A mental health service to tackle social isolation and grants to boost participation in sport are among new measures announced in the Federal Budget to support older Australians in the community.

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses will receive $20 million to pilot a nurse-led mental health service to help tackle the health effects of loneliness among people over 75 living in their own homes.

The pilot will run in three regions across Australia.

The federal government announced on Tuesday it would also fund a grants program to increase community sport and exercise programs targeting people over 65.

The government said the physical activity programs developed would be specifically designed for older people. The government has allocated $23 million over two years to the exercise initiative.

Elsewhere, the government announced a $5 million program to trial new technologies in dementia care.

“Dementia-focused care technology is a relatively new market with untapped potential to help people with dementia to live at home for longer,” the Department of Health said.

The technology projects could be developed for use in the community, aged care, health, and education sectors to improve dementia care, the government said.

Also announced in the budget is a new “interactive online check” at 45 and 65 to help people review their health and finances, including managing their retirement income.

The initiative will cost $6.5 million over the forward estimates.

Related budget coverage:  Government to pilot service to help older people navigate aged care

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  1. As the nurse-led pilot service sits with nurses, what does this mean for older people living in community? Will the focus of the pilot be on older people in residential care (coralled group)? Seriously! We will probably have a medical model rather than a social model of mental health care.

  2. we have been running exercise programs for seniors since 1963 with great success, we have never been government funded and have operated on donations. we would be interested in looking at the new programs that have been designed for seniors by our health experts.

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