Caring for Ageing Rural Australians

The Caring for Ageing Rural Australians program provides grants of up to $10,000 for projects and activities that directly benefit the ageing population who live in rural, regional and remote communities.

As more people seek to 'age-in-place', the CARA program becomes more and more important. It supports a broad range of projects and services that strive to ensure the comfort, safety and wellbeing of older Australians.

A significant increase in enquiries and applications has highlighted the growing need for this targeted small grant program.

In 2012/13, the CARA program awarded 38 grants to the value of $288,707.

These included grants to food services groups like Meals on Wheels, gentle exercise groups, and enhancing outdoor social areas with ramps and wider 'walking frame friendly' paths.

CARA also supported a number of projects for keeping busy – men’s sheds, iPads for music therapy (such as the project funded at Sheffield, in Tasmania) and eReaders for those who find traditional books harder to read due to deteriorating eyesight.

In many cases, service providers in rural areas rely on volunteers and a new trend in this year's program was more support for those who give their time to palliative and dementia care.

The chart below shows some of the other commonly funded items.