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Computer classes to assist you with computers and other devices are run by Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA), Tech Savvy Seniors, TAFE or your Council, tel ASCCA 9286 3871. Workventures provide low cost refurbished computers to people receiving an income support payment, tel 1800 112 205.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW offers a range of programs and advocates on behalf of seniors in NSW, tel 1800 449 102 (country) or 02 9286 3860.

Day Clubs (DVA) provide opportunities for the aged, the isolated, people with disabilities, carers and volunteers to develop and maintain social contact outside the home, through a variety of activities. Clubs are located throughout NSW and charges may apply, tel 1800 555 254 and ask for the NSW/ACT Community Support Adviser.

Do Not Call Register is a free service that allows you to opt out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls. Charities are still permitted to call. To register your number tel 1300 792 958.

Elder Abuse Helpline Elder abuse may be physical, emotional or financial. The helpline provides practical assistance, information and advice concerning these issues, tel 1800 628 221.

Fair Trading provides information and assistance for consumer issues, motor vehicles, home building, property, strata and tenancy issues, tel 13 32 20.

Fire and Rescue NSW operates the Smoke Alarm Battery Replacement for the Elderly (SABRE) program which will replace the battery in your smoke detector. Contact your local fire station, tel 1800 151 614.

Identity theft is a threat to your security and can result in financial losses. Do not give your personal information to people who approach you even if the request appears genuine.

Contact organisations through the phone numbers listed in phone books and type in correct web addresses, rather than relying on links supplied in unsolicited emails.

One of the ways unscrupulous people try to obtain information is by scams. These may occur by phone, door to door, mail, internet, mobile messages and social media, and include money transfer requests, fundraising appeals, or a type of fine, and may appear to come from reputable sources such as the Tax Office, DVA, Telstra or your bank.

If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, report the matter to the police.

Organisations that provide advice and support include:

iDcare, tel 1300 432 273

Fair Trading, tel 13 32 20 www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Scamwatch, tel 1300 795 995 www.scamwatch.gov.au

Law Access NSW is a free government telephone service that can help with a wide range of legal problems. They provide legal information, referrals and, in some cases, advice with legal problems, tel 1300 888 529.

Ombudsman offices ensure government authorities function properly and deliver appropriate services. Fair Work Ombudsman Australia offers free advice to workers on their rights and responsibilities, pay rates and holidays, via www.fairwork.gov.au or tel 13 13 94.

There are also Ombudsman offices for banking, energy and other industries, tel 1800 451 524.

Planning Ahead We all need a will and it is wise to also consider additional documents, such as Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Advance Care Directives. The Legal Pathways for Older People project is a partnership between COTA NSW and Legal Aid NSW, which aims to help older people obtain free or reduced cost legal assistance, tel 9286 3860 (metro) or 1800 449 102 (regional). Seniors Rights Service (SRS) will also give free legal advice but will not prepare these documents.

Advance Care Planning is a process that helps you plan for future medical care in the event you can no longer speak for yourself. The plan reflects your values, beliefs and wishes in relation to the type of medical and health care you require. It is important to discuss your wishes with your relatives and your doctor. Your instructions can be put in writing as an Advance Care Directive, tel 1300 887 529 or via www.planningaheadtools.com.au

Seniors Rights Service (SRS) is a community legal centre that protects the rights of older people. SRS also provides support and legal advice on retirement villages and advocacy regarding aged care services, tel 1800 424 079.

Telecross Australian Red Cross operates this service which provides a reassuring daily phone call to people who are isolated and who live alone, tel 1300 885 698.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Services (VVCS) provides free, confidential counselling and emotional support. It includes support for working through health and family matters as well as grief counselling. The service is available to all current and former members of the Australian Defence services, their partners, children and other family members for service related issues. If VVCS is unable to meet the person’s needs they will ensure the person is referred to an appropriate service. VVCS is available 24 hours, tel 1800 011 046.

Veterans Day Centre is a therapeutic program at Concord Repatriation and General Hospital, supporting the wellbeing and needs of war widows and veterans. The centre is open five days a week from 7.30am to 5pm. The program includes group and individual activities, bus trips and guest speakers, tel 9767 5295.

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