It's Seniors Week and Right at Home is celebrating the Queensland Government's announcement to ease the costs of living for older Queenslanders.
During the launch of Seniors week, which saw the Brisbane City hall lit up purple on Monday night, a joint statement was made from the Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke and Minister for Housing and Public Works The Honourable Mick de Brenni, in which Queensland's Government has reaffirmed its commitment to easing the cost of living pressures and creating more suitable and affordable housing options for older Queenslanders.
Seniors Minister Coralee O'Rourke said the Government's new seniors strategy Queensland: an age-friendly community recognised that housing was one of the key issues identified by seniors.
"From speaking with seniors across the state, I know older Queenslanders can struggle to make ends meet, and that finding suitable housing can be a real challenge," O'Rourke said. Their "age-friendly action plan" outlines a range of measures they are implementing across Government to make sure seniors have access to housing options that are affordable, accessible and close to transport and community services.
The Advisory Taskforce on the Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders will report back to Government by the end of this month on ways they can support older people to maintain control over how and where they live as they age. Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the Government was committed to providing pathways for housing that are affordable, accessible and secure for seniors.
"We've been working hard to modernise our public housing portfolio, increasing the number of safe, accessible one and two-bedroom units available to seniors," de Brenni said.
"That's why quality of life for seniors will be a big focus of our new, ten year housing plan to be released later this year."
In another joint statement by the Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business The Honourable Leeanne Enoch and Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke, said that the Queensland Government have helped more than 7000 Queensland seniors become tech-savvy as part of a state-wide program aiming to help them navigate the digital world.
Launching the new Telstra Seniors Starter Bundle at the State Library of Queensland today for Seniors Week, Seniors Minister Coralee O'Rourke said more than 1200 Tech Savvy Seniors session had been held across the state. Run in partnership with Telstra and the State Library of Queensland, the Tech Savvy Seniors sessions provide older Queenslanders with the skills they need to access essential digital services.
Queensland seniors who complete a Tech Savvy Seniors course will gain basic technology skills, including how to use an iPad, navigate social media, shop online and access government services. These skills provide seniors confidence to participate in their communities and stay connected with family and friends.
The Queensland Government has provided $792,000 to deliver the Tech Savvy Seniors program and more than $160,000 to 14 community organisations to help transport participants to the venues. The Program is running across Queensland in more than 38 Local Government public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres.
This program joins a suite of initiatives introduced by the Government over the past 18 months, as part of their new strategy, Queensland: an age-friendly community. Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said in a rapidly changing digital world it was important all Queenslanders were given the opportunity to develop their digital skills.
"The influence of technology is spreading to every aspect of our lives and digital social inclusion is an important community issue. "Digital confidence and competency are important to help Queenslanders of all ages find employment, improve their education, access services like banking and health, and to connect with friends and family."
Telstra's Chief Sustainability Officer Tim O'Leary was thrilled to see so many seniors making a move into the online world – particularly in regional areas.
"All Australians can benefit from being online and connected – no matter how old they are or where they live and we believe the more connected people are, the more opportunities they have," O'Leary said.
"Today, Telstra wants to make the step online even easier and through our Seniors Starter Bundle, Queensland Seniors Cardholders can enjoy the benefits of being connected."
The Telstra Seniors Starter Bundle, one of 6300 businesses offering discounts through the Government's Seniors Business Discount Scheme, starts from $59/month and includes home phone and internet connection, unlimited local calls and cheap national and international call rates.
For information on Queensland: an age-friendly community, visit www.qld.gov.au/agefriendlycommunity.
For more information about Seniors Week and other seniors initiatives, visit www.qld.gov.au/seniors or www.qldseniorsweek.org.au.
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