Latest News & Updates Archives - Page 2 of 12 - Centacare Brisbane

Latest News & Updates

Latest News & Updates

Derek, 79, from Burpengary East has been driving motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes, military and civilian, for about 66 years. He loved nothing more than hitting the open road. But when his health deteriorated following retirement, he made the difficult decision to surrender his driver’s license.

“Losing my independence was tough,” said Derek. “The freedom to travel was gone and, for the first time in my life, I was forced to rely on other forms of transport to access essential services. My health then worsened to the point that walking short distances became difficult. Things that used to be simple were now almost impossible. It was a hard time for me.”

Derek uses government-subsidised transport services, provided by Centacare in the Moreton Bay region, to attend medical appointments and social outings in the community. He turned to his Service Delivery Manager at Centacare, Christine, for advice on how to further improve his quality of life.

“Christine was brilliant,” said Derek. “She recommended additional support services and helped me purchase a mobility scooter through my Home Care Package.

“My scooter has given me my life back. Just today, I went on my first ‘business trip’, running errands and posting two letters at the local shopping centre. Scooting around my village, soaking up the sun and visiting my mates (while maintaining social distancing!) brings joy to my heart.”

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During National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June 2020) we speak with Toni Janke, Indigenous Services Co-ordinator Centacare.

The date of the annual National Reconciliation Week commemorates two milestones — the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. We talk with Toni, about how we can reconcile the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a unified future.

Why is it important for Catholics across Australia to acknowledge this week?

I think Reconciliation Week is a time to stop and reflect and acknowledge what reconciliation really means for us as a nation. As Catholics, we tend to speak about reconciliation in the sacramental sense – saying sorry for past wrongs we have committed and seeking forgiveness. As a nation, we need to think about the grave injustices that have been inflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to stand up against discrimination, racism and all of the historical wrongs so that they never happen again. We need to acknowledge the need for deep healing and to move forward together with respect and understanding. One of our biggest challenges is acknowledging the truth of this country and the historic justices that have occurred in the past.

It’s 2020. Have times changed when it comes to reconciliation?

Sadly we have still so much to do as our families and communities are still vulnerable or struggling with life challenges and many complex issues. It is not acceptable. We need to constantly review the way we treat Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how services are being provided. It is not acceptable in 2020 for any family to be denied access to basic services such as health, housing and education. It is not acceptable for us to stand by and see others suffering without speaking up and offering support wherever we can. But this is something we must all do. Everyone is entitled to live well and enjoy fundamental freedoms. Reconciliation is not just about increasing our awareness and understanding of the issues. It is an ongoing process of healing through responsibility and action.

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As Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Prevention Month comes to a close, Centacare is urging the community to take responsibility for knowing the signs that may suggest someone is experiencing DFV.

Family and Relationships Services Coordinator Stacy said COVID-19 creates a unique set of challenges for victims of DFV, with less opportunity for victims to break away and seek a reprieve from perpetrators.

“We are seeing an escalation of violence due to additional pressures in families around jobs, financial stress, and heightened anxiety about the future,” said Stacy.

“On top of this, social isolation means victims are at home more with perpetrators and have reduced access to support networks like friends and neighbours.

“In this environment it becomes even more important that people are alert to the signs of DFV and know how to respond if they suspect someone is experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing, violence in the home.

“DFV is not a private issue that happens in homes, behind closed doors. DFV is everyone’s business. It’s vital that, as a community, we shine a light on this escalating issue and do what we can to help families move toward a safer and brighter future.”

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Silver lining for aged care clients

Every cloud has a silver lining. For our aged care clients that usually enjoy group activities in our community centres, that silver lining is the opportunity to spend some quality one-on-one time with their much-loved support workers.

Noel has dementia and usually enjoys group activities with his friends at Centacare’s community hub at Coorparoo. But with the temporary suspension of hub activities, Noel has relished the opportunity to work on his garden with the help of support worker Andrew.

Noel’s wife Heather wrote to Service Delivery Manager Alma at Coorparoo to say how much Noel was enjoying having Andrew visit them at their house. She said he was in tremendous spirits and loved having the opportunity to get to know Andrew better.

Val, Iris and John are all regulars at Centacare’s Aspley community hub. They are managing to stay active and engaged in their homes, with frequent visits from their support workers.

Service Delivery Manager Sandra said Val had formed a beautiful friendship with her support worker Amanda. “They go for walks, do puzzles, and pot plants together,” said Sandra. John also enjoys Amanda’s company. They play noodle tennis in the backyard and do puzzles together. Iris loves to get out and about as much as possible and enjoys spending time with support worker Gail, walking her dog and exercising at a nearby beach.”

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Community access for SIL clients

As part of Archdiocese of Brisbane, Centacare continues to monitor the public health response to COVID-19. We continue to follow advice from health authorities and are taking all reasonable and appropriate steps to support the safety, health and wellbeing of our clients and employees.
In line with the easing of some government restrictions, we can now support clients living in our Supported Independent Living (SIL) services to access certain activities and outings in the community.

From Saturday 2 May, support workers can accompany clients to go to the park, go for a walk, have a picnic and shop for non-essential items. In line with government advice, these outings and activities can take place either on a 1:1 basis (support worker and client) or as a household. Strict social distancing and hygiene protocols will be observed during community outings and activities.

In addition, from Saturday 2 May, clients can receive visits from two family members at one time. At this stage all other previously-communicated visitor restrictions will remain in place.

Given that minimising contact between people is critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our clients safe, we continue to advise clients that we are unable to support them to access non-essential activities with other providers. We continue to communicate with clients and staff to identify new ways of working so we can support our clients as much as possible under these circumstances.

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.

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A cluster of maritime support agencies is working frantically to ease the distress of sailors left in limbo by the Coronavirus.

Centacare Brisbane’s Apostleship of the Sea is a part of the national coalition bundling up care packages to comfort those stranded on cargo ships.

This comes in the wake of many countries and ports imposing strict quarantines, often against advice of the United Nation’s International Maritime Organisation.

The normal life of seafarers is a tough grind already but under COVID-19 restrictions it is a journey without end.

Whilst international trade continues and ships can disburse cargo, the seafarers who safeguard these goods enjoy no such privileges, unable to even step ashore.

Instead they are to remain on board, trapped indefinitely, until the pandemic passes.

Under IMO principles, cargo ships are obliged to facilitate crew changeovers and the transportation to a home port for seafarers who have completed contracts.

This has been turned on its head by COVID-19 however, with crews often denied shore leave and replacement crews unable to relieve them in orderly transition.

In Australia the sailors are trapped by an unfortunate Catch-22, in that they can alight under very strict conditions but ships’ captains prefer not to risk coronavirus infection coming back onboard.

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Supporting aged care clients during COVID-19

As part of Archdiocese of Brisbane, Centacare continues to monitor the development of COVID-19 and is taking all reasonable and appropriate steps to support the safety, health and wellbeing of our clients and employees.

The past two months have created significant challenges for our community as we adapt to changes in the way we live, work, communicate and engage with the world. Older Australians, and those with existing health conditions, are feeling particularly vulnerable due to the impact of forced isolation and the removal of regular social activities and interaction. In this environment, we are aware that our role as a trusted in-home and community service provider is critical, as we continue to provide essential support to our clients, who have been directed to stay at home for the foreseeable future.

We want to assure you that Centacare remains open for business, to ensure our aged care clients receive all the support they need to live well and independently in their own homes.

Supporting you at home

Advice from public health authorities is that keeping up your regular home care and health care is just as important as protecting yourself from COVID-19. We continue to provide our in-home services and with the temporary suspension of our group outings and community-based activities, many of our centre-based clients are also now opting to have Centacare support them in their own homes. Some of the more popular services being taken up include domestic assistance, personal care, unassisted shopping, meal preparation and home and yard maintenance. Flexibility provisions within the Commonwealth Home Support Program allow us to re-direct funding from social support activities to in-home and other types of support services.

We are also working on new ways to help you feel engaged and connected during this time and, across many of our services, are using alternative approaches to delivering social activities. We are also commencing in-home social visits for our in-centre clients as well as a regular ‘In-Touch’ telephone service. We will continue to update you as we develop these new ways of working so you can feel as connected as possible under these extraordinary circumstances.

Protecting your health and safety

Please be assured that, when providing services, our number one priority is protecting the health and safety of the clients we support as well as that of our team members. We continue to employ strict infection control, hygiene and social distancing protocols, which includes an enhanced level and frequency of cleaning when carrying out in-home services. We have also increased infection control and hygiene education and training for our support staff and continue to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where required, in line with advice from public health authorities.

This fact sheet published by the Australian Government provides useful information about hygiene and social distancing precautions as well as advice about when PPE should be used by support workers.

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.


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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
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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.

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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