NARI is one of 13 organisations that has signed a communique calling for a vision for how Victoria plans for current and future ageing.
Currently in Victoria, there is no state-wide plan for the increased longevity of the population. In Victoria now there are 1.25 million people aged over 60 years accounting for more than 20 per cent of the population. The percentage of older Victorians is set to increase to 22.2% in Greater Melbourne and 30.5% in regional and rural Victoria by 2031.
“The increasing numbers of older people creates new markets and opportunities for innovation and economic development. The challenges include addressing systemic ageism and age discrimination in employment and training and ensuring that our social and health policies support older people to be connected to their communities and healthy,” the communique says.
The communique highlights the need for the Government and community to plan policies that are evidence based, well-researched, well-resourced and underpinned by guiding principles and a vision.
“The lack of a plan is resulting in a fragmented approach to policy relating to older people.
This is particularly concerning for older people in rural and regional areas in Victoria who are more likely to be socially isolated, experience the digital divide and have poorer access to transport, housing, health and other essential services,” the communique says.
The plan should include a comprehensive range of initiatives that include the following: employment, healthy ageing and participation, strengthening culture, supporting diversity and addressing vulnerability, prevention and response to elder abuse, carer recognition and support, access to services and affordable, safe and fair housing.
The signatures include COTA (Vic), RMIT Future Social Service Institute, Health Issues Centre, Carers Victoria, Dementia Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation, Victorian Council of Social Services, Ethnic Communities Council Victoria, Housing for Aged Action Group, Office of the Public Advocate, Consumer Action Law Centre, and Financial and Consumer Rights Council.