to Imbil in 1945, Winn established herself early on as a custodian of the local community, with her faith being a main driver for her work. Winn’s strong commitment to her faith has continued to this day and was acknowledged in a message from Archbishop Mark Coleridge at the celebrations who described the “faithful love” Winn has given as “a great gift to your family, church and the whole world”.

Winn was the Superintendent at Imbil’s local Sunday school and inspired many young people to pursue their faith. Once she ended her time in this role to focus on having her four children, Winn continued to educate others on spreading faith across the community. Winn remains staunchly community-minded to this day, and over the years has been involved in many initiatives including local art and craft groups, seniors groups and the Country Women’s Association. Her 1955 publication on the history of Imbil remains a proud achievement for Winn and her family. Gardening is a passion of Winn’s and locals look forward to seeing her contribution each year to the Imbil Show.

Winn has shown no signs of slowing down in the past 10 years. She’s travelled both domestically and internationally, climbed Mt Cooroora and remains a member of the Country Women’s Association. Winn’s often surrounded by her large family, which includes eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She was thrilled to have five generations present at her birthday celebrations.

Most importantly over the past century, Winn has seized every moment of her life. The rich sum of experiences throughout her 100 years have inspired her number one piece of life advice which is simply to “be thankful for every new day”.

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Desley Chorlton has worked for Centacare for 20 years and says her clients and colleagues are her favourite part of the job, along with “injecting fun” into the workplace.

Starting out as as an Activities Officer at Centacare’s Aspley Community Centre, Desley has progressed through the organisation to her current role as an Area General Manager for Community Services in the Brisbane North and Moreton Bay regions.

“I still get a buzz when I see the positive difference we make to the lives of our clients,” Ms Chorlton said.

Desley is inspired by her aged care and disability clients every day, especially throughout 2020.

“COVID has really taught us to be resilient and our clients have been a great source of inspiration during this time.”

Desley was one of more than 100 employees celebrating 10, 20, 25 and 30 Years of Service at Centacare as part of its annual recognition program.

This years’ program is a departure from Centacare’s traditional central awards event. COVID-19 restrictions prompted a rethink of the Centacare Awards and opened up the opportunity for an organisation-wide program that celebrates the collective achievements of all employees under the theme, Stronger together in 2020.

Local events were held both virtually and in-person as an opportunity for teams to reflect on the year and recognise employees celebrating significant service milestones. Videos including a message from Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge were shared with teams across South east Queensland.

More than 70 employees and volunteers across Centacare Community Services, Pastoral Ministries, Family and Relationship Services, Catholic Early EdCare and corporate services celebrated 10 years of service.

Several employees from different parts of the organisation marked 20 and 25 years of service, while two Pastoral Ministries volunteers were recognised for 30 years of dedication to caring and showing compassion for members of the community who need it most.

Centacare Executive Director Peter Selwood was pleased to be able to attend various local events and hear about the unique contributions of each employee and volunteer.

Stronger together in 2020 has been a great opportunity for the whole organisation to step back and see the remarkable way they contribute to the community.

“Whether they’re on the front line or behind the scenes, each employee and volunteer is to be congratulated on the way they live out Centacare’s mission and values each day.

“Additionally, seeing the high volume of Years of Service recipients is a reflection of the commitment and drive our employees and volunteers demonstrate each day which is truly an inspiration to all.” Mr Selwood said.

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On Wednesday 11 November, Beaudesert First Nations peoples joined Centacare clients and employees for a lunch in celebration of NAIDOC Week.

The event was an opportunity to come together on Yugambeh land to celebrate Indigenous traditions and generate a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture in the local community.

Aunty Geraldine Page, a local Mununjali Elder, appreciated the chance to gather with her family members and the Centacare team to mark this important week.

“NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate, and today is a day of celebration,” Aunty Geraldine said.

“Being able to share our stories and songlines is a beautiful thing for us.

“Coming here today has meant a lot to us…as Mununjali Elders, it’s an opportunity for us to move forward and celebrate everything we do and who we are.” Aunty Geraldine said.

Centacare Community Services Area General Manager Peter Stodolak said:

“Today’s event marks the beginning of a new chapter in engaging with local community members.

“We are committed to a very positive working relationship between Centacare and the Mununjali Elders in our community.”

Visit the NAIDOC Week website here to get involved in activities in your local area.

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