20 February 2006

A UQ research team has developed a new project aimed at finding the best ways to support older people, and those who assist them, with the management of their financial affairs.

A pilot of the project is being trialled in the Redcliffe community and will be officially launched tomorrow (Tuesday 21 February) by Mr Kerry Shine MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

The researchers (known as the Assets & Ageing Research Team) have a base at the Kippa-Ring Shopping Village and will work with the local community to develop information seminars for older people and those who provide assistance with the management of older people’s money.

The project`s staff will also work closely with local service providers to improve co-ordination of services in relation to situations involving older people and their finances. Training for staff in a range of private and public services is also expected.

With an ageing population, protection and quality management of older people’s assets is paramount, according to senior researcher Dr Jill Wilson.

“This can mean anything from paying bills and filling out forms for older people through to buying or selling property or investing money," she said.

"One in four adult Australians provide assistance with asset management for an older adult. Our project will explore what is needed to ensure these types of activities are handled well by those providing assistance to older people,” Dr Wilson said.

It is expected that the information and training materials developed from the project will continue to be used in the Redcliffe community by relevant people and organisations after the project is completed. The researchers are keen to then offer the findings and materials from the project to other groups, such as younger people with a disability and their carers, and in other locations.

Dr Wilson said the Redcliffe community had been extremely supportive of the project, with the provision of an office for researchers to work from, and assistance with the distribution of the project newsletter through the Redcliffe City Council’s Department of Community and Cultural Services.

Residents interested in the project and its activities are more than welcome to contact Project Manager Jennie Peut at the Kippa-Ring office, telephone 3889 4356.

Funding for the project has been provided through the Queensland Department of Communities and Carers Queensland, who obtained funding through the J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust Fund to support the project.

The Assets & Ageing Research Team has a longstanding interest in the social, legal, and economic impact of the ageing population and related policy developments on older Australian and their carers.

The team's work has involved several projects in collaboration with a range of significant government, community and private organisations. The researchers are from the School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences and the T.C. Beirne School of Law at The University of Queensland.

Media are invited to attend the opening, which will be held in Amity Room, Redcliffe Cultural Centre, Downs Street, Redcliffe commencing at 2.00pm.

For further details contact Jennie Peut: 3889 4356
Mobile:  0402 029 061
Email: j.peut@uq.edu.au