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The role of financial counselling in improving the well-being of older persons in primary care

July 19, 2017 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

| Free

Chronic Illness Alliance – Centre Applied Social Research (CASR), RMIT University – Financial Consumer Rights Council (FCRC) Vic Presents
“The role of financial counselling in improving the well-being of older persons in primary care”

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 1.15pm for 1.30pm start to 4.30pm
Victorian Council of Social Service
Level 8, 128 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
RSVP: cwalker@chronicillness.org.au or 0402 416 868

In this forum we explore how financial hardship affects older people’s health and well-being. Financial hardship may cause stress and anxiety and prevent people from accessing healthcare and community supports. We also explore how primary care services and staff at not-for-profits can identify older clients under financial stress and assist them through appropriate referrals.

“The financial hardship, vulnerability and abuse of Older Persons within our community is becoming a key issue as the population of Australia ‘ages’. Existing evidence of financial hardship, financial vulnerability and financial abuse issues for Older Persons suggests that financial hardship, vulnerabilities and abuse is widespread amongst the Older Persons population, and that service providers alone do not have adequate skills or awareness to manage financial hardship, vulnerabilities and abuse of their clients…”Evaluation of the Financial & Consumer Rights Council -Dignity and Debt: Financial Difficulty and Getting Older Initiative (West and Ramcharan, RMIT 2016)

Who should attend?

This presentation will be of interest to:

  • Chronic Illness Alliance members working with older people
  • Primary Health Networks/Primary Care Partnership Staff.
  • health course convenors
  • practising health professionals and their practice team
  • primary care support networks
  • interested consumers, carers and peer supporters

Introducing our speakers:

Bernadette Pasco Bernadette Pasco managed the ‘Dignity and Debt – Financial Counselling Aged Care’ project. This project has established that the presence of financial counsellors in health centres is beneficial to older people’s health and well-being. She has also been a leader in building a CPD program, undertaking professional supervision and  establishing a Victorian financial counselling diploma. She has worked on the development of national standards as well as developing new areas for financial counselling. She is profoundly committed to assisting people through financial counselling.

Raelene West Raelene West is a social researcher at the Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR), RMIT University. Her research areas include examination of support service frameworks for People with Disabilities and Older Persons, social inclusion and human rights. She has a PhD in Sociology and Disability and has been on numerous disability advocacy committees.

John Berrill John is a Director of Berrill & Watson Lawyers. He is Australia’s most experienced and pre-eminent plaintiff superannuation and insurance lawyer and has worked as a lawyer in superannuation and insurance since 1993. John provides advice on financial matters to members of the Chronic Illness Alliance and many other organisations. He regularly features in the media as the voice for consumers on financial matters as well as acting for victims of poor financial advice.

Susanne Baxandall Susanne is a social worker and former registered nurse who is the inaugural Consumer Advocacy Coordinator with Diabetes Victoria a position she has held for the last 15.5 years.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Social Work, RMIT
  • Master of Social Work by research, The University of Melbourne
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Susanne is passionate about making sure that people with diabetes and their family members know their rights and have access to affordable physical and emotional health care within their community.



1.30-1.40 pm. Welcome Christine Walker Welcome and introductions

1.40-2.20 pm. Bernadette Pasco Financial and Consumer Rights Council.The Dignity and Debt Financial Difficulty and Getting Older Initiative

2.20-2.45 pm. Raelene West Centre Applied Social Research. RMIT evaluation – Overview of report; overall findings evaluation recommendations CDC complex etc

2.45-3.00 pm. 15 min break

3.00-3.30 pm. John Berrill, Berrill & Watson Lawyers  Working with people retiring through illness. The challenges of applying for Disability Support Pensions

3.30pm-3.45 pm. Susanne Baxandall Diabetes Victoria Advocacy Officer: Impacts of debt/stress on health and well-being of people with diabetes

3.45-4.30 pm. Open discussion. How do we identify people’s financial problems?

What are the gaps in finding effective financial assistance for older persons?

How can financial counsellors assist our workload?

How to make an effective referral to financial counsellors.

Event Details
Event Name: The role of financial counselling in improving the well-being of older persons in primary care
Event Start: July 19, 2017 @ 1:30 pm
Event End: July 19, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
Event Venue: VCOSS
Event Address: L8, 128 Exhibition St
Event Organiser
Organiser: Chronic Illness Alliance