Latest News & Updates Archives - Page 2 of 11 - Centacare Brisbane

Latest News & Updates

Latest News & Updates

Current advice from public health authorities is that  minimising contact between people is critical to curb the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For this reason, wherever possible, Centacare Family and Relationship Services will be providing support by phone until further notice.

Please be assured that our team of qualified Practitioners are ready to provide all the support you need via telephone. We thank you for your understanding and help in protecting the health and safety of the community.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting many individuals and families. It is understandable that during times like these, people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by both the threat of the virus and constant media coverage. These stresses can also place additional pressure on relationships. It is important to remember  support is available if you feel you need it.

To arrange a phone appointment with a Practitioner or for further information about the support available contact:

  • Chermside – 07 3624 0100
  • Fortitude Valley – 07 3251 5000
  • Fraser Coast – 07 3324 3800
  • Gold Coast – 07 5527 7211
  • Kingaroy – 07 4162  5439
  • Maroochydore – 07 5430 9300
Read more

COVID-19 restrictions may have resulted in the temporary suspension of much loved group activities at Centacare’s Belmont community centre late last month but that hasn’t stopped the service supporting hundreds of its most vulnerable aged care clients.

In a matter of days, Centacare Service Delivery Manager Marina Ene transformed the community hub into a kitchen of commercial-like proportions, which now turns out almost 200 freshly-cooked meals each day.

This new way of supporting clients sees qualified cook, Theresa starting her day at 7am, peeling and chopping ingredients. Theresa usually works at the centre two days per week, but has stepped up to five days. Marina’s team of support workers usually host clients at the centre and accompany them on outings in the community. Now they are busy packing and delivering meals, hot from the oven, to the homes of clients.

“I saw the need and went for it,” said Marina. “Many of our clients are frail and physically unable to queue at supermarkets. Some of them are frightened to leave their homes. I thought about my own elderly parents and the one thing I would want them to have is a good, hot meal. It hasn’t been easy, some days it’s been a real battle, but I see the demand and I know it’s a job worth doing.”

The team has almost hit 800 meals, growing from four meals on the first day to 192 seafood lunches, which were delivered to clients on Good Friday. Support workers deliver the following week’s menu along with the meals, and clients can choose to have lunch, dinner or both meals delivered. The menus are created to ensure clients receive all the nutrition and variety they require.

Carina resident, Pam, has attended Centacare’s Belmont community centre for 11 years. She loves the activities, bus trips and occasional ferry ride and has missed the social interaction over the past few weeks. “I’d rather not stay at home, but there’s no point in grumbling about it,” said Pam. “You don’t want to get sick. It’s a godsend having these meals delivered and it’s lovely to see a friendly face.”

Centacare services for aged care clients are funded through the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages. Centacare is continuing to support clients living in their own homes with a range of services including phone check-ins, in-home services and even assistance with home maintenance. To find out more call 1300 236 822.

Read more

Update on our response to COVID-19

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, families and employees.

Current advice from public health authorities is that minimising contact between people is critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our clients safe. In line with new government rules limiting non-essential and essential gatherings we are making a number of changes to the way we operate Supported Independent Living (SIL) services. We understand how very important family visits are and ask for your patience and understanding with regard to these changes.

The following changes are effective Wednesday 8 April:

  • Visits to SIL homes will be restricted to essential visitors only. Essential visitors include Centacare support workers (who are continuing with their shifts as per normal) and other essential health care workers.
  • Two immediate family members may be nominated to visit the house for the purposes of providing support and care to their family member. Only one family member may visit at any one time. Clients or decision makers will be asked to nominate their two chosen family members.
  • Friends, acquaintances and children under the age of 16 will not be permitted to visit.
  • Other service providers, who provide supports to SIL clients, will not be permitted to visit.
  • Family member visits will be limited to one hour.
  • Family member visits will be limited to an outdoor area or client’s bedroom. Visits are not to take place in indoor communal areas.
  • Visiting family members will be asked to make an appointment at least 24 hours prior to their visit. At this time, the visiting family members will be asked a series of screening questions, to minimise risk to all SIL clients and housemates.

Again, we ask for your support to help keep our clients and staff safe by not visiting if you have:

  • returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath.

In line with advice from public health authorities, visiting family members are asked to practice social distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene. During your visit, please take care to:

  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between people
  • We request you refrain from handshaking, hugging or any person to person contact
  • Frequently clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • Open windows and adjust air conditioning for more ventilation
  • Adhere to the strictest hygiene practices in food preparation, including limiting the handling and sharing of food.

We understand that our services form a vital part of clients’ lives and will continue communicating with clients and staff to identify new ways of working so we can support our clients as much as possible under these extraordinary circumstances.

Centacare representatives are contacting clients and families to discuss these changes.

We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and adapt our services in line with advice from public health authorities. Additional restrictions and changes to services may need to be made over time and we appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.


More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

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

Read more

Update on our response to COVID-19

As part of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Centacare Community Services 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.

In line with current advice to limit contact between people as an important way to minimise the spread of COVID-19, the following changes will be made in our services, effective Monday 23 March:

  • All community centres (respite centres, day centres, learning and leisure centres) will close
  • All Centacare-organised group outings and community-based activities will cease
  • We will no longer offer short-term accommodation, except where we have a single client receiving 1:1 support in their own home
  • Centacare-organised outings and community-based activities operating out of Supported Independent Living accommodation will cease. 
  • Our transport services will be limited to providing individual transport only, where this is essential to the health and wellbeing of the client.

All other services, including the support we provide to people in their own homes, will continue at this time. At this stage we can’t advise when normal services will resume.

We understand that our services form a vital part of our clients’ lives and we are seeking to adapt our resourcing and way of working so we can support our clients as much as possible. We are asking for patience and understanding if we are required to make changes to appointment times and the workers providing support to our clients as we seek to work through this process.

Centacare representatives are contacting all of our clients in the coming days to provide more information about their services. At this time, we will endeavour to answer any questions they may have.

We are asking for our clients support to help us minimise the impact and spread of viruses in our community. Should they develop flu-like symptoms such as a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath, we ask that they please take the following actions:

  • if they have an appointment scheduled with Centacare, please contact us in advance to discuss your options on 1300 236 822
  • avoid contact with others by staying more than 1.5 metres away
  • seek advice by contacting your local GP, 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or the 24/7 national hotline on 1800 020 080.

We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and adapt our services in line with advice from public health authorities. Additional restrictions and changes to services may need to be made over time and we appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.

More information

Please contact your Service Delivery Manager or 1300 236 822.

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


Read more

Dorothea Allen, 80, and her husband Dan, 85, left some good friends behind when they retired to Brisbane three years ago.

“We managed a caravan park just south of Mackay, so were constantly surrounded by people,” said Dorothea. “We moved down here to be close to our children and grandchildren, which is just wonderful. But we no longer drive, which can be isolating. And I missed the joy of having my friends around me.”

Dorothea combatted her loneliness with weekly visits to Centacare’s community hub at Coorparoo. In three years, she hasn’t missed a day. “We have some good laughs, I love the chats and the gossip. And we support each other,” said Dorothea.

The importance of social connection in shaping wellbeing has been studied extensively. A 2018 Relationships Australia report found 1 in 10 Australians felt socially isolated and 1 in 6 felt lonely. Risk factors relating to loneliness have been found to be equivalent to substance abuse, obesity and smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Read more

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, its social connection that keeps us living well in our later years.

At Centacare we support our clients to age well in their own home by staying active in their communities and connected to friends and social networks. In a presentation to Brisbane South residents on 24 February, Centacare Service Delivery Manager Jeff Kesby shared his top tips for increasing social connections in later life.

Find your purpose

It’s important we continue to find meaning in life as we age. Research shows that those with a sense of purpose are less likely to experience social isolation. Activities keep our minds working well and hobbies and interests are inherently social in nature. What makes you get up in the morning? Is it a love of photography? Playing cards with your neighbours? Pottering around in the garden? Perhaps there are opportunities for you to share your skills and experience in a community volunteering role? The possibilities are endless!

Take advantage of flexible respite

If you spend time caring for someone else, you may have less energy to look after yourself and your own social needs. You may be able to access in-home or community based support for the person you care for. Knowing your loved one is in safe hands, you will enjoy the opportunity to focus on your own wellbeing and what’s important for you.

Read more

Some people don’t like to think about getting older, preferring to make plans ‘when the need arises’.

Beth and Paul, from Middle Park in Brisbane’s South West, believe in planning ahead.  

“The earlier you start planning for your later years, the better,” said Paul.

“Maintaining our home is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a four bedroom, two bathroom home with a pool and a big garden. We’re proud of our home. We’ve lived here for thirty years and have good friends around us. It’s our goal to stay living here for as long as possible, but we accept we need support to achieve that.

“A friend told us that we might be eligible for subsidised home maintenance and modifications. We phoned Centacare and they sent Scott around – one of their fully-licensed handymen. Scott was great. He conducted a full assessment of our house and identified what we would need to keep us safe and secure in our house, both now and in the future.

“He arranged for trusted tradesmen to clear out our gutters and to install new locks and rollers on our big sliding glass door. It was previously too hard to slide open, we couldn’t manage. It’s like a brand new door now,” said Paul.

Read more

Your NDIS plan review is an opportunity for you to check if your services and supports are helping you work towards, and achieve your goals.

It’s important to remember that there is no set timeframe for when your plan will be reviewed. An NDIS planner or your Local Area Coordinator may contact you up to three months before your plan is due to expire to arrange a time for the plan review.

If you are unable to find a suitable time to meet before your existing plan expires, your plan will automatically be extended for 28 days. You will not be left without funding.

It’s not necessary to pick new goals at your plan review, but you should be prepared to show how your supports and services are helping you make progress and achieve your goals. Before you attend your plan review meeting, ask your providers to give you any supporting evidence that shows the types of supports and funding you used in the plan period. Your provider should also be able to provide you with evidence to show how you have worked towards achieving your goals.

In the lead up to your plan review meeting, you might also want to think about:

  • what worked well in your plan and what didn’t work well
  • whether you achieved your goals or made progress towards achieving them
  • which goals you need to continue to work on, which goals you need to change and any new goals you would like recorded in the new plan
  • who can help you achieve your goals
  • whether you will need NDIS support in the future
  • whether any of your circumstances have changed
  • whether you would like to change how all or some of your plan funding is managed.

Some important things you could take to your plan review meeting include:

  • a copy of your NDIS Plan
  • copies of your Service Agreements (including quotes)
  • recommendations from providers or therapists (if you require additional funding)
  • information about how you have worked towards your goals
  • a person you trust and who knows you well
  • any reports from your support coordinator or plan manager.

As soon as you have had your plan review, it is important you tell your SDM so they can start preparing new paperwork for your supports.

If you have questions, please phone 1300 236 822 or contact your SDM.

Read more

Just over 12 months ago, Sarah applied for NDIS funding with a clear goal to move out of the family home and live independently. “It was time I had my own space,” said Sarah. “It is important for my health and wellbeing to live independently”.

A client of Centacare’s learning and development hub at Wilston, Sarah worked closely with her long-time support worker, Sheeta, to achieve her goal. Today, she happily shares a Supported Independent Living (SIL) house at Wooloowin.

Sarah and Sheeta used Sarah’s weekly 1:1 sessions to research SIL houses. Sarah made many of the phone calls herself and tried her best to handle the conversations. They spent time developing the skills Sarah would need to live independently including budgeting, scheduling appointments, time management, planning healthy meals, cooking, travelling, grocery shopping and house-keeping.

Sarah said she was full of confidence by the time it came to move out of home. “It was a big change for me but I wasn’t worried at all,” she said. “Sheeta helped me find a good place to live and I worked hard to learn the skills I would need”.

Sarah has been ticking off goals for many years. In 2011 Centacare Wilston supported Sarah to secure a volunteer position with a radio station. Sarah started out in a promotions role, putting merchandise packs together. With the support of Centacare, Sarah developed her computer skills and has now progressed to an administration role.

Sarah’s support worker Sheeta said Sarah had overcome her shyness and grown in many areas in a very short time. “Sarah has made real life changes and pushed herself outside her comfort zone to gain independence,” said Sheeta. “She is a role model for her peers and I could not be prouder”.

Sarah’s achievements were recognised when she accepted the Harry Cusack Award at the 2019 Centacare HAND Awards in November. Harry Cusack was a foundation member of Centacare Wilston who achieved incredible things by stepping outside his comfort zone.

For more information about Supported Independent Living or Centacare’s learning and development services, contact your Service Delivery Manager or phone 1300 236 822.

Read more

Help is available to support you through your NDIS journey. From understanding how the scheme could work for you and what information or evidence you might need to provide, to preparing for your planning meeting, or questioning decisions about eligibility or what’s included in your plan, Centacare can help you.

In each edition of NDIS News we help answer your questions about how the NDIS will affect you and the types of help available to you. If you have other questions about the NDIS, please phone 1300 236 822 or contact your SDM.

The NDIA released another new Price Guide on 1 December. What has changed?

A small number of changes have been made to the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2019-20. The changes are effective 1 December 2019.

Key changes include:

  • Increased price limits for Short Term Accommodation and Assistance across weekdays, weekends and public holidays and from 1:1 through to 1:4 support ratios. As respite is only an occasional care need, the NDIA has said participant plans will not be indexed as a result of the change.
  • The NDIA has introduced the word ‘respite’ into the title and description of all Short Term Accommodation and Assistance line items. This aims to ensure families and carers are able to take time off to manage their own health and wellbeing.
  • Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) has been introduced as a new support type for participants who require transitional accommodation before moving into a more permanent home.

 Read more about the changes here or contact the NDIA to find out more.

Will the NDIS close over the Christmas and New Year Period? How will it impact my payments?

NDIA offices will close at 5pm on 24 December and re-open at 9am on Thursday 2 January 2020. The NDIA National Contact Centre will remain open throughout the holidays and can be contacted from 8am to 8pm (local time) on 1800 800 110.

There will be some small delays to payments during this period. For payment requests submitted between 24 and 27 December, payments will be received from 30 December. For payment requests submitted on 31 December and 1 January, payments will be received from 3 January. All periodic transport payments will be paid as normal.  

Do I need to sign a Service Agreement with Centacare?

The NDIS does not require participants to have Service Agreements with providers. However, having a Service Agreement can help you understand the type of services and supports you need as well as the cost of those services and supports. If you receive services from Centacare, you will be provided with a Service Agreement and Schedule of Support (a quote). If you or your nominee are unable to return the signed documents, Centacare will still provide you with supports as long as it has been agreed how it will be paid for with your NDIS funding.

Read more