This just in!

cropped-planning_for_the_season_facebook_cover-06.jpgGreat news!

In the lead up to the LASA Care and Ageing Expo in Perth, 29th and 30th July at the convention centre, Melissa from Planning for the Next Season will have the opportunity to speak to Tim Gossage on radio station 6iX Perth.  You can find 6iX on 1080 AM and 105.7 FM.  Melissa’s conversation with Tim will be at 7:40 am on 26th July. Tune in if you want to hear more about the expo and Planning for the Next Season!


Leading Age Services Australia Ageing Expo

Leading Age Services Australia Ageing Expo!


Are you caring for elderly parents or loved ones, confused about how to access home care support or aged care services or what choices are available in aged care? Do you need assistance to navigate the system?

Presenting the first ever Care & Ageing Expo in Western Australia, a showcase of products, services, information and education to enable you to compare the market and make an informed choice around the many aged care options.

Hear from experts across a whole range of aged care issues such as choosing home care or residential care, how to care for those with dementia, how to navigate the MyAgedCare website, hear about the latest technology in hearing aids and much more. The Bethanie Lifestyle seminar stage will provide a continuous stream of information from industry experts and discussion panels and give you the opportunity to ask questions.

Best ever news?

Planning for the Next Season will be presenting on the seminar stage and talking about how people can think and plan ahead for ageing well at home now and into the future. Melissa will be presenting at 1:45 pm on Sunday, 30th July at the expo. We encourage you to come down and have a chat as well as see what’s on offer.

For more information about the expo, including the program for the weekend, just click here.


City of Belmont Seniors Plan for the Next Season!

City of Belmont Seniors Planning for the Next Season!

It certainly has been a busy winter here in Perth for Planning for the Next Season!

Over the course of two days, about fifty (FIFTY!) seniors from the City of Belmont attended Planning for the Next Season workshops on 14th and 22nd June.  The feedback from the sessions was outstanding. What’s more, more older people are now thinking and planning about how they can stay home well now and into the future with a good understanding about how the aged care system works and how they can be clear about articulating their needs with providers.

Well done to all the participants and a special thanks to Helen O’Sullivan at the City of Belmont for her great work with seniors and people with disability in the City of Belmont.


Melissa Young PFTNS and Helen O’Sullivan from the City of Belmont

City of Belmont Seniors Planning for the Next Season

Planning for the Next Season workshop 31 May!!

I hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful autumn weather we are having here in Perth!  I love the warm weather, but I have to admit, I do like a bit of chill in the air in the morning.

Today, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of providers with the Melville Aged Services Network.  They are a great group of folks and really working hard to help people get the most out of the services they offer.

Don’t forget to register for the next Planning for the Next Season workshop. It will be held on 31 May from 10:00 am. This will be a 3.5 hour workshop which will include the workshop, participant’s workbook and light lunch for $50. Parking at the venue is free. Why not bring a friend?

More information and tickets are available by clicking through on the link here:   Eventbrite

Planning for the Next Season workshop announcement

I hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying in Perth recently and that you are looking forward to the Easter long weekend.

I’m excited to announce a date for the next Planning for the Next Season workshop. It will be held on 31 May from 10:00 am. This will be a 3.5 hour workshop which will include the workshop, participant’s workbook and light lunch for $50. Parking at the venue is free.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite

A wonderful week!

It’s been a busy week here at Planning for the Next Season!  I was pleased to be able to speak at a seminar for older people and their families with IPAC here in WA. They asked great questions and now have great information about both community and residential aged care for their own planning.

This afternoon I had the opportunity to talk about the Planning for the Next Season framework with the folks at the Aged and Community Services (WA) State Conference.  It was great to be treated to some great key note speakers.

Planning for the Next Season is going to be turning up the volume in the next few weeks, so watch this space for workshop events coming soon.

Change is in the air

On 27 February, things will change for people who have Home Care Packages.  From this day, your Home Care Package is portable.

What does that mean? It means that as a consumer, you have more choice in who provides your care with your Home Care Package. You will be able to move your Home Care Package to the provider of your choice.

Many people are happy with the services and support they receive in their package with their current provider, however, some people might want to make a change.

The aged care system in Australia has been changing and this is definitely a change which puts the power of choice squarely in the hands of the consumer.

What are some things to think about if you are considering a change?

First, talk to your current provider if you have concerns or if you want to change something in your package. Providers are happy to speak with you about what will make the biggest difference for you in staying at home. They also want to know if they can do better.

Secondly, if you are still considering a change, do some research and see which providers might be a good fit for you. Most providers have websites you can use to see what they offer, but you may want to ring them directly and ask specifically about the types of support and services they offer.  Speaking to them directly and asking good questions is a good way of finding out if you want to work with them. What questions might you ask? It’s good to know:

  • What is your administration fee in a Home Care Package?
  • What is included in the administration fee?
  • How will you work with me in deciding what services/support would make the biggest difference?
  • Do you have an ‘exit fee’ (this is a fee that organisations may charge if you decide to leave their service)?  How much is the exit fee?

These are just some questions you may want to ask. People who are living with dementia or have other needs may want to ask questions more specific to their situation.

If you have questions about how to make a change or want to add questions to ask providers, do let us know so that we can post those and share the information.


How old are you?

Years ago, when I was studying Gerontology, I had a professor who taught a class called “Ageing and the Law”. I can’t remember his name, but I remember a number of things he said as he was older himself and he dropped tiny pearls of wisdom (or truth bombs- depending on your perspective) at virtually every lecture.

Once he said, “Every person has a chronological age and the age that they would say they were if they didn’t look in the mirror. Often, you will find that these two ages are different. If you don’t believe me, go ask some people and see what they say”. At the time I was working in three separate subsidised housing complexes and had access to about 900 older people. I decided to test my professor’s theory and ask some of the residents the question. It. Was. Amazing.

To one very conservative older lady, I asked “How old would you say you were if you didn’t look in the mirror?” She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and smiled like I hadn’t seen before and chuckled. She said “I’d say I was 22. The boys would come home on leave (from the war) and we’d go down to meet them and then we’d go out and dance. We’d just dance and dance and dance. Those were the best times.”

To an older man I asked the same question. His face changed and brightened as he told me that when he closed his eyes he felt 19- when he was just starting out in the world and it was open to all possibilities.

I asked the question any number of times and it was always the same, the age that people feel is quite often not their chronological age. This isn’t to discount people’s life experiences that make up who they are, rather, that what is on the outside is not the whole truth of a person. Maybe you’ve had the experience of truly seeing someone for who they are and not for their physical limitations or ‘old’ appearance. If you work in aged care, this may be one of the things you find most valuable in your work.

As aged care reform marches on and we talk about ‘care’, levels of support, assessment and registered providers, perhaps it’s time to think about older people as…people. People who feel largely the same as they did at a particular point in time before they had limitations-before they required support. Perhaps it’s also a time to recognise that older people have rich life experience and are a growing part of the social capital we have available.

As providers of aged care, how can we tap into the knowledge and experience of older people to help us in supporting them as they age? It’s worth having the conversation and really listening to what is important and ideas about how it can happen.

If we are lucky, we will grow old, and will be able to offer to those who would listen, the enthusiasm of the age we feel, combined with the experience of the years we have lived.

Go on. Close your eyes. How old would you be if you hadn’t looked in the mirror this morning?

New Year- New Season

Happy New Year!  I love the beginning of a new year- a whole new year of days to make a difference, learn and grow.  Here at Planning for the Next Season, we’re celebrating New Year by launching our Facilitators Guide.  Both the Facilitators Guide and the Participants Workbook are available individually or together as a pack.

Why did we write a Facilitator’s Guide?  We wrote the guide so that Planning for the Next Season workshops could be facilitated by all different kinds of people- not just Planning for the Next Season Advisors (although they’re tops!).

If you want to know more about Planning for the Next Season and how you can get your hands on the Facilitators Guide and Participants Workbook, drop me a line at

Whether you are thinking about starting the conversation with people close to you, or you are a provider who wants to run a workshop for people you support, we’re happy to work with you to work out the best option.

Watch this space in 2017 for more exciting news about what we are up to at Planning for the Next Season.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2017.



New at Planning for the Next Season

Planning for the Next Season is pleased to announce that we are working in partnership with CommunityWest to deliver the very best in early planning materials, consultancy and workshop experience! CommunityWest reimagines community services so that people who are frail or who have an ongoing disability can live independently for as long as possible. They do this by providing consulting, learning and audit services to community sector organisations. The values of CommunityWest and Planning for the Next Season are aligned and we are happy to be working together in the early planning and intervention space.

The Planning For the Next Season facilitator guides are shortly hot off the press and, as always, the Planning for the Next Season workbooks are available anytime.

Many options for Plannnig for the Next Season are available to providers and consumer services alike. For example, we are offering a Planning for the Next Season providers package which will give you the facilitator’s guide, twenty workbooks and two hours of consultancy time. That package will give providers everything they need in order to run Planning for the Next Season workshops on their own.

Other packages are available including consultancy only or workshop materials only. Head over to the CommunityWest website here to learn more.

Looking forward to learning together and supporting people to forge their own path they age well at home.