Seniors from the South Asian Muslim Community enjoyed the SAMAA annual picnic together with many family and friends on Saturday 11 November at Plough and Harrow Park in Western Sydney.

South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) has been caring for community elders since 2007 and organises events at regular intervals to alleviate social isolation faced by seniors after their retirement and as they age.

SAMAA organised special bus service from Auburn and Liverpool train stations to bring seniors to the picnic venue making it very convenient for them to attend the event.

At the picnic, the seniors not only enjoyed a day out with their contemporaries but were also given useful information about various aged care services together with entertained by local artists.

A representative from the Islamic Women Association of Australia (IWAA), a service provider specialising in offering services to Muslim elders, gave a very useful presentation for those present on the day.

Mr Zahid Jamil addressing seniors at picnic.

Ms Ayesha Orozco, head of IWAA’s Sydney operations, spoke about various service levels being offered depending on elders needs. She said that now government offers Consumer Directed Care Home Care Packages with four levels of care depending on physical and mental needs of elders. The first step is the registration with My Aged Care (MAC).

IWAA staff and SAMAA volunteers would love to help elders in this process. Once a person is assessed as eligible and subject to availability, the Home Care Package approval will be allocated to the consumer. This will facilitate provision of appropriate services.

Mr Zahid Jamil of SAMAA spoke about an Over Age 55 facility which can be offered to SAMAA elders if there were sufficient numbers. This facility is located in Penrith and have 1 and 3 bedroom town houses specially designed for seniors living-style. For more information, please contact Mr Jamil on 0411 114 762.

Dr Ahad Khan addressing the audience at picnic.

Popular Sydney singer Mr Riyaz Shah entertained seniors with songs of 1970s. A couple of seniors and volunteers also joined in with their singing skills.

Attendees enjoyed the delicious barbeque, biryani and desserts, prepared by volunteers who came out in good numbers to make it another memorable event for seniors.

SAMAA’s Services include developing innovative & effective Service Modules, in order to facilitate the provision of culturally specific needs of our Seniors.

Mr Riaz Shah entertaining seniors at the picnic.

In order to assist in this mission, SAMAA has many dedicated volunteers who provide yeoman services such as take elders to doctors, grocery shopping, social events, mosque visits etc.

These volunteers also assist seniors in home cleaning, cooking, delivery of home-cooked meals or simply spend time with them.

Importantly, SAMAA is actively negotiating with various service providers for all levels of services including services at home and in Aged Care facilities advocating service providers in fulfilling their CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diversified) requirements of South Asian Muslims.

Upcoming SAMAA events in 2018 include Sydney Harbour cruise in February and Jashne Buzurg in April.