Pingelly Community Resource Centre is “empowering an improved quality of life” for retirees around the State. The Staying in Place tour informs retirees about their funding eligibility for services, which allow them to continue to live at home. With aged-care facilities being scarce in regional, rural and remote communities, Staying in Place toured through Great Southern towns including Katanning, Kondinin, Jerramungup and Gnowangerup last month. Staying in Place project officer Helen Morton said the program gave retirees “a sense of belonging in their own community”. “People get the opportunity to continue to live in the place they love and cherish and have devoted so much time and effort into,” she said. “With that, they can continue to connect with their community through a variety of activities.” Some of the services provided by the funding include transport, community engagement activities, medical appointments and home maintenance work. Pingelly resident Shirley Lange is a beneficiary of the funding and said the project “has answered prayers”. “At 83, I have become fairly incapacitated due to my back issues, so I have someone who comes to do my garden and another who cleans my house fortnightly,” Mrs Lange said. “It’s been amazing having somebody to do that and who I can trust to do the things I can’t.” Pingelly residents Ian James and William Mulroney have also activated the funding to ensure they can continue to live in their own home. Mr James receives home dialysis care while Mr Mulroney acquires help to maintain his garden. Ms Morton’s seminars break down how to access services and funding. Potential clients must seek approval for grants from the Australian Government Subsidised Home Care Package program to access the Staying in Place project. “Once the client gains approval, aged-care provider InCasa approves funding to pay for co-ordination by the Community Resource Centres and services by the Mable contractors,” Ms Morton said. “Client information gathered by the resource centres is sent to InCasa who provides the care plans. “Mable contractors are co-ordinated by the resource centres to carry out the tasks in the care plan and as agreed by the client.” Ms Morton said the service had zero downside and the community also received a huge financial benefit. “Because this funding has allowed people to continue to live in their houses or towns, it has contributed about $1.5 million to local communities,” she said. Despite its economic benefits, Ms Morton said the most important benefits were qualitative. “This puts an end to the heartache and pain for people having to leave family, friends and communities behind when moving to an aged-care facility,” she said. “It ends loneliness and disconnection if someone is forced to move to another place towards the end of life.” Pingelly CRC Manager Lee Steel said she “never anticipated the level of community wellbeing improvement and community connectedness” the project would promote. “I watch local people deliver a local service and form relationships and connections, which is such a rewarding thing to see,” Ms Steel said. People over age 65, or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander over 50, may be eligible for the funding. Ms Morton said the entire process to obtain the grant took about 12 weeks. The Staying in Place seminar tour will travel to other parts of the State including the Goldfields and South West.