Govt and NFPs Need To Maximise Potential of Ageing Australians
Thursday, 3rd November 2011 at 11:04 am
|Flickr Image: Some rights reserved by Brian Auer|
Governments, Not for Profit organisations, the private sector and individuals need to work together, in partnership, to realise the opportunities and economic implications around Australia’s aging population, according to a new report.
The second report to Government by the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential on Senior Australians says today's senior Australians are healthy, and wealthier and more skilled than previous generations of older Australians and this is changing communities and Australian society more broadly.
It says older Australians are contributing to society, the workplace and their own wellbeing to an extent not previously experienced and to make the most of this demographic shift, the Panel has identified four key areas where Australia needs to take a fresh approach: healthy living, housing, participation and lifelong learning.
The chair of the Advisory Panel, Everald Compton says Australia needs governments ,Not for Profits, industry and individuals to adapt to this demographic change.
For example, Compton says in the housing sector, seniors need affordable choices to be able to downsize into appropriate housing.
He says the panel firmly believes that the ageing of the population can be turned into a really strong economic positive for the nation.
He says “to make the most of this achievement of living longer and living better, individuals, organisations and the nation must anticipate, plan for and invest in this longer life”.
The panel has handed its second report to the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler. The final report will make recommendations to the Government and be handed to Treasurer Wayne Swan on Monday 12 December at the Older Workers and Work Ability Conference in Melbourne.
The panel has almost completed its public consultations, visiting Adelaide, Alice Springs, Armidale, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Canberra.
'We have spoken to a range of representative bodies and interested parties around Australia', said Compton.
'They raised many issues and we have drawn out the key themes which revolve around healthy living, housing, participation and lifelong learning.'
'Most Australians will age well, but a proportion will face severe barriers, due to health issues, accumulated disadvantage, low or outdated skills and other life circumstances' he said.
'Australia needs to develop strategies that capitalise on opportunities an ageing population brings, and these strategies need to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the implications of a longer life course.'
'Everyone – the government, Not for Profit organisations, the private sector, individuals – needs to work together, in partnership, to realise the opportunities. That is why we want recommendations from all members of across society about what should or could be done to help realise the potential of our senior Australians,' said Compton.
In terms of Volunteering the report says organisations already benefit from volunteering efforts, but they could benefit even more by recognising the diverse skills of seniors.
It says older people want more challenging roles when they volunteer, and easier access to volunteering arrangements that are more in line with their circumstances.
Interested parties are invited to send their recommendations to the secretariat via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second report, Realising the economic potential of senior Australians: enabling opportunity, is at www.treasury.gov.au/EPSA/content/publications.asp.