Promoting age-friendly communities
Living Choice is a member of the Retirement Living Council (RLC) and several senior staff members are represented on the Council’s national and state committees. The RLC has been focusing attention on how retirement communities support healthy ageing and in his newsletter this week, the RLC’s Executive Director, Ben Myers, encouraged operators to engage with elected officials, community leaders and residents to tell their story about their age-friendly community.
“This is a story about the difference your community has made to the lives of residents. It’s a story about healthy ageing; about ensuring governments start working with us to ensure all Australians have access to affordable, safe and secure retirement living communities,” he said.
Quoting global megatrends outlined by the CSIRO last week, Mr Myers said a key focus was the “escalating health imperative” – the health challenges posed by an ageing population and growing burden of chronic disease.
Mr Myers said it had been over 20 years since all Australian governments recognised that Australia’s ageing population was the nation’s greatest demographic challenge. “Yet, our planning schemes, tax arrangements and aged care system are still failing to grasp the opportunity to promote and encourage healthy ageing.”
“A recent decision to change the name of the Department of Health, to the Department of Health and Aged Care underscores this fact. It shows that Australia is still trying to find ways to properly care for an ageing population and that we are long way from turning the focus to all the ways we can help people to live independently for longer.
“These conversations go well beyond discussions regarding consumer protection, and centre on the fact that retirement communities combine purpose-built age-friendly housing, with community support and access to care. It’s these three elements that are not really found in any other type of housing, which deliver real health benefits for residents, and significant aged care savings for government.
“That’s why we are now using the term “age-friendly communities” when we talk to governments and politicians, regulators and opinion leaders. Using this term leads to conversations about the people the industry is helping – and those, like women at risk of homelessness, that it could help – rather than just conversations about buildings and regulations.”
Living Choice is committed to providing age-friendly communities so that residents can live a full and active life and also access Home Care support, if necessary. For more about Living Choice’s Home Care program, see Living Choice Home Care