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Call for visionary action to create a better future for older Victorians

A coalition of 18 organisations, led by COTA Victoria, today called on the Victorian Government to create a vision and action agenda to improve the future for a growing number of older Victorians.

 

Staunch community activist Merle Mitchell AM refers to her current state of ageing as waiting to die, with the lucky ones being the ageing people who die quickly. Merle says she joined the Council on the Ageing Victoria’s (COTA) to demand that both parties develop an Agenda for Ageing in the lead up to the 2018 election.

“We are suffering because of a lack of planning and there is a real danger of not preparing for the future in a world that will have even more older people,” Merle said.

Ageing population brings untapped opportunities

COTA CEO Ronda Held said an ageing population can bring challenges like those facing Merle, but also real opportunities if we embrace this reality and create a vision for a full life for our entire lives.

“We need a vision and an action agenda developed now. Victoria stands out as one of the few states that has no clear plan to address the longevity of our population,” Ms Held said.

By 2031, almost one in every four Victorians will be aged over 60 and in rural and regional communities this figure will be as high as one in three. Victoria’s older population is also very diverse – 41% of Victorians aged over 65 and 46% of those aged over 85 years were born overseas.

“Migrants also get old! All ageing policies must respond to the cultural, linguistic and spiritual diversity of Victoria,” said Marion Lau, Deputy Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (eccv).

Leadership and comprehensive action needed

Palliative Care Victoria is among the group of 18 organisations calling for leadership, vision and comprehensive action to value and enable older people to flourish in our community.

“We must cherish and enable all people to flourish throughout life, including during their senior years,” said Odette Waanders, CEO of Palliative Care Victoria.

“Healthy ageing and access to high quality palliative care and end of life care are important issues for senior Victorians,” she said.

The report issued by the coalition, available below, calls for action in a wide range of areas, including:

  • valuing the contributions of older people
  • employment
  • health ageing and participation
  • support and recognition of carers
  • strengthening culture and supporting diversity
  • access to services
  • affordable, safe housing
  • elder abuse prevention and response.
Document

An Ageing Agenda for Victoria

Victoria urgently needs a state-wide, bi-partisan plan for ageing and older people, according to a coalition of 17 organisations led by COTA Victoria. They are calling on the Victorian Government to create a vision and action plan so that older Victorians can thrive and continue to contribute to society.

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