News & Events

From the CEO – Growing old is never easy

February 19, 2017

Growing old is never easy, often compounded by the loss of mobility and the loss of loved ones and friends. Retirement villages can and do play a vital role in supporting residents physically and emotionally.

Here at OCAV we have begun looking at what future retirement villages may look like, say in 2030, as we consider how we best cater for the increasing number of older Victorians in need.

A recent workshop revealed that staff and Council members believe the future will actually return to the past, where people from all stages of life come together to look after each other, discover new friendships and opportunities for new adventures and learning. The emphasis will be on community rather than retirement, all generations rather than specific age groups.

This is not a far-fetched vision. This concept is currently being played out in the Netherlands and Austria, for example. Students live alongside older people providing mutual support and friendship; kindergarten children come in regularly to aged care homes providing the chance for older people to interact with younger generations, and vice versa, providing the chance to break down stereotypes and age barriers.

 

Increasingly niche communities, such as LGBTQI, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and single women are being formed, catering to specific needs.

OCAV was formed nearly 150 years by our far-sighted founding fathers who wanted to ensure that older Victorians in need had somewhere secure and affordable to live, supported when and if they needed it, and a community in which they felt engaged.

Our mission is straightforward: we are to provide affordable housing and support to older Victorians in need. Our challenge is to meet the demand for affordable housing and address social problems at the same time. In the current political climate where affordable housing means anything from negative gearing through to ensure everyone has a place to live, OCAV has an increasingly important role to play in advocating for a new way of thinking about housing and older people.

The scale of the problem is vast. Most voters now consider housing to be one of the top important issues facing Australia now. We agree.

It was great to be a contributor to the report on stakeholder perspectives on Australia’s affordable housing system undertaken by the Australian Futures Project and I look forward to sharing insights from the report in future newsletters.

Leith Park is a wonderful place for single older women because of the community and the age-friendly accommodation. I don’t think I have ever felt as safe as I have here.

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