The Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour (pictured) has been appointed as an advisor to the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.
Federal Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, and Victoria’s Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan MP, said Mr Mansour would work alongside other advocacy groups, including Elder Rights Advocacy, the Victorian member of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) to ensure families were kept informed about the welfare and care needs of their loved ones.
VACRC has been established at the State Control Centre in Melbourne to co-ordinate and expand resources across the Australian and Victorian governments to tackle the challenge of COVID-19 in aged care services.
“We continue to mobilise resources to assist senior Australians to manage the impacts of COVID-19,’ said Minister Colbeck.
“Mr Mansour’s extensive networks in Victoria will be invaluable to our collective efforts.”
Mr Mansour will provide advice and consultation for engaging with families of residents in severely COVID-19 impacted aged care facilities, and help connect them to available supports including Elder Rights Advocacy and the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.
He will also assist with communication and provide timely and ongoing feedback to Elder Rights Advocacy and VACRC, as well as help
“I understand just how challenging it is for so many families. It is vital that residents and families receive appropriate and timely communications and I will work to ensure we will embed this into the response work,” said Mr Mansour.
He will also engage with the Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Vivienne Nguyen, to ensure appropriate supports are provided to families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donellan welcomed Mr Mansour’s appointment.
“While we respond to the urgent health needs of these Victorians, we must also do everything we can to keep their families informed and ensure their emotional needs are front of mind too,” he said.
“We’ve got the best emergency, medical and nursing teams on the job, and I know Gerard will ensure the rights of these older Victorians and their families are not forgotten in this response.”
The former chief executive of Leading Age Services Australia, Mr Mansour was the inaugural appointment as Commissioner for Senior Victorians in 2013 and is also Victoria’s Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention, advocating for the needs of those older people at risk of elder abuse.