Seniors

Overview

Over a quarter of residents living in the Wingecarribee Shire are 60 years old or greater. These residents are an integral and essential part of our community and it should be recognised that enjoying a valued role as well as a meaningful life in our community as we grow older is something that everyone should be able to aspire to.

Wingecarribee Shire Council encourages active ageing and recognises and celebrates the many benefits that the ageing population contributes to the community.

Council also recognises that an ageing population presents a range of challenges that need to be addressed. Council has developed the Positive Ageing Strategy to address these challenges and to get people thinking about the future they see for themselves. The strategy looks at how Council can maximise the positive aspects of ageing and the opportunities to promote independence, healthy ageing and increase participation in community life. 

A wide range of services and local groups are available in our area to help people maintain their independence and remain active and involved as they get older. 

Seniors Directory

Positive Ageing and Supporting our Shire

Wingecarribee Seniors Directory 2020 has a new look!

Local service information for the Shire’s senior citizens has become easier to find with the launch of the new-look Wingecarribee Seniors Directory.

The new look directory contains a comprehensive list of activities and contacts for seniors living in the Southern Highlands. New to the directory is the inclusion of vital information to assist in navigating My Aged Care and tips on housing options for seniors. 

The directory provides information on a range of services including emergency and government agencies, health and transport providers, support groups and social and volunteering contacts.

Positive Ageing

In consultation with older people and the wider community Council developed the Wingecarribee Positive Ageing Strategy 2016-2026.  

The Strategy sets out Council’s approach to supporting older people to live happy, healthy, independent lives and remain connected to the community as they age.

The Positive Ageing Strategy 2016 - 2026 and Action Plan were adopted by Council on 9 December 2015. 

The Positive Ageing Strategy 2016 - 2026 will be progressively implemented over ten (10) years commencing 1 January 2016.

A Safe and Accessible Community

Older people should be able to move safely and easily around the area, utilise accessible local facilities and spaces and feel valued and safe in their homes and community. The links below provide information that will assist older residents.

Safety 

Transport

Community Transport

Southern Highlands Community Transport provide a range of subsidised transport services to eligible residents. Services include door to door shopping trips, transport to medical appointments including to out of area locations, hospital and nursing home visits and organised social outings. A number of their vehicles are wheelchair accessible and fitted with a hoist.

Southern Highlands Community Transport is funded under the Home and Community Care Program and the Community Transport Program to provide transport to:

  • Frail and elderly people
  • People with a disability
  • Carers
  • People who are at risk of premature or inappropriate institutionalisation
  • People who are vulnerable or at risk
  • People from culturally distinct communities
  • Transport isolated people (no access to public transport)
  • Financially disadvantaged people
  • Eligible transport beneficiaries- veterans

For more information or to see whether you are eligible for the service, please contact Southern Highlands Community Transport on 

02 4872 3722 or visit their website at www.shct.com.au.

 

 

Mobility Parking Scheme

The Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) provides parking concessions to people with mobility disabilities. A mobility disability is defined by legislation as:

  • Someone who is unable to walk due to the permanent or temporary loss of use of one or both legs or other permanent medical or physical condition;
  • Someone whose physical condition is detrimentally affected as a result of walking 100 metres;
  • Someone who requires the use of crutches, a walking frame, callipers, scooter, wheelchair or similar mobility aid.

MPS permits are also available to people who are permanently blind.

Permits can be issued to people three years of age and above.

There are three types of permits available under the NSW MPS:

  • Individual (blue card) - issued for five years to eligible people whose disability is permanent
  • Temporary (red card) - issued for up to six months to eligible people whose disability is temporary. Temporary permits may be renewed for up to another six months (providing twelve months in total).
  • Organisation (green card) - issued to organisations that provide transport to people who meet the MPS eligibility requirements. Organisation permits can only be used when parking a vehicle that's transporting an eligible person and must not be used for any other purpose.

Displaying Your Permit

You must display both your NSW Mobility Parking Scheme permit (license-style card) and your Australian Disability Parking Permit (large purple card) in order to obtain parking concessions. Permits should be displayed clearly on the left-hand (passenger) side of the vehicle and be visible from the outside.

Parking Concessions

MPS permit holders can park in time limited parking areas for longer time periods. If the parking area is limited to:

  • More than 30 minutes: the vehicle can park for an unlimited time.
  • 30 minutes: the vehicle can park for up to two hours.
  • Less than 30 minutes: the vehicle can park for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Vehicles displaying a valid permit can park in metered, coupon or ticket parking areas at no charge.

  • MPS permits do not allow you to stand or park a vehicle:
  • Between 'no stopping' signs
  • At taxi stands
  • In bus, loading, construction or truck zones
  • On clearways

Parking concessions also do not apply in privately operated car parks. To park in a designated disability parking space you must still display your valid permit and pay any fees that are applicable.

When you apply for a NSW Mobility Parking Scheme permit you will also be issued with an Australian Disability Parking Permit. The Australian Disability Parking Scheme is recognised nationally and establishes nationally consistent eligibility criteria and minimum parking concessions to help reduce barriers for permit holders when travelling interstate. Provided your NSW permit is current and valid you will be able to use it in other Australian states and territories, however having national minimum standards gives states and territories the flexibility to allow additional parking concessions. If you plan on travelling interstate you should contact the relevant state or territory authority for more detailed information.

Apply for a NSW Mobility Parking Scheme Permit

To apply for a permit you will need to fill out a Mobility Parking Scheme Application Form and have a medical certificate from your doctor confirming you meet the eligibility requirements. You can download a form from the RMS website at www.rms.nsw.gov.au, pick one up in person at any RMS registry or service centre or download a form by clicking on the link below:

For more information on the Mobility Parking Scheme please contact Roads and Maritime Services by phoning 13 22 13, visit their website at www.rms.nsw.gov.au or contact Council's Ageing & Disability Officer on (02) 4868 0801.

Please remember that the Mobility Parking Scheme is designed to help people with genuine mobility disabilities and is not simply for convenience. You should only apply for a permit if you genuinely need one.

Public Transport

Bus

Berrima Buslines provides extensive bus services throughout the Southern Highlands.

For more information on timetables, fares and concessions contact Berrima Buslines: 

Telephone: 4871 3211

Email: info@berrimabuslines.com.au

Website: www.buslinesgroup.com.au/berrima

Train

Intercity Trains

For information and timetables on the Southern Highlands Line https://transportnsw.info/routes/details/intercity-trains/shl/76SHL

NSW TrainLink

For information and timetables on the Southern Line regional trains and coaches visit https://transportnsw.info/regional-southern-line

Regional Seniors Travel Card

A regional seniors travel card, is available through the NSW Government,  providing eligible seniors in regional, rural and remote areas with a pre-paid $250 card. You can use the travel card at certain retailers across Australia to pay for fuel, taxis and pre-booked NSW Trainlink Regional trains and coaches. 

The travel card is valid for 14 months from the date of issue. The expiry date is available on the front of the card.

The regional seniors travel card program is available for a 2-year trial period (2020-2021). Eligible seniors can apply for a card in 2020 and for another card in the second year of the program (2021).

If you are an age pensioner with a valid Pensioner Concession Card or you hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you can apply through Service NSW over the phone on 13 77 88, in person at your nearest Service NSW outlet or online at: 

www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-regional-seniors-travel-card

Safe Seniors Driving

When you reach 75 years of age your drivers license conditions will change. The changes will depend on your age. If you hold a Class C license (car license) the following conditions will apply to you based on your age:

75 - 84 years old

Once you reach 75 years of age you will need to have a medical review every year to keep your license. The RMS will send you a medical review form before your 75th birthday for your doctor to complete and provide to the RMS.

 

85 years and older

When you reach 85 years of age you will continue to require a medical review every year, however you will have the choice of keeping your unrestricted license or changing to a modified license. If you choose to retain your unrestricted license you will need to successfully pass a practical driving assessment every second year.

 

If you hold any other type of license (e.g. class LR or R) you will need to check with the RMS as to what conditions apply for older drivers wishing to keep that class of license.

Unrestricted License

If you are 85 years or older with a Class C license and wish to keep your unrestricted license, you will need to pass a practical driving test. You can take your test with a RMS testing officer or go through a private driving school with an accredited Older Driver Assessor. Before you do your driving test you may find it useful to have a refresher driving lesson with a driving school to make sure you are prepared. If you fail your driving test you can choose to change to a modified license instead.

Modified License 

If you choose to take a modified license you do not need to attempt a practical driving assessment. A modified license allows you to keep driving under certain conditions. These conditions are added to your license and printed on the back of the card and you must comply with these conditions when driving. Examples of conditions include only driving within a certain distance from your home or only driving in the daytime. You should discuss your options with your doctor who can help work out what might be the best situation for you.

For more information on safe driving for older people please contact Roads and Maritime Services on 13 22 13 or visit their website at www.rms.nsw.gov.au or visit Transport for NSW's On the Road 65Plus  at www.roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au.

The local NSW service centre is located in Mittagong

Accessibility

Maintaining Independence

Older people are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle and retain their independence, supported by access to local services and a range of accommodation options and community facilities and spaces that reflect their needs.

Community Spaces

Staying Independent - External Resources

Seniors Festival

We are getting ready and planning 2021 Seniors Festival. Subscribe to our newsletter or check back here to keep up to date with the program.

Due to COVID-19 Seniors Festival has been postponed. Dates have been advised as 13 – 24 April 2021.

Is there an event that you would like to see on the program or are you a community group that you would like to host an event to be part of the program? 

Resilient Seniors

Wingecarribee Shire Council 2018 Community Resilience Innovation Program (CRIP) – Grant Project ‘Building Resilience in Seniors to Extreme Weather’.

Wingecarribee Shire Council in 2018 were the recipients of a Community Innovation Program Grant funded by the NSW and Commonwealth through the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience. Our specific project was to create a workshop guide and collateral materials aimed at building resilience to extreme weather in Seniors.

The documents presented below are the result of 12 months research, collaboration and working with Seniors to understand better how to successfully engage and work with seniors to build individual preparedness and community resilience. 

Seniors, as traditional historians and community networkers can be a vital link and tremendous resource to building an awareness of the importance of being prepared and looking out for each other.

The materials here are offered freely for use by other Local Government and Community Service organisations who are seeking to:

  • Build the capacity of seniors to be more resilient and self-reliant in the face of extreme weather events through planning and personal preparedness, and
  • Improve their own understanding of the common preparedness needs of seniors

The guide outlines a practical approach to engaging seniors on being prepared for extreme weather through discussion that recognises seniors own limitations and leverages their capabilities and strengths. 

The Workshop Presentation can be modified to your own specific local hazards and needs and a running commentary for the slides and workshop can be found in the guide.

Resources

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay up to date with all Council news for Seniors get the latest news straight to your inbox! Please click here to subscribe.

Participation in Community Life

Older people enjoy a wide range of opportunities to maintain wellbeing and participate in the local community and economy through access to events, activities, volunteering and employment opportunities.

Staying Involved

Please note the below are all external links;

Information and Resources 

Older people have easy access to information that assists them to make choices, stay connected to the community and participate in local decision making.

Southern Highlands Aged Care Concierge

Wingecarribee Shire Council and Macarthur Disability Services (MDS) have partnered with Meals on Wheels to develop the Southern Highlands Aged Care Concierge, to personally assist people to navigate through the My Aged Care system. This trial project will mean there is a staff member available for one on one meetings, based on site at Meals on Wheels, at the Moss Vale Community Centre, located in Queen Street.

Staying Active and Healthy at home

Practical tips and information for older adults to stay active, healthy, and connected at home.

Healthy and Active for Life Online - Free Program for Older Adults

The Health Promotion Service is offering SWS residents the chance to take part in the Healthy and Active for Life Online (HALO) program to start on 25/01/2021.

The HALO program is a free 10 week program, delivered online for adults aged 60 years or over living in NSW. It includes: 

  • Access to 2 online home exercise programs for 12 months
  • An exercise manual and log to stay on track
  • Phone support from our trained phone coaches
  • Access to 10 weekly online learning modules focused on healthy eating and lifestyle