[singlepic id=312 w=320 h=240 float=left]Older people and people with a disability in the far north who need support to live at home will benefit from a $2.1 million funding boost for the region, Minister for Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Curtis Pitt announced today.

Minister Pitt said the funding from the Federal and State Governments would help lift the quality of life for older people and people with a disability.

“These funds are for our home and community care program and they couldn’t have come at a better time. A number of people are doing it tough right now, particularly in cyclone-affected parts of the far north,” he said.

“It’s about reaching out and giving them a helping hand when they need it most,” he said.

Mr Pitt said a number of far northern organisations that send carers out to look after elderly people and people who can’t cope with ordinary, everyday tasks such as showering and house-cleaning would benefit from the funds.

“Our home and community care workers are the salt of the earth. They do housework, provide social support, take people to medical appointments, provide specialist care and personal care, among other things.

“Simple tasks such as taking a shower can be too much for an elderly person who may have broken a few bones in a fall. Our home and community care workers are there to make their lives that little bit better,” he said.

Minister Pitt said a number of community care organisations in the far north including Eacham Community Help and Lifeline Community Care would benefit from the funds.

“It’s about helping them to help others,” he said.

An extra 1,700 people in the far north will now benefit from home and community care services through the funding injection.

“We’re talking about everyday tasks such as mowing the lawn, preparing meals and house-cleaning – tasks most of us take for granted,” he said.

Mr Pitt said more than half a million dollars had been allocated to more than 25 service providers in the far north for kitchen upgrades and health equipment, while other organisations would be able to deliver more services to people in need.

“Just the other day I heard about an elderly woman who fell over and broke her shoulder during an electrical storm the night after Cyclone Yasi struck the coast.

“She couldn’t bathe or feed herself for days and that’s where home and community care comes in. It’s a real life saver in times like this.

“I commend our home and community care workers for reaching out and giving a helping hand to their fellow Queenslanders in need. Their job is not nine to five sometimes, it’s not easy and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude,” Mr Pitt said.

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