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Six priorities make up OCAV’s state budget platform

March 2, 2020

In Victoria today there are 1.25 million people aged over 60 – around 20 per cent of the population. Despite this there is older Victorian older person’s strategy in place, an oversight which the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria wants addressed.

In its annual state budget platform OCAV has outlined six priorities for action, all of which fall under the umbrella of developing an older person’s strategy.

The platform for action has, largely, been put together with input from the Association’s 450 residents who want to live in and be supported by an age-friendly society.

As our resident coordinators’ Evon Ingleby (Rushall Park and Braeside Park) and Karen Ernest (Leith Park and Currie Park) say: “Our residents want to access transport, services and information that does not require them to be digitally adroit, and they want to be able to volunteer, work and take part in social and cultural activities. This is no different to other older Victorians, wherever they live.”

The priorities are: develop, implement and fund a Victorian older person’s strategy; address the acute shortage of affordable housing for older people in Victoria; address transport issues as they affect older people; address the digital divide; address and fund work and skills opportunities for older Victorians; and fund and support the development of dementia friendly communities.

“We know from our waitlist of older Victorians that lack of accessible, safe housing, financial difficulties, poor health, and limited working options are challenging. They want to be supported by policies which enable them to remain healthy, connected and independent for as long as possible,“  Evon and Karen said.

According to the OCAV platform, the strategy should determine current gaps and priorities for future funding for employment, healthy ageing, supporting diversity, addressing prevention and response to elder abuse, carer recognition and support, access to services and affordable, safe and fair housing.

More Victorians are growing older than ever before. By 2031, Victorians aged over 60 living in Greater Melbourne will comprise 22% of the population, and almost a third (31%) of Victorians living in rural and regional areas will be aged over 60.

Despite this, ageism prevails in many facets of our lives. Alarmingly 35% of Australians aged 55-64 years and 43% of Australians aged over 65 years’ report having experienced age discrimination.

OCAV calls on the Victorian Government to:

  • Review current capital works programs that target older people to ensure equitable investment in infrastructure, including a massive injection of funding for affordable housing that is designed with the older person in mind
  • Provide on-going investment in local communities to foster inclusion
of older people and undertake evaluation to develop a knowledge base of what works
  • Revise free TAFE eligibility to ensure that mature aged job seekers and workers who are experiencing employment vulnerability are provided with an opportunity to retrain and access new career pathways.
  • Close the gap to provide better support, community based transport, particularly in regional and rural areas.
  • Improve pedestrian facilities in suburbs and regional and rural communities to enable older Victorians to remain active, prevent injuries and deaths
  • Invest in a telephone service during ordinary business hours to complement the Seniors Online Victoria website and provide over the phone support and information to older Victorians.
  • Invest in dementia friendly communities which includes providing dementia education for hospital and aged care staff, supporting Dementia Australia’s Nightingale Program, a nurse-led, dementia specific palliative care program, and to put in place programs which reduce discrimination faced by people living with dementia in the community.

The full submission can be read here:

Volunteering is important to Deb, enabling her to contribute in the aged care sector. “I love it when the residents get downright cheeky. I love it when we get a bit too loud with laughing."

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