Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001
Parliamentary Record 27
Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 28 February 2001 ageing population. We are responding to the change that is occuning within our community and planning for the future. As a nurse 10 years or so ago, many of my colleagues, as they moved towards retirement, always planned to leave Darwin. They always left and went down south somewhere for various reasons. The more we plan to get the infrastructure in to support people in their older years, the more we will find Territorians coming here in their early years and retiring in the Tenitory. Real change has been happening over the last 10 to 15 years. This government acknowledges the need to increase services to older Territorians in all kinds of areas such as entertainment, sport, leisure activities, housing - and also in the area of hostel and nursing homes. In those two particular areas, of course, the funds generally come from the Commonwealth. There is a need, however, for this government to be vigilant to the needs of the community, to monitor trends, to predict demand, and to take our quests to Canberra from time to time to fight for increased funding in the Territory for people as they get older. In my electorate, I am fortunate to have two establishments that are dedicated to the care of older Territorians. These are the Salvation Army Nursing Home and Tracy Aged Care Service. Both of them are very capably run by two of my nursing colleagues from former years: Jan Marlborough with the Salvation Army Nursing Home and Pam Fitton at Tracy Aged Care Service. Both places are doing a great job. Tracy Aged Care Service is a place that is a real forerunner. It is there that many people go. I know many who are happy to go into the tropical sunounds of Tracy and get ably looked after and supported. They can certainly have nursing home care if they need it, but they are supported to just go about life as they choose. For instance, people from Tracy will often be in the Mall doing their shopping. They are supported in their life by Tracy, but if they want to be independent do their own thing, they are certainly able to do that if they so desire. Another favourite spot in my electorate is known as Tuckwell Court in Lanakeyah. This establishment is a Territory Housing establishment that caters for nearly 50 people living in single quarters. There are a few couples; probably about six in two-bedroom units. But the vast majority of the units at Tuckwell are single quarters. It is on the border of the Botanical Gardens and the golf course. The people have a fantastic piece of land at the back of Larrakeyah, with single units set in a garden environment. Most of the people are able-bodied and get around Darwin pretty well doing their own thing. It they are not able-bodied, the community pitches in - all the different agencies that we are able to call on - to assist these people to stay at home in their unit for as long as they possibly can. I can give some comfort to the people of Leanyer. If I were living in a suburban area, to have a place like Tuckwell Court as my neighbour would be a real plus. Members: Hear, hear! Ms CARTER: It is a beautifully kept area; very quiet and peaceful area. Nobody has a barking dog and, for a person who hates barking dogs in the middle of the night, that is a real plus. Some people have pets but they are not nuisance pets. If I was living in a neighbourhood next to a retirement area or a pension area, I would think that a real plus. I really could not think of another type of residential establishment that would beat as a neighbour an aged care service facility. On 9 March in Luxton Street in Stuart Park, there will be the opening by Frontier Services of a support unit for people with Alzheimers. This is a house in the suburb of Stuart Park that has been developed to provide respite care for people suffering from conditions such as Alzheimers. It, once again, supports the quest to keep people in their home for as long as possible. Families who are caring for a person with Alzheimers will be able to negotiate to have then family member go into the Luxton Street residence for day respite. This service, generally, will only be available during daytime hours. It will be a real plus, however, for people who are caring for family members or loved ones with Alzheimers. It could make a real difference as to how long a person with Alzheimers will be able to stay in the community before going into institutional care. Family members who are doing the caring will have a break. As you can imagine, caring 24-hours a day for somebody with a mental illness such as Alzheimers would be an incredible strain. Before I close, I wish to mention the fabulous response we had to the petition tabled today for a hospice in the Top End area. We collected 4911 signatures. These were collected over a period of only several months, and we did not have the benefit of the Mindil Beach markets to swamp everybody with our petition. It has been a sterling effort by the people who helped with the collection of those signatures. You all know my passion for a hospice in the Top End, and I will speak about it in more detail tonight during the adjournment debate. This is another facility we can bring to the Top End that will provide the full gamut, the full smorgasbord, if you like, of resources to aid people as they age to stay in 7511
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