LINK Community Transport, its representative peak body the VCTA, and other aged care peak bodies within Victoria, launched a much needed ‘Agenda for Ageing in Victoria” on 27 March 2018. This initiative, ably led by COTA (Council on the Ageing Victoria), represents the combined views and calls to action of aged care peak bodies across Victoria.
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.
“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.
“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. That’s only 13 years away. We need a vision and an action agenda developed now,” COTA CEO Ronda Held said.
“We challenge the Victorian Government to develop policies and programs that will keep our older population contributing to communities and the economy. The increasing numbers of older people will create new markets for innovation in products and services.
“We should embrace the economic and social opportunities modern ageing can bring. A plan for ageing in Victoria will generate creative ideas and solutions so that older people can thrive and continue to contribute to society”.
The Alliance for an Agenda for Ageing calls for a comprehensive state-wide action plan that sets out the challenges, opportunities and actions across all government departments. This must be evidence-based, well-resourced and underpinned by a vision and guiding principles. The plan should have broad cross-departmental support and report directly to the
Department of Premier and Cabinet in its coordination and policy leadership role.
The Alliance for an Agenda for Ageing are organisations directly involved in the wellbeing of older Victorians. We recognise the diversity of life experiences and individual needs among older people, and the range of policy responses required to create an inclusive ageing Victoria. We believe 21st Century ageing in Victoria requires an Agenda for Ageing now.
Rick Lawford CEO of LINK Community Transport says:
‘Greater visibility, strength and resolve is needed to prosecute the case for an Agenda for Ageing in Victoria. It is deeply concerning that no such platform exists, yet the challenges and opportunities of an ageing community have long been forecast in various sectors.
This alliance of like-minded entities has stepped up. We now call on all political parties to ensure an agenda for ageing is part of their political platform in the very near term; particularly given the forthcoming elections.
From our transport service vantage point; we see too many older Victorians veritably hardwired to accept isolation and social confinement through a lack of specialised transport and related support services.
This inevitably manifests in poorer social health and well-being of our treasured aged community, and larger public health and aged-accommodation expenditures – a deficit shared by all Victorians. Proactive government policies, supported by requisite budget allocations, represent an outstanding investment in humanity and taxpayer outcomes.
Victoria needs to remedy its entrenched deficiencies, and not merely rely on the recent devolvement of aged sector responsibilities to the Commonwealth to eventually remedy the relevant issues. People are in need now.’
Download the Agenda for Ageing in Victoria publication here: